Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Sound of Thunder Unleash the Queen of Hell

A Sound of Thunder are back with an EP entitled Queen of Hell. It's a metal appetizer to hold fans over until their next studio album Time's Arrow comes out in the spring. If you liked their last album Out of the Darkness, shame on you if you didn't, then you are in for a huge treat on this EP. Here's my review for it for Rock Revolt Magazine:

Wang Chung: Still Having Fun In 2013

They gave us quite a few 80s classic all while teaching us to have fun tonight. Wang Chung are back with a brand new album entitled Tazer Up! and they seem to have picked up right where they left off. Nick Feldman and Jack Hues may not have been all over your radio stations, but they have been keeping busy. Get caught up on all things Wang Chung with my new interview with Nick:

Anthrax: Grammy Awards, Cover Songs and Maximum Metal

Anthrax released Worship Music in 2011 and they were suddenly thrust into the mainstream spotlight. After 30 plus years of thrashing and headbanging, the guys were getting major props thrown their way from publications and fans and critics unlike anything they had ever seen before. It was a reassurgence in their career, although they were far from being on life support. Drummer Charlie Benante talked to me about their upcoming tour, their surprise Grammy nomination and lots of other interesting metal tidbits. You can read all about it here:

One Eyed Doll: A Feast For Your Senses

If you have never experienced a live show from One Eyed Doll, then you don't know what you are missing. This band is one of the most creative forces to hit the music scene in years. What's that? You say you're not familiar with the band? Well, have no fear because that's why I am here. I will give you a crash course on this amazing band and give you some insight on what they are all about. Check out my interview with them at:

Otherwise: Healing Through Music

I am a firm believer that music is therapeutic. The guys in Otherwise are prime examples of that. Their music has touched so many lives in such a short time and has healed many, all while the band members are healing from their own tragic loses. Lead singer Adrian Patrick sat down and talked to me about healing through music plus the amazing ride that 2012 was for the band. You can read all about it here:

Lacuna Coil's Big Plans For 2013

Lacuna Coil are like road warriors after they release a new album. They stay out on tour for what seems like an eternity promoting the album. I sat down with their singer Andrea Ferro and we discussed their road warrior mentality and what was coming up for the band in 2013. Check it out here:

In This Moment: Big Things Ahead in 2013

I had a chance to sit down with In This Moment co-founder Chris Howorth before their show in Richmond, VA at The National to talk about the amazing 2012 the band had and what lies ahead in 2013. You can read about it here:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alexx Calise Pushes Forward on AC3

Check out my review of the new EP from Alexx Calise entitled "AC3". This release may be the closest of all her releases so far to really show the true artist that she is. Alexx is definitely an artist to keep your eye on!

Hinder Pushes The Creative Envelope on Freakshow

Check out my review of the new Hinder album "Welcome to the Freakshow". These guys always deliver, but this time around they may just surprise you as they push the creative envelope on this new release.

OTEP's Final Studio Album Delivers

Check out my review of the new and last studio for OTEP called "Hydra". It's really going to catch some people off guard this time around.

Johnette Napolitano: Doing Things On Her Own Terms

Check out my interview with the amazing Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde for Rock Revolt Magazine. We have a long talk and discuss everything from living in the moment, cameras and cell phones getting on her nerves and Italian crack!

Don Dokken : Still Rockin' After All These Years

Check out my interview with metal icon Don Dokken for Rock Revolt magazine. We talk about the music industry, his dog and even a jello fight with George Lynch!!

Heart Go Home On Fanactic

I don’t know which is harder to believe: the fact that it’s been 37 years since Heart’s debut album Dreamboat Annie was released or the fact that they still manage to put out amazing material today. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are at a point in their career where they don’t necessarily need to put out new music, but they want to. The commercial success enjoyed in the late 70s and again in the late 80s may not be there, but these talented ladies are at a much more rewarding point in their long career. They are doing things their way and they haven’t sounded happier.

Heart’s new album Fanatic is the follow-up to 2010’s Red Velvet Car, their first Top 10 album in 20 years. That album was also praised highly by both fans and critics. Fanatic has the Wilson sisters cranking up the amps and rocking a bit harder than they did on their last album. There are also some new elements being incorporated into their music 
added yet another layer of complexity to these talented ladies.

The album opens with the title track and its distorted riff intro lets you know that this is going to be interesting. This is a killer track with its psychedelic feel and crunchy guitar tone. “Dear Old America” tells the tale of a father returning home from war. An interesting note about the song found in the album’s liner notes. The tempo switches to double time midway through the song. It seems that this happened accidentally due to a computer tempo error, but the band liked it and kept it that way.

“A Million Miles Away” is a very interesting song with its incorporation of electronic beats and elements not usually found on a Heart album. The ladies kick it old school in the Zepplinesque “Mashallah!” which is amazing. The addition of a string section in the song just takes elevates this rocking number to another level. What’s that? You need some more rock from the Wilson sisters? Well, there’s also “59 Crunch” and it won’t disappoint.

“Pennsylvania” brings us our first ballad with a bit of a rock edge. A haunting song lyrically and the guitar tone adds such an element to the song to compliment Ann’s amazing vocal delivery. On a gentler note, “Rock Deep (Vancouver)” is a beautiful, gentle ballad and brings to mind “Dog and Butterfly” with its peaceful acoustic side. Again, the use of strings on this song gets a major thumbs up. It’s an absolutely gorgeous song. It’s amazing how the Wilson sisters can tell a story in three and a half minutes.

Overall, I don’t think there’s a bad song on here. You know how a band will put out an album and there are one or two tracks that just seem to feel like “filler” in order to make it a full album? You really don’t get that feel on Fanatic. Ann and Nancy definitely rock out on it, but they also manage to keep in touch with their folk roots as well. The guitars are loud and crunchy and distorted at times, but they always rock. I mentioned it before, but I will again. The strings used throughout this album add such a great element to the songs. What a great touch!

Ann Wilson, does this woman just keep getting better with age? She is definitely one of the most amazing voices ever in music and at times probably one of the most underappreciated as I don’t think she has ever gotten the credit she truly deserves. Nancy is no slouch either, but even though she knows how to rock, her vocals add such a tender element to compliment Ann’s voice. Their harmonies are top notch. So many young artists today should pay attention to these ladies and take note on how true talent can manage to keep a career going strong after almost 40 years.