Trapt’s Latest LP Is A Fully Accessible, Radio Ready Presentation

Courtesy: The Label Group.INgrooves

Veteran rock band Trapt is scheduled to release its latest album Friday.  The 12-song album Shadow Work – the band’s eighth album — will come less than four years after the release of its predecessor, DNA upon its release.  The record is a presentation that will grow on audiences each time they listen through its 11 primary songs and one bonus track, each of which is its own fit for any active rock radio programmer’s playlist.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements just as much as their lyrical content, as is evidenced in part through ‘Let Me Down Slowly,’ which comes late in the record’s run.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another key way in which it shows what makes it worth hearing.  ‘Far Enough Away,’ which comes just ahead of the album’s midpoint, is one more way in which Shadow Work engages audiences.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with ‘Let Me Down Slowly,’ ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album becomes a presentation that is unique from Trapt’s previous albums, and just as worth hearing at least once.

Trapt’s eighth full-length studio recording Shadow Works is an interesting new offering from the veteran rock band.  While maybe not as heavy as some of the band’s past works, it still holds its own appeal for audiences.  The album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes make it good fit for many mainstream active rock radio stations.  That is proven in part through one of the album’s later works, ‘Let Me Down Slowly.’  The song’s arrangement’s opening bars present audiences with a soft, contemplative sound that gradually builds into a more ballad-esque approach.  This back and forth of the song’s softer and slightly more energetic elements continues from that point, serving to help illustrate the emotions exhibited in each portion of the composition.

The noted change in emotions and thoughts is itself well-translated through the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which front man Chris Taylor Brown sings, “You like to catch me off guard/So it’s hard to keep my balance/And you know how to get inside/And you know how to love me right/And I’m not ready to let you go just yet/Do we have more time left to stretch/Cause I’m not ready yet/Let me down/Let me down/Let me down slow/Stick around/Draw it out/Til there’s nowhere else to go/Pushing me/Along a string/And if you’re finally/breaking free/Let me down slowly.”  Right from the outset, what it seems the song’s subject is dealing with is a familiar mindset, that of knowing a relationship is at its end, but basically not wanting it to be over.  That denial (in the song’s chorus) is where the song’s energy picks up, while the verse is the more contemplative moment, in which the subject is going through everything that has led up to that point.  The song’s second and third verses continue to paint that noted picture, with Taylor singing in the second verse, We always take it too far/And we’re up for any challenge/You know when I get excited/You know how to keep me smiling/I’m not ready to let/You go just yet/Do we have more time left to stretch/Cause I’m not ready yet.”  he adds in the song’s third verse, “Take your time with me/Stretch the seconds out/Keep the waves rolling/Keep it calm before the storm comes round and drowns me.”  Once again, this comes across as someone who is in complete denial about a relationship’s end and is essentially pleading with the other person to not end it, without actually pleading per se.  It is certain to engage audiences and generate its own share of discussion among audiences.  Together with the mainstream active rock radio appeal that the song’s musical arrangement presents, the two elements join to make this just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’ does its own part to make Shadow Work worth hearing.

‘Tell Me How You Feel’ presents a sound that is starkly different from almost anything else on this record.  Where ‘Let Me Down Slowly’ presented audiences a contemplative, pleading song, this song is more of a poppy early 90s work that even has a hint of 80s pop rock to a point. Guitarist Bendan Hengle’s riffs and drummer Mike Smith get plenty of time in the limelight in this composition as they form the foundation for the song’s arrangement.  Its infectious overall sound make it a fit not just for active rock stations, but possibly even Top 40 stations. It is that accessible of an arrangement.  What is so interesting is that considering the song’s lyrical theme, which seems to focus on one person trying to get his/her partner to communicate. Such a confrontation between partners in a relationship can take many different forms.  It can be emotionally intense or even something less intense, as in the case presented here.  To that end, the song’s musical arrangement works well.

Going back to the song’s lyrical theme, the situation presented here is one of those less intense situations.  That is made clear as Brown sings in the song’s lead verse, “Tell Me How You Really Feel/Lips locked and tongues tied/We both want to shout/But know not what about/I’m stuck in your eyes/Tryin’ to figure out/Where we are now/There’s a voice in this confusion/Waiting to be heard/Lost in the commotion/Searching for the words/Show me some emotion/Tell me where it hurts/These aren’t your secrets to keep.”  This is someone talking to his/her partner at the critical point in a relationship where the big argument has not yet happened.  It is that point where one partner is trying to prevent said incident from happening.  The discussion continues in the song’s second verse, Our hearts on our sleeves/Yet we can’t say the things/That we both really mean/Pushing or pulling/Tell me how I can be/Right in between/There’s a voice/in this confusion/Waiting to be heard/Lost in the commotion/Searching for the words/Show me some emotion/Tell me where it hurts/These aren’t your secrets to keep.”  Coupled with the song’s chorus, in which Brown sings, “Tell me how you really feel/Tell me how you feel/If you really want to make it real/Then tell me how to/Tell me how you feel/We have only ourselves to blame/If we don’t say what we have to say/If you really want your wounds to heal/Then tell me how you feel,” what audiences get in full is, again, that discussion between the couple (more so coming from one side than the other) about that need for communication, which is key to any relationship.  Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the song gains even more traction and possibility for mainstream radio play.  It is just one more of the songs that stands out in this record.  ‘Far Enough Away’ is one more example of why audiences should give the record at least one chance.

‘Far Enough Away’ is another of the most accessible songs on Shadow Work.  This applies to its musical arrangement and its lyrical theme.  The song’s musical arrangement is a gentle, flowing presentation that conjures thoughts at times of works from Third Eye Blind, Sister Hazel, and to a lesser degree, Matchbox 20.  The melody and harmonies generated through the use of the guitars and strings joins with the steady time keeping and vocals to make the song’s arrangement another easy fit for any Top 40 or even adult contemporary station’s playlist.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  That semi-melancholy vibe featured in the song’s arrangement works well with the song’s lyrical theme, which seems to present another relationship-based story.  This time, the story seems to focus on a person who wants to let down that wall around himself/herself, but is apparently afraid to let down that guard.  Men and women alike have been in this position at one point or another.  Brown sings in the song’s lead verse of this person, “I want to be held/But only from a distance/How do you hold on to me/I want to let go/I don’t want to have to hold your hand anymore.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I wanted it all/But I didn’t want to give you all of me/So why do I want all of you/I want to come close/But I can’t let myself believe/That you feel it too” and adds in the song’s third and final verse, “No matter how far I go/I can’t get away/No matter how far I go/There’s too much to say.”  Yet again, that noted picture is painted here.  Whether this is the result of a broken relationship or relationship on the rocks is left to interpretation.  However, what can be inferred is in fact that this song’s subject is trying to deal with a lot of complicated thoughts.  We have all been in that position of trying to decide whether to let down our guard when a relationship status becomes difficult.  To that end, this makes this song’s lyrical content accessible in its own right.  When it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the overall emotional impact on audiences will stick, proving in the end why this song is another important addition to Shadow Work.  Keeping this in mind along with the impact of the other two songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album proves that it is worth hearing at least once and worth consideration for any mainstream active rock radio programmer’s playlist.

Trapt’s forthcoming eighth album Shadow Work is a work that deserves to be heard.  That is because its musical and lyrical content is accessible.  The musical content is comparable to works from so many of the band’s most well-known mainstream counterparts.  The record’s lyrical themes, which are seemingly mostly focused on the matter of relationships, will connect with ease to a wide range of listeners.  This is all proven through all three of the songs featured here.  When they are considered along with the songs not directly addressed, the whole of the record should not stay in the shadows.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  Shadow Work is scheduled for release Friday through Ingrooves and The Label Group.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:






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Trapt Announces New Album Title, Release Date, Specs; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: The Label Group.INgrooves

Trapt is set to release its latest album next month.

Shadow Work, the band’s eighth full-length studio recording, is scheduled for release June 19 through The Label Group and INgrooves.  In anticipation of the record’s release, the band is scheduled to release not one, but two singles from the album Friday in the form of ‘Make It Out Alive‘ and ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel.’  A third single, the band’s own cover of Jewel’s hit song ‘Save Your Soul,’ is scheduled for release May 22.

All three tracks will be instant grat tracks with a pre-order of the band’s new album.

Front man Chris Taylor Brown talked about ‘Make It Out Alive’ in a recent interview.

“Make It Out Alive” was the last song written for our new album “Shadow Work” and I hope it inspires people to never give up,” he said. “Times can get so tough and it can be easy to just want to let go of all the struggle. But I think the struggles we go through define us. Each crisis we go through, staring into an abyss of the unknown, makes us stronger when we come out the other side. I know that we will come out stronger, as a country and as a world, through the current crisis we find ourselves battling and every other crisis that comes our way in the future. We always do!”

Trapt first broke into the mainstream in 2002 with the single ‘Headstrong,’ which was featured on the band’s self-titled sophomore record.  that album was preceded with the release of the band’s debut album Amalgamation in 1999.  Someone in Control followed the release of Trapt in 2005.

Three years after the release of Someone in Control, Trapt released its then fourth album.  No Apologies, the band’s fifth album, followed in 2010.  Album number six — Reborn — followed in 2013 and then DNA in 2016.

The full track listing for Shadow Work is noted below.




1. Make It Out Alive
2. I Want To Want What I Want
3. Tell me how you really feel
4. Too little too late
5. Far enough away
6. Turn Me Around Again
7. Trying Too Hard
8. Let Me Down Slowly
9. Too Far Away
10. Get You Back
11. Hold And Be Held



Trapt has announced a tentative series of live dates in support of Shadow Work that launches May 22 in Rockford, IL and runs through Oct. 30 in Dubuque, IA.  An additional date on Dec. 5 in Woodford, VA is also tentatively scheduled.

The band’s scheduled dates are noted below.



TRAPT Upcoming Show Dates:

May 22 District Bar and Grill Rockford, IL
Jun 11 DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA
Jun 12 Whiskey A Go Go W. Hollywood, CA
Jun 19 Tanana Valley Fairgrounds Fairbanks, AK
Jun 20 Williwaw Anchorage, AK
Jun 27 Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq Promenade Las Vegas, NV
Jul 10 Legends Event Park Chickasha, OK
Jul 16 The Crafthouse Stage & Grill Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 18 The Chance Theater Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 25 Berkshirestock Fest Pownal, VT
Jul 30 Morgan Hill Event Center w/ Saliva & Tantric Hermon, ME
Jul 31 Revolution Bar & Music Hall Amityville, NY
Aug 01 Brat Days Fest @ Kiwanis Park Sheboygan, WI
Aug 08 Oscoda Rock Fest Oscoda, MI
Aug 15 Mudd Fest @ Black Bear Casino Carlton, MN
Aug 20 Muddfest Springfield, IL
Aug 21 Rock on the River w/ Saliva & Saving Abel Fort Wayne, IN
Aug 29 Crusens RT 29 Creve Coeur, IL
Sep 03 Mudd Fest @ Duquoin State Fair Grounds Duquoin, IL
Sep 05 Brauer House Lombard, IL
Sep 12 Wildcatter Saloon Katy, TX
Sep 26 Downtown Farmer City Heritage Days w/ Saliva Farmer City, IL
Oct 02 Round Rock Tavern Round Rock, TX
Oct 03 The Studio at Warehouse Live Houston, TX
Oct 04 The Rail Club Live Fort Worth, TX

“United We Stand Tour”
Oct 09 The Royal Bar Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 10 Sunshine Studios Live Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 11 Herman’s Hideaway Denver, CO
Oct 14 The Rave Milwaukee, WI
Oct 16 Austin’s Fuel Room Libertyville, IL
Oct 17 Stormy’s Beaver Dam, WI
Oct 18 The Room Indianapolis, IN
Oct 20 Rock City Cake Company Charleston, WV
Oct 24 5 South Event Center Callaway, MD
Oct 25 Granite State Music Hall NH Laconia, NH
Oct 30 Q Casino & Hotel, Dubuque, IA

Dec 5 The Groove Music Hall Woodford, VA



Any changes in the band’s schedule will be announced online along with other news at:






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Rock Into Spring Festival Adds New Sponsors, Bands

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

More new sponsors have been added to this spring’s upcoming Rock Into Spring festival presented by music products company Gangster.

Heineken and Findlay Chevrolet have signed on as the latest new additions to the festival’s already long list of sponsors.  While Heineken will serve as a sponsor for the three-day pool party at the M Resort’s pool, Findlay Chevrolet will add even more interest to the festivities with a free car giveaway.

The Las Vegas-based dealership will give away a brand new car on April 30, the festival’s final day.  The car will be given away during the event.

Heineken and Findlay Chevrolet are just two of the companies to recently sign on as sponsors for the event.  Shakespeare Vodka, No Cover Magazine, Presidential Limousine, SB Craft Jerky and Fest Pop also signed on as sponsors of the weekend-long festival.

The festival’s list of sponsors isn’t the only list that recently grew in size.  Two more bands were also recently added to the festival’s already extensive list of performers in the form of Buckcherry and Adelitas Way.

Already listed as performers on the festival’s bill are: Art of Anarchy, Sick Puppies, Trapt, DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit, Alien Ant Farm, Eve To Adam, Bobaflex, 9Electric, Another Lost Year, Shallow Side, Blacklite District, VYCES, Behind The Fallen, Artifas, Lola Black, The Broken Thumbs, Quor, Silent Theory and many others.

Along with its extensive list of performers, Rock Into Spring will also feature 20 top tattoo artists to provide concert-goers with new ink. They include Ink Master’s Randy Vollink, James Francis, Cleen Rock One, King Rock, MTV’s Drama Diablo and others.

Rock Into Spring is presented by Gangster and hosted by Crank Up Live,, the Rocking Comedy Show and Radio Rock Vegas.  The festival is a 21 and over event.  Valid state or federal ID is required for entry.  Tickets can be purchased online now via Ticketfly.  VIP packages can be purchased online now here.

More information on the Rock Into Spring Festival is available online now at:









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Adage Could Be North Carolina’s Next Big Name In Music

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Austin, Texas.  Seattle, Washington.  Los Angeles, California. Atlanta, Georgia.  New York, New York.  Most people reading this right now are likely scratching their heads where this is going.  The answer is simple.  The cities noted here are some of America’s biggest hotbeds in the music industry.  They aren’t the industry’s only major hotbeds, though. Most people might not know it, but North Carolina as a whole state is a music hotbed within itself.  As a matter of fact, North Carolina could be argued to be one of the biggest musical hotbeds in America.  That’s because of the variety of major name acts that have called North Carolina home throughout the ages.  Jazz pioneers such as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Max Roach all called North Carolina home as did fellow jazz great Billy Taylor. Taylor hailed from Greenville, North Carolina while Monk and Coletrane came from Rocky Mount and High Point respectively.  The Fabulous Corsairs, which featured famed singer-songwriter James Taylor called Chapel Hill home.  In terms of the world of rock, the world renowned Corrosion of Conformity is still performing and recording today.  As a matter of fact, COC released its latest album earlier this year.  The band calls The Old North State’s capital city Raleigh home.  Delta Rae, which is one of the biggest of North Carolina’s biggest acts today calls Durham home as does indie band Bombadil.  Of course one can’t forget the likes of The Avett Brothers, Parmalee, Between The Buried and Me, or Trioscapes among so many others.  Now another young up and coming band has added its name to that list of bands and artists that have made North Carolina the rich musical hotbed that it is for so many decades thanks to its new EP Defined.  The band’s debut for Pavement Entertainment presents great potential for the Winston-Salem based band even with only a total of five songs.  The songs included on this record exhibit influence from bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and to a lesser extent Trapt.  What’s more any of the songs included on this disc could easily be used as a single to promote the band.  That is obvious right off the top in the EP’s opening number ‘Anymore.’  It is just as obvious on the EP’s third and final songs, ‘Hold On’ and ‘By Myself’ respectively.’  ‘Best Of’ and ‘Growing Colder’ are also excellent examples of what audiences can expect from Adage’s new EP.  Collectively, the songs included on this record show Adage as a band that is on the brink of adding its name to the list of North Carolina’s biggest bands and artists.

The members of Adage show why the band is close to becoming another of North Carolina’s most well-known and talked about acts right from the outset of its new EP in the song ‘Anymore’  The song’s agro-rock stlye sound hints at influences both from the likes of Trapt and even Taproot to a slightly lesser extent.  Drummer Alex Hough’s timekeeping in this piece is exception especially considering the polyrhythmic patterns that he handles while keeping time for the band.  And the 1-2 punch of guitarist Luke and vocalist Justin Doyle heightens the song’s energy and emotion as well.  There is a certain furiousness in Doyle’s voice as he sings over the equally driving guitar line, “Everytime you look in my eyes you lie/And tell me everything’s alright/I know you don’t feel it anymore…I hate you/For all you’ve done to me/Some things you never see/And I don’t care.”  Songs about breakups are nothing new to the music industry.  They go back as far as the industry’s own beginnings it would seem.  But those songs that take the high road instead of the depression oh-woe-is-me angle are rather few and far between.  So when angrier, more aggressive pieces such as this one come along, they are a welcome change of pace.  That more aggressive lyrical and musical style that collectively make up this song makes it an instant radio ready song and a good representation of the band’s work on Defined.

As with ‘Anymore,’ ‘Hold On’ is also centered in the standard lyrical theme of relationships.  It also boasts the same agro-rock style that made so many bands in the late 90s and early 2000s fan favorites.  This song absolutely cries “LIVE” because of that sound.  Doyle sings Sorry that I’m not perfect/One day I will be worth it/To you/So hold on/I can’t ever find the right words/For saying nothing is so much worse to you/Hold on/All of this will come together/And I promise you/I promise you/Say goodbye for you.”  This song comes across as the polar opposite to the EP’s opener in that it seems more like his subject here is pleading for a woman to stay around versus the self-assured figure in ‘Anymore.’  He is trying his hardest to convince her to stay.  The musical comparison to the band’s bigger named counterparts only serves to make the song even more entertaining for audiences.  It goes to show the caliber of material the band is presenting here.  And that caliber is high, needless to say.  Together with ‘Anymore’ it makes for even more reason for fans to check out this EP when it drops August 19th.

Both ‘Anymore’ and ‘Hold On’ are good examples of what makes Defined an impressive new release from Adage.  Of the EP’s five songs, though there is still one more example of what makes this release the work that could potentially make Adage North Carolina’s next big name.  That song is the EP’s closer ‘By Myself.’  This song is a good way for the band to have closed out Defined.  It was such a good choice for a closer in that it shows the band’s softer side.  It’s a more melodic piece.  And among the EP’s five songs, it is perhaps the strongest candidate of all for the song that really breaks out the band.  Doyle sings in this song, “I’m crying out/Out for help/I just can’t be by myself/Remember how/How I felt/I just can’t see/By myself/I hear it from all sides/On how I should love you/I can’t make up my mind/On anything I do/Why am I here/Why won’t you just take me home/Why am I here/Why won’t you just leave me alone.”  The guitar breaks that follow the chorus are right up there with the likes of Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) and other top named guitarists.  That along with the power in Doyle’s vocals make this song just as fitting a closer as ‘Anymore’ is the opener for the record.  Such a powerful final statement along with the EP’s other noted songs (and the pair not mentioned) seals the deal for Adage and for Defined.  It is the final piece of musical evidence proving why Adage is on the verge of becoming North Carolina’s next big name.

Defined will be available in stores and online Tuesday, August 19th via Pavement Entertainment.  Audiences can check out the songs from Defined online now via Adage’s ReverbNation website at while they wait for the EP to drop.  They can also keep up with the band’s latest tour dates through that website and the band’s official Facebook page at  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at