alazka phoenixALAZKA

 

PHOENIX

 

SHARPTONE RECORDS

 

DROPS: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017

 

Review by: Cherri Bird

 

 

 

RISING FROM THE ASHES TO NEW HEIGHTS, ALAZKA’S “PHOENIX” IS TRULY A REBIRTH

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There’s a possibility that upon hearing the first track or two off PHOENIX, that it bends your ear to a familiarity; and not just because there is something within the music either. It’s more than fitting into a genre, or tone of a band or even a vocal style. For me, the first time I listened the familiarity came from the way my gut reacted to the structure of what I heard in the music because ALAZKA is a very emotionally charged band at their core. In being in tune with what their content was doing for them, created the connection for me.

 

The 12 song LP that is due out from under the SHARPTONE RECORDS umbrella on September 1st, is the byproduct of a series of changes with the band and the individual members. Once called BURNING DOWN ALASKA, the German melodic hardcore band changed their name, changed the lineup, and added clean vocalist KASSIM AUALE to the mix.

 

You know in chemistry class when the lab portion starts? You’re warned that combining this element with that solution or this solution with these compounds produce various reactions? ALAZKA totally takes what they once were and shapes themselves to what they are. PHOENIX is the band’s second release (first with SHARPTONE RECORDS). The familiarity I experienced came from a pulse of “BLOSSUM” that literally echoed in my being and stuck to me like a fresh spider's web still tangled in my hair, despite my attempts in shaking it off.

 

Don’t you just love a good story where the unsuspected are victorious? I do. Even if I had a blindfold and earplugs jammed in my ears, I would still feel this sense of comfort, belonging or familiarity. As the record plays, I hear a culmination of consequences that created the foundation for the songs on PHOENIX. Look, I can’t tell you what an impression this record had on me. It’s beautifully written with super powered choruses, drops that feel like they took your kidney or stomach with you, lyrics that are infinitely somber yet hopeful and two vocal styles, all stuffed into 12 envelopes and tucked away for safe keeping.

 

Oh, this record is good y’all. Take the time out to chill and listen to it song by song. And as the CD begins, you might feel that you are on a journey towards your own rebirth, fueled by fiery friction from the music ALAZKA has created, as you rise from these ashes as your own Phoenix.

 

Track Notes:

EVERYTHING - watch out for the huge chorus as the riffs from the guitars might be reminiscent of what a donkey punch might feel like...of course if you’re into that sort of thing. Which of course, I’m not, of course.

 

BLOSSOM - there’s a groove, a swagger in this song that will bring you to the edge of the highest cliff and right when KASSIM punches that first line of the chorus, it startles you to the point of falling off the cliff but instead of falling - you soar right alongside the melody through the end of the song.

 

FADING FLAME - it’s never supposed to end that way, is it? As awkward as it might be to admit or say, we all know these kinds of endings create the best art when it does end. I love the image of a dying flame translates into music. The pounding of the drums could mimic an erratic heartbeat, confused by love and the possibility of it ending. (As this song played, I heard the most life-like interpretation as the clean’/unclean describe and document facts that take the gray areas and move them up or down to the black or white areas.)

 

EMPTY THRONE - this is a song with roller coaster ride ups and downs and as KASSIM and TOBIAS create the anxious feeling your stomach gets when those memories slowly drip into your mind like an old coffee pot brewing. But I have to say, what is created by these ups and downs are fucking beautiful.

 

ASH - this is where the rebirth happens; right before the chorus. There’s a build up that TOBIAS crafts with his screams and then you’re plowed down by this unbelievable vocal and if you listen close enough, after the rest of the band is finished tugging at your core, as your ear is close to the speaker and this melody fused with a band in complete unison (where one begins and the other ends is hardly evident) turns you inside out. #truth

 

So straight up, this is a record that you must purchase. You have to if not for any other reason than to hear KASSIM’S voice blanket one of the tightest melodic metalcore bands I have heard in a long time. As the songs started to sink into my hard head, I really felt a spirit of letting go start to happen within me. These guys gave me an overwhelming sense of gratitude to them to have experienced the hard life lessons that turn into their way of resolving some issues or pieces of the life puzzle that can take us to the solution.

 

The mix of TOBIAS and KASSIM’s clean/unclean voices definitely made ALAZKA “level up” with the addition of KASSIM. IMHO KASSIM has one of the strongest male voices I have heard and I’m not kidding or blowing smoke. Aside from Nicholas of All Hail the Yeti, the energy that bounces between the two is serious. They have a deliberate fusion with the rest of the band and if they two singers were to sing with other players, I’m not 100% certain it wouldn’t have the same effect as they currently do.

 

PHOENIX drops this Friday, September 1, 2017 at all music outlets.

 

 

 

 

WHAT HIS SHOW BRINGS...

WEDNESDAY 13 APPEARING LIVE AT TREES DALLAS, TEXAS

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For those not familiar with WEDNESDAY 13 and his band of Murder Metal Minstrels, you’re missing out. “Oh? Why?” you ask? Well, if you’re a “More Than” music fan - meaning you enjoy more than just the sound coming out of a radio or portable music device and you dig the theatrics of live music, then this is for you. However, if you are a More Than Fan then chances are you already know about WEDNESDAY 13 because he’s been doing this for freakin’ ever and he’s just getting better.

Case in point, his recent merge with NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS. For a veteran of the industry, you just don’t get picked up by this label unless you’ve done and will continue to do some pretty bad ass things in your career. And for those that thought WEDNESDAY 13 was a fleeting thought way-back-when, I guess the past speaks for the present, no?

WED13 BW 3 CBFor you More Than Fans that are not familiar with the band, I’m going to charge you with getting to know HRH The Duke of Spook (as I read him referred to a while back) and his band; because in doing so I will have not only done my job, but I will have introduced you to one of the best performers of Horror Metal the stage has ever seen. #truth #nojoke #seriously

What makes me sing the praises of WEDNESDAY 13’s music so much? It’s really twofold actually. I dig the hell out of being entertained watching a live show. I mean there are concerts and there are shows, right? I love both but when it comes to being entertained, give me some dramatics, theatrics, lights, props and costumes with bad assery, and you’ve just made a FFL (fan for life). WEDNESDAY 13 does this in ridiculous ways. First, the music is riveting; you can bang your head, you can bounce and throw up your rock horns, you can get lost in thought and you can just feel the entirety surround you. Second, the show is eerie AF and while there aren’t explosions and bright lights blinding you, the same feelings are there watching a WEDNESDAY 13 show...only they’re within your mind not right in front of you like an open book test.

And if I can be frank, there really is a third reason and please don’t take this out of context or lightly. WEDNESDAY 13 is hot AF. The whole band is sexy AF. I mean, isn’t that what makes us wanna rock? Isn’t that what all the crazies in the 50’s warned us about Rock n Roll stirring up in our youth, all those thoughts of naughties stirring our thoughts and distracting us from the righteous and good? So f’ing glad that movement falls on deaf ears when it is brought up every 10 to 15 years.

WED 13 RED MASK 1 CBSee what I mean? A mean ass rock show!

Take those three things: the music, the feelings of your own doing and the overall hotness of the band, add in the rolling fog, low lighting and the shadows that are created from them; you have one entertaining AF rock show. It is magnificent how all of what you see and feel melts with what you hear from WEDNESDAY 13 to create the semblance of coming out of the last flashes of a bad dream or hazy nightmare. But actually it’s not scary in the sense of like seeing blood and guts - it’s the thoughts that swarm around songs like “Blood Sick” or “What the Night Brings” that will give you the heebs in that killer way, you know? Isn’t this why Horror Metal fans love the music? For me, yep.

Check out what I mean with “What the Night Brings” off the newest release “CONDOLENCES” video.

 

I love that song - and just an example of why I love WEDNESDAY 13 so much - both recordings and shows. Those creepy crawlies of your own making are more f’ed up than someone feeding you their versions, am I right?

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The new album from NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDSCONDOLENCES” is out now and available online anywhere music is sold. Like here for instance.

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WEDNESDAY 13 - US CONDOLENCES TOURwed 13ustour

See WEDNESDAY 13 on the final dates of his summer Condolences Tour in the US:
7/18 — The “O” Bar — Minot, ND
7/20 — Starlite Room — Edmonton, ALB
7/21 — Dickens — Calgary, ALB
7/23 — Studio Seven — Seattle, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European bloodsick2017EUROPEAN TOUR - BLOODSICK TOUR

And Europe - prepare for the arrival of WEDNESDAY 13 on your soil with these dates and appearances:

26.10. Club Academy – Manchester, UK
27.10. Garage – Glasgow, UK
28.10. Islington Academy – London, UK
31.10. La Boule Noire – Paris, France
01.11. Upstairs @ Melkweg – Amsterdam, Holland
02.11. Bi Nuu – Berlin, Germany
03.11. Headcrash – Hamburg, Germany
04.11. Beatpol – Dresden, Germany
05.11. Rock Café – Prague, Czech Republic
07.11. Chelsea – Vienna, Austria
08.11. Hansa 39 – München, Germany
09.11. Kellerclub – Stuttgart, Germany
10.11. Legend – Milan, Italy
12.11. Werk 21 – Zürich, Switzerland
13.11. D Dortmund – FZW Club – Dortmund, Germany
14.11. Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
16.11. Nosturi – Helsinki, Finland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Til Next Time -

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 THE TOP 5 REASONS GOING TO SEE ROYAL THUNDER WILL SAVE YOUR SOUL RT BASS CLOSE UP CB

Asking me to go see ROYAL THUNDER and to do a Show Review is silly because the answer will be, now and forever, a Big Fat Greek YES! ROYAL THUNDER is a 4 piece rock band from Georgia that has of late, gained a ton of ground from their April 2017 release of the LP “WICK” via Spinefarm Records, finished a Spring tour throughout the US with BJORN BORG and made a musical appearance on NPR’s TINY DESK CONCERT Series (watch the performance here) and continues their live appearances in 2017 by playing PSYCHO LAS VEGAS in August amid other festivals around the country. 

In addition to the review of the show, I included my Top 5 Reasons Seeing Royal Thunder Live Will Save Your Soul - especially for SomeKindOfMedia. So here theY are sprinkled through the review of their show here in Dallas!

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1. YOUR SOCIAL LIFE WILL BE SAVED BY SEEING ROYAL THUNDER - what better way to advance in your social circles than by quoting a lyric from ROYAL THUNDER and while just quoting from a song is cool and possibly hash-worthy; saying you were there to sing it with them (accompanying a Go Live post, of course) will "afternoon delight" your standings amongst friends.

If you’re not familiar with ROYAL THUNDER, I would tell you that you should go listen to them immediately, hand you my phone where I keep my music, and tell you to go listen to THE SINKING CHAIR, APRIL SHOWERS and PUSH. What comes to mind when I think of describing ROYAL THUNDER is loosely based on a hybrid mix of high-country, biscuit and ham sadwich, wrapped in wax paper Georgia folk, northern California surf music, and a way of communicating via prose like Jim Morrison. In fact, if the essence of Jim Morrison’s lineage could be squeezed into a genetic marker; I would guarantee that each RT member has it within their DNA helix. The kind of sound that myths are made of and only comes along every once in a blue moon or some other kind of miraculous, universal happenstance and well it is definitely prevalent in the works of ROYAL THUNDER, in MHO anyway.

2. YOU CAN CHANNEL THOSE EMOTIONAL CRAZIES - this will save your life in so many ways, it's not even funny. Let's say you have a nice pot of resentment stew left over from your last relationship. Heating that up at their show will benefit you more than say, in front of his/her friends. You can scream out the lyrics and if you have to cry it out, it's cool. No one will notice or care because they'll probably be crying too.

RT JOSH CB SMALLBut I’m not here to tell you how they sound, see that is the beauty of music - it is subjective to so many variables. What I am here to do is to try to convince you to go see them if they’re coming to your area. I mean, that’s the purpose of a show review, right? ROYAL THUNDER was in Dallas with CROBOT and local gurus ORTHODOX FUZZ last week (July 5, 2017) at THE CURTAIN CLUB in Deep Ellum. I loved the fact that this show only had 3 bands on the bill and that I didn’t have to arrive at the club at 3 PM and set up camp until closing time.

3. YOU WON'T HAVE TO HAVE INSANE ARGUEMENTS ABOUT WHICH GENRE OF MUSIC IS BETTER - we've all had them and I think these kinds of discussions are needed to foster the favorites of a person's musical taste. Seeing ROYAL THUNDER live will melt all of those preconceived notions about who in music is responsible for creating what sub-genre and when. ROYAL THUNDER just puts everything all together and squishes it up and pushes it out like your grandma making venison sausage in her kitchen. This band takes rock, metal, heavy grooves, and a smidge of a sound that can only be pulled up from the depths of something mythical and swirls it around creating their music. You can use your knowledge of their music and their live show as examples when you're faced with the genre arguement and while you may not win every one, but you'll definately be able to throw in ROYAL THUNDER with every example. 

Now, this night in Deep Ellum, as I walked to the venue, the swampy, summer evening brought a buzz of excitement seeing the band fully rested as this tour with CROBOT kicked off here in Dallas kicked off. I was ready to rock! Inside I was trying to cool off at the front of the stage where I have stood for countless shows over the years at THE CURTAIN CLUB and patiently waited. And as the curtain opened, and the first measures blared out from this mighty 4 piece's music that cut into the space above the audience; I could literally feel this anchor of music being dropped into the center of the room that would literally keep anyone in the club from moving for the next 40 minutes.

4. YOU WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO FEEL THE EMOTIONS REFERENCED EARLIER IN WAYS THAT YOU ONLY THOUGHT POSSIBLE. How can this actually save you? Well, trust me - it's better to let music assist you in processing emotions than your BFF. See, your BFF is either going to tell you what you wanna hear or tell you the truth, which you won't be able to hear anyway. Allowing music, especially ROYAL THUNDER music, to take what you can't put into words or what you don't even know you're feeling untangle said emotions and feel them is so much better for you. And will save you from those public outbursts that you have no idea why or how they happened!

RT ED CB SMALLI swear, the room was so still and everyone was just gawking at the stage in a trance almost. The band played spot on. Every song whether we knew the words or not was delivered with purpose and after each one, it seemed we were in unison with a serious universal rhythm. The first half of their set, ROYAL THUNDER played songs off WICK and the last half was from CROOKED CHAIRS and CVI. MLNYs voice was f’ing epic, even as she reached the upper register of her voice, what came out was strong, perfect and we were all awestruck. I felt like I was being knocked into reality with every song, every truth that was, was for those moments.

I swear, the hairs on my legs probably grew like 2 centimeters during those 40 minutes because the goosebumps were like making tiny villages all over my body. JOSH reminded me of a wild, orchestral conductor in the way he moved on stage; it was purposeful in guiding the band and the audience to the same place where the music was. It was fucking amazing.

A couple of friends that work there and see bands all the time and rarely comment about a band’s performance no matter what happens on stage or how good, never comment about the band itself. It's always "I had fun tonight" or "So And So was loud", feneral stuff like that. Not the case for ROYAL THUNDER’s show though. One person, who I can’t even get to give me a thumb’s up when there’s a good band on stage because they have just seen so many, commented on my social media how “bad ass” ROYAL THUNDER was.

5. YOU WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE RYTHYM OF THE UNIVERSE or tap into it even more after seeing ROYAL THUNDER. This last reason that ROYAL THUNDER will save you is based solely on my experience and may or may not be relevant to you. You might have already experienced this awakening and if so, then you know what I am talking about. Although this shouldn't deter you from seeing the band. In fact, it may solidfy your decision to buy tickets right this minute because once you find things that continue to excite this rythm within, you'll do anything to wake it up. 

You’re going to have to go see them. I mean you just have to. There isn’t any other way to say it than you just must. I know that this might be the last time to catch this band in a club setting so seeing them now, is imperative for your musical soul to be saved. So, JEWEL, the answer to your question "Who will save your soul?" is undoubtedly ROYAL THUNDER and that's an answer to sink your teeth into, for sure!

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ROYAL THUNDER is: Miny Parsonz – bass/vocals, Josh Weaver – guitar, Evan Diprima - drums, Will Fiore - guitar
Follow the band on Facebook.

 

Until Next Time - MRML

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All photos credited to Cherri Bird - all rights reserved, 2017.

 

NOW NASHVILLE ROCKERS HOGAN'S GOAT PREP TO RELEASE SELF-TITLED LP - "HOGAN'S GOAT" ON JULY 18, 2017

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Sitting here for a good 15 minutes trying to come up with a decent introduction that won't sound completely "off" - it is hard sometimes to communicate what you feel from music. But, just because it is hard, doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't do it because I am afraid some may not understand me. Then the part of me that has learned to NGAF what other people think over the last 2 years, kicks in and I realize that sometimes, there's no way around It. You gotta tell it li like it is and just know that whoever is supposed to "get" it, will.

Normally, one might think a band from Nashville would be from the other genre across the highway. You know, the ones that sing about trains, trucks and prison? (they list the following as hometowns as well:Nashville, TN | Billings, MT | Denton, TX | Southern Pines, NC)  Even more to the point, you wouldn't think that the band named after a fellow whose name is Hogan and his goat. Apparently, the band's name stems from Scottish folk lore about Hogan and his smelly, fly ridden, one-eyed goat. The stench of this goat wafted miles and miles - and while for me, I don't wanna think about this creature and his/her stench, I get the metaphor. I get that the music of HOGAN'S GOAT is so different and strange to the ear, that it too will travel miles and miles.  Hell, a play was written back in 1955 by New York playright, CHARLES EARL FUNK about this goat of Hogan's so you know, it's (Hogan's Goat) thing's gotta be important to some degree. While the name is different, it's one you won't forget. 

With all of the oddities that circle around the band; their name & its origin coming from a smelly beast (even though there are weirdos that like to smell stuff...good or bad...ehum), the titles of their songs - all of it could either spark a keen interest or the opposite for some fans. I heeded the words of someone I completely respect when they said "you will love this band" - and I went ahead and dove into the record taking off my googles and nose plug and let it all seep in...ready? Here we go!

1. RAT BOY - the breaks are lovely at the begging of fhis song. The facelttos are almost perfect and I love the mix. The breakdown at around 2:25 is super clean and unexpected going into this slaying guitar solo that sounds like either one of them has 8 fingers on each hand or they're both playing the same guitar. It's so fast! Fast but not thrash!

2. PENNYMADE - the guitar tones DONOVAN &/or THOMAS use are so clean and sparkly in this song! I dig that sound and listeners will follow it like a bloodhound tracks a raccoon in the backwoods of Mississippi. And they'll find something alright - right under those lows or the drop change - WHAT IS THAT?!? it sounds like the melody the sheriff might be humming as he follows his hound to the end of the scent. What a great bass line! Brilliant AARON! JOHN puts just a smidgen of grit to make you feel a little more dirty than when you started listening. 

3. SHIT KICKER - my kind of song title! Dammit, that twang in the guitar - is sexy AF! What is up, background high notes?!?! My gawd! That is gristly and thick like a steak about to sear on a grill. The opposites, if you will on the backing vocals is red hot. And JOHN'S vibrato is completely necessary here because it punches up the emotion/power of the song. This sludgy tempo mimics those slow reactions we have every now and again, you know what I mean? So strong!

4. ANNIE OF THE RAILS - ok, these song titles are awesomely amazing. I love that ANNIE OF THE RAILS creates this really fuzzy, distorted motion picture in my head and then it melts away with the lyric. Haven't we all known that man with the mirror and seen an Annie in social circles? Hell yes we do!! Y'all pay attention to the chorus and to that plunking guitar solo that rides bareback into the 2 minutes and 42 second mark...SICK AF!! It is chaotic and like a devilish imp justifying the next sniff or snort, bag or bump...

5. OVER THE PALISADE - I swear, it's like I've got a direct into the guitars - but I promise, I don't - they're just ballz!! DONOVAN/THOMAS (sorry, I don't know who is playing what!) Mother bitch! Someone needs to pick me up off the floor, everytime I hear this! heavy duty stuff, Lovelies! I love the almost 180 degree sling-shot to the chorus. So many unexpected turns throughout this song. I can NOT wait to hear this song live and watch the audience react to the double punch to the spleen this song gives! 

Hogan s Goat Cover Art SMALL6. IF I'M DEAD - there is distortion, all channels weighing in just like many rock songs do. What saved this song from just being ok to f'ing YOUGE - are the varied times; the chorus!! Aggh!! Look, there's nothing wrong with a standardized format. It works, right? - songs like those are some of the best. What kills me about this song is the distortion - becomes a thought that can be heard outside of either DONOVAN or THOMAS' mind almost. How beautiful is that godam solo? I love the eeriness of something that sounds like a lyre or harp. More powerful vocals and equally shocking harmonys. Damit!

7. JOHN DOE - it's all about showing what a band can do and do well. and HOGAN'S GOAT does a riff/tempo combination in their music that is resonates and is satisfying like two fingers of whiskey - it's the perfect amount to make your stomach tingle just so your brain knows it's down there. And right as it starts to soothe you, and give you that signal so you know that flighty warmth is about to hit ya. 

8. JACK & JILL - nice change up at the verse. I was surprised by the chorus - and it's good for me when a song doesn't go the way I think it is going to go. The drums are ab-fab in this song and throughout the whole record; WAYNE is a bad ass! Listening to JACK & JILL is like riding a loop-de-loop roller coaster designed like a kid would put 8 loops all at once. I like the diversity of this song - there's nothing they're not going to try. Like the burst of a trill from a drum machine and the layers of the harmonies. Ya, those harmonies will stir up the gooey parts in your gut, that is fo' sho'!

9. ELKHORN MOUNTAIN - dude, there's a banshee like hollar tucked back in the back from JOHN's voice! I love the subtle crazy of what this band can do. The "wow" factor is huge with this song and scattered all over this record. It's music like this that start to create a movement in music. I love this style right now and where it is going. (HE IS LEGEND, ALL HAIL THE YETI come to mind and they're on my playlist daily).

10. DRINKIN' WITH THE PRIEST SPLAT!!  And there it begins, straight up. I love when songs come in with no hesitation, almost like you interrupted it. I almost expected this song to be kinda spoofy, solely from the title. Nope, not in the slightest. Buried in the notes and cadence of the song is some pain and crazy darkness that results in an awakening or a cleansing. And it feels good to get those ticks off of us; head and all. This is one of my favorite songs on the record.

One thing that was continually repeated to me whilst listening to HOGAN'S GOAT is the amount of raw talent that you can't learn or mimic from influences, I don't care how many time you listened to them. And what's so paramount about this aspect for this band; they don't even realize it. They haven't even uncovered this ability, at least in my opinion - it's what I feel, not necessarily what I know, And I think this is one of the biggest reasons I totally love this band, I want to see what is next because if it's as good as this record - well, y'all better hold onto your hats...This is the wooly mammoth sized footprint of HOGAN'S GOAT wrapped up in this self-titled LP. They're much bigger than a goat of Hogan's - but Hogan's Wooly Mammoth just doesn't sound as good, am I right? 

HOGAN'S GOAT MEMBERS: Vocals - John Salmon | Guitars - Donovan Bettisse & Thomas Banks | Bass - Aaron Stoner | Drums - Wayne Michel

Follow the band on Facebook | Instagram

Til next time - MRML 

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 ROCK & ROLL, METAL AND A YETI

RENO'S CHOP SHOP * DEEP ELLUM, TEXAS

Tuesday after Memorial Day and the day after returning home from ROCKLAHOMA, my friends in BROKEN RAIL were playing a show that was moved from Ft. Worth to Deep Ellum (Downtown Dallas). They've been on a US tour with a band ALL HAIL THE YETI and a band I could never pronounce correctly, INVIDIA. I was really excited that the show had been moved literally a block away from The Bird's Nest - score one for me - no driving after a long AF weekend. BROKEN RAIL was the first band that I have worked, what I refer to as a "full circle" with; interview, CD release, photo/show review. So they're pretty special in my book and I wasn't about to miss their show.

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BROKENRAILRESIZED 212614In the Active Rock genre or radio rock, fans that like Godsmack, Creed, Bullet For My Valentine, Pop Evil, and maybe a little bit of Stained will love BROKEN RAIL. It's American rock, it's catchy, and you just feel good listening to bands in that vein - well, I do anyway. How I would ultimately describe them is like this: if a feeling about everything cool that is summer; sun, heat, parties, friendships made and friendships ended, fun, and all that comes with it - that is what BROKEN RAIL is.

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My favorite songs are Walk Again and Save Me from their newest EP that was released late last year. The band added another guitar player (Conner Price) and a new bassist (Dakotah Wright) since the last time I saw them giving their sound some depth live. Another bonus is the the extra rythm guitar gives them a heavier sound. BROKEN RAIL played a 40 minute set and every bit of that time was filled playing their music.  BROKEN RAIL's mix was right and tight so you heard a solid blend of the players. Dave is a monster on lead guitar and his riffs and solos will hook you immediately into believing you're watching an arena band play just for you and a group of friends. Alex on drums reminds me of Shannon Larkin in so many ways. He's pretty damn good with the punch to the kick and his coordination with the snare and symbols is fantastic. Bringing all of this together is Blake's ability to belt out power notes and by looking at him you'd think he not only lifts weights, but takes his vocal chords out and to the gym as well. And even after being on tour for a couple of weeks playing every night, his voice didn't show much of a strain at all. These guys are movers and shakers and I promise you will see big things from them. Watching BROKEN RAIL live is a great time. If they're in your city - go see their show! 

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BROKEN RAIL is: Blake Clawson - vocals / Dave Delacruz - lead guitar / Alex Hilton - drums / Dakotah Wright - Bass / Conner Price - rhythm guitar * Find out more and follow them on Facebook by clicking here

INVIDIA

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INVIDIA was up and with former members of SKINLAB and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and GRIMACE, how could you go  wrong? You can't. Even with Evan Seidlitz in tow as their new singer since Travis Johnson went back to playing bass for IN THIS MOMENT, the band didn't miss a beat. Honestly, had they not told me I would have thought these guys had been playing together from the jump. They were fantastic! I wasn't at all familiar with INVIDIA (or AHTY for that matter) so they could have had a really bad night and I would not have known the difference. And I think it stems from them all being such seasoned musicians more than just me seeing a new band. I was blown away by the grit and drag their sound had live. 

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Brian Jackson was at times, scary AF to watch and his guitar tone (from what I could tell) was straight up paying tribute to Dime - and I'm not talking about mimicking a legend. This was paying homage and on an Ibanez no doubt. Brian played like he was putting butter on bread whistling Dixie. The other side of the stage, Marcos Medina wielded some sick sounds from his guitar that created this battle in the air with the other music and it fit so perfectly with everything. Matt Snell got low with his bass and is an amazing player as well because there were times when I thought his bass lines were guitar parts until I looked a little closer. Damnit I love a good bassist in a metal band that doesn't just hold down the tempo or walk beside the kick! Not to mention watching him play was kick ass. I gotta say here that Brian, Marcos and Matt can sing!! It's a melodic melting pot of metal fondue!! Darren Badorine just wore out the drums. He was excellent at keeping the band wrangled in, on time and tempo and I'm guessing this is very difficult to do because they are all killer players that I'm sure can kick it up a notch if they wanted! 

INVIDIARESIZED 221859A five piece with a heaviness that comes from that special place of darkness that we all have (whether we acknowledge it or not), INVIDIA brought it hard, dark and at times fast AF! I watched their entire set with a keen interest and felt a little fire of excitement in my gut that such well written metal was alive and kickin'! Evan's performance was stellar and brought a dramatic element to their set that is sometimes either completely missing or way over the top. Stage presence with this band is mega. I cannot wait to see them on a bigger stage to see what that looks like! Their show was like watching a well choreographed dance with a shit ton of dancers; you don't know how they all don't run into each other, but each one has their part that together makes the whole. INVIDIA is definitely a whole lot of heavy, a whole lot of talent, and SLAY live!

INVIDIA is: Marcos Medina Rivera - guitars / Brian Jackson - guitars / Evan Seidlitz - vocals / and Darren Badorine * drums. Follow them on Facebook by clicking here and watch for them in your city later this month touring with WEDNESDAY 13

ALL HAIL THE YETI

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Before I go on to review ALL HAIL THE YETI (AHTY), I will say I didn't plan on including the INVIDIA or ALL HAIL THE YETI in my review. Not for any other reason than I wasn't assigned to cover their show in an official capacity. I literally knew nothing about them other than seeing their names in press releases I received. And because I wasn't familiar with their music, I didn't prepare to watch for a certain way they played or I didn't get a set list (although I seem to always forget that). I know, bad writer, huh?    

Remaining at Reno's that night is one of those blips in life; like a peak in a polygraph calls out an untruth of a liar, that night the needle made a huge peak on my paper of existence. Not because of a lie; probably more like the opposite. I heard a truth in AHTY. Or better yet a primordial utterance of a mix of truths that I was meant to hear exactly in this moment and for it, I'm forever changed.

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I have to talk about Connor's unclean vocal. I think that his should be the example that all vocalists that use a scream in their music should have to listen to. It is a perfect rendering of how this style lends power and purpose to a song, at least to AHTY's songs. Connor uses an area of his larynx and muscles of his tongue to force a scream out that I've only heard one other time. 

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AHTYRESIZED 231335In order for water to exist there has to be two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen? If you have more or less of the two, you don't have water, right? Connor is the oxygen and the two part hydrogen is derived from Nicholas Diltz (bassist) and Alan Stokes (guitar), two musicians that with little effort create some of the most haunting harmonious vocals I have ever heard. If you add or subtract from this band, you wouldn't have the spiritual water where the hunter stands while he blows in a conch to call you up. It was my turn to hear his beacon to pay close attention. 

 

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Where does that leave drummer Ryan "Junior" Kittlitz in this mixture of magic? Don't think for one second that he's not important. Because he totally is. That night at Reno's, behind his kit sat a sunburned man that when he picked up the sticks and played each song, it was like it was the last time he would ever play the drums. The energy behind what was coming out was cataclysmic; I thought him and the whole kit would hop off the drum riser and bounce right out the back door. 

At the front of the stage, I stood paralyzed intently drawn into the lyrical content of what Connor was singing. Looking back, I can only attribute this experience to being in the presence of a pack of wild sirens of mythological lore. Yet, there I was experiencing AHTY in the flesh; moved beyond any show I've ever seen. I must admit that during one of the songs about the Jim Jones mass murder/suicide, the music made my eyes fill with tears with a sad, but resolved feeling. Y'all. Seriously, I have never experienced this kind of upheaval before at a rock show and it was so godam beautiful.  

Just as much as it was the music, it was visual too. Nicholas' swagger with the bass was hot AF, like the instrument was a tentacle reaching out into the audience, grabbing and holding us still. The stoic stance and stare of Alan as he played made him seem very unreal and ominous at times, until he would smile turning him back to his human form. While Connor's presence reminded me of a hunter of the grisliest of beasts and though he is ultimately out to destroy the grave darkness in what he hunts, he fights a battle within himself to not slip and fall like the monsters he hunts. Standing tall on a platform and then squatting down almost to our level in the audience with pleads of whys and hows to stop the beasts and their atrocities. Yet this is just the story my mind tells me in hopes of hiding the truth Connor is singing about. It is mankind that has become the hunted and these songs are to try and wake the rest of us the fuck up.

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Honestly, I could write entire manuscripts on the tales ALL HAIL THE YETI tells from stages everywhere. I mean this band has everything fans want in a band. Why they are not playing in front of thousands of people is beyond me and feels criminal from one artist to another, if I can be so bold. Blake and I were talking about this and we both didn't understand why on this Tuesday night they were playing in a place smaller than a 711 and why everyone in Deep Ellum wasn't there to see them.

Someone that can place them in front of thousands needs to bear witness to AHTY. Feel what little old me felt who is nothing in the Grand Machine of Music and tell me I am wrong. Where AHTY shines is live so they can bring you to a place of reckoning and so you can hear the pains that somehow John Q. Public has just brushed off, set aside or stuffed so far down it will take a hunter to track it down and bring it out. And getting that solely from the recordings won't be enough. Sure, it's good but their CDs pale in comparison to what you are in when watching their show. In an age of voice over, pitch regulation, layers to fatten up a flat, lifeless vocal, studio recordings aren't real to a listener's soul. Watching it, hearing AHTY live is like doing a beer bong, only it is the Yeti's milk of music gushing down a funneled tube to intoxicate you, not beer. I would almost bet money that if I am an instant forever fan, there are more like me that are waiting for the next tour to roll into town. I will use their records Screams From a Black Wilderness and the self-titled All Hail The Yeti as pacifiers until then. 

ALL HAIL THE YETI is: Connor Garritty (Vocals) / Nicholas Diltz (Bass,Vocals) / Alan Stokes (Guitar, Vocals) / Ryan "Junior" Kittlitz (Drums). Follow them on Facebook.

Photo cred: Cherri Bird 2017. All images are subject to international copyright laws. Please request permission: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Until next time - 

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GUITAR LEGEND DOYLE WOLFGANG VON FRANKENSTEIN & THE BAND DOYLE RELEASE "DOYLE II - AS WE DIE"

DOYLE MAYLodi, a small borough of Bergen County, New Jersey, is just over two square miles. There’s not much to suggest that the small village would be the birthplace of a world famous, blood-soaked form of music known as horror punk. Legendary acts The Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig all have their origins in Lodi, and something monstrous indeed lurks there. The poster child and originator of the genre, himself, has once again unleashed an evil noise on an unsuspecting world: Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein’s first release, Abominator, by his eponymous band, Doyle. - Press Release, June 2, 2017

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This 13 track, beastly collection of the newest brain matter from the band led by MISFITS guitarist, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, is constructed by the genetic extraction of horror metal and thrash slithering back in time to snag the dark matter from the Origin of Rock n Roll and just as a mad scientist tries their hand at creation, DOYLE succeeds in birthing the offspring that defines the sound of this record.

Elevated guitar riffs that pounce on the top of your hearing range like the swat and connect of a kitten's claw just to get your attention, As We Die is full of interruptive elements that make you bang your head, joust in a pit and jump up and down with fervor. And isn't that one of the reasons we listen to music? To excorcise some kind of feeling that is trapped inside? The entire band brings it fast AF with a few breaks scattered in here and there and of course provides fans with brutal imagery of the undead, the blood and trickery of the Dark and the creepy and the crawly's that come along with any horror nightmare (or daydream, depending on your perception). 

Here's the track by track lowdown on the Doyle new release for today, Friday June, 2: 

1. KISS ME AS WE DIE - oh the sexiness of a vampire's kiss as the life goes out of the body, am I right? (Y'all know the Tom and Brad kiss in Interview was hot, don't lie.) That surprise that the vampire sees as the living disapates - that's kind of how the first track is. The first verse says says something about "your fingers gently grabbing me by the wrist", I'll tell you there's nothing gentle about this song, though.The pulsing tempo mimics the energy between the biter and the bitee. I love the layered vocals and the female voice. She is haunting.

2. BEAST LIKE ME - totally terrifyingly true, Doyle is a beast on the guitar. Man, the guitar tone he generates is like a monster dragging the beast on a leash through the whole song and straight out of your speakers. Don't worry, it's doubtful he'll get out...

3. GOD OF FLIES - what a title of a song! Who'd want to be the God of Flies unless it was some kind of Underworld dark force kind of thing. But man, I love this song and the cut time at the beginning! The sing-along feel that's almost pretty...I said almost. Wait for the ending - this is dope AF because they'll slow it down just enough to come back and whack you back into reality.

4. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE - the double time bass drum comes out swinging, almost like the panic-ridden jolt you get from that strange bump in the night. The guitars are amped up and weave in and out with the drums in a police chase. As RUN FOR YOUR LIFE ends, you kinda think you might have been for that song.

5. DARKSIDE - Gru.Some, blood ridden lyrics are burned into the fleshy feel of the guitars. Love the chuga-chugs of the guitars. They're almost a barrier to contain the gruel so it doesn't give you a full on cardiac arrest. Ya know what I mean?

6. WITCHCRAFT - What chick that grew up in the 70's didn't try to wiggle their nose like Samantha on Bewitched? Right? This song isn't about that kind of witchcraft at all though. It's echoes the shit that people were burned at the stake for. Only this is quite the love song, if you ask me. The chorus gives me an early rock-a-billy vibe and I dig the mixed elements because this isn't some witch with a petticoat. This is some casting spells on a lover kinda groove as you sing along with the chorus. 

7. KING OF THE UNDEAD - Dude, DOYLE is the master king of horror/dark metal. KING OF THE UNDEAD will stay with you after the song is over thrashing around like a newly turned vampire that  the air is sucked right out of you from the sheer power it contains. But what bit you wasn't a vampire - it was DOYLE, and frankly I'm almost guaranteeing a mark will be left...

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8. VIRGIN SACRIFICE - So, this would be me because while I love MISFITS, I haven't been exposed to DOYLE. To be completely honest (say the next phrase with a thick Texas or Southern drawl), I don't think they let the Devil and his pirates down here in the South...we only let in the likes of the Lord. No I'm totally kidding - there is plenty of evil bastards and bitches amongst us in the Bible Belt, I assure you. So, back to the song - the shrill high chord of a guitar is the bait that lures you in as the tempo's hypnotic pace moves victims to that place where the sacrificial ones are kept. I love the way the progression moved me. 

9. WE BELONG DEAD - just like the interest section states on the band's Facebook page, on of their main interests is death, so it's not surprising that a song speaks to that. Metaphorically though, sometimes I think we do belong dead because that's how we act. This is another slugging balad only we're not dancing with a human or even a non-human at this ball. We're straight up dancing with death at a sock hop while the song makes us bleeds black, blood and metal. 

10. SHOW NO MERCY - Hell no!! Lyrically the song is meant to twist around our minds to make us believe that there are zombies, ghouls, murderers and evil that will not show us any mercy - and they're not kidding. It's guttural and thick and bad AF. Hell no! No mercy is going to be shown to us while the song grinds on. At the end, you think it's over but it's really that you've been decapitated with the final note. BAM!

11. DARK GODS ARISE - Killer tick-tock tempo and the eerie layer of freak in the background of this track slays. DOYLE takes the gift of inserting the right pump of guitar riffs in the places where the song can show them off...like a nice bite mark on the side of the neck, it's hard to forget it is there. The doom factor is raised up a few notches because he says, "Dead Father - cursed Mother" and makes them do something to either wake up the dark gods or show them to us. Whatever it is it works. Scary AF.

12. BLOOD ON THE AXE - Speaking of mother...mother fucker the intro is so heavy and good. I love it. The imagery creeps up the spine and then breaks into the bloody assault of the sped up tempo of the drums echoes what the sound of the axe is making cutting through the bodies, spewing blood as he runs through the army coming for him...

13. NIGHT OF SIN - comes fast from the jump as it reacts to the act of sin - I don't think sin moves slow otherwise you'd have more time to think about it and not doing it. Then out of nowhere this slow groove beats you with a morning-star in the middle of the back...godam!! You're flung in the pit, snagged by the spikes of the ball jammed in your back, right back into being hunted by DOYLE and his arching, dark melodies and trance inducing lyrics.

AS WE DIE is an excellent record of dark antics and horror/dark metal that just happened to be played by one bad mother fucker. Which, oddly enough I can't wait to see the show live. The black heartedness of the show will be increased by the sheer presence of DOYLE and all of his minions that will just add to the theatrics of the night. Don't think I'm being smarmy here. I'm dead serious - I love to see a show! Entertain me and make me think about other things for an hour or so! Who cares if it might not be my go to genre or the band that was on my Spotify OCD playlist. If a band entertains me and gives me an experience, you can bet your sweet ass that the music will be soon after the show. 

 

Released on his own label Monsterman Records. Check the tour schedule for an appearance in your city on Facebook for more details on Meet and Greets and VIP ticket packages.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

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BAND'S FIRST NEW RELEASE IN 14 YEARS

"EPIC TALES OF HUMAN NATURE" DROPS 6/9/2017

JIBE PROMO

JIBE - EPIC TALES OF HUMAN NATURE
Drops: June 9, 2017
Label: Unsigned
Publicity: High Road Publicty - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Band Members:
Joe Grah / vocals - Toby Bittenbender / guitar - Ben Jeffries / drums - Corey Tatro / bass
Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Hometown: Dallas, TX
For Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Stone Sour, Seether, U2

JIBE ETOHN

EPIC TALES OF HUMAN NATURE

Epic is not an exaggeration, it's a fact. The legendary Dallas band that teetered on fame back in the late 90's is back with avengence. Whether or not they care about fame anymore is of little consequence because they've reached unprecedented heights without the backing of a major label in the wake of this release. JIBE released two singles "The Human Condition" and "We've Only Just Begun" spawned a self-funded music video production and music video favorite, premiering originally on Tattoo.com. This time, JIBE has brought to the table a 13 track LP that borders on the brink of perfection; sonically, technically, lyrically, and musically. 

Epic Tales of Human Nature creates a stir within the listener and fan, old or new will reach back to Uprising and find that the lyrics of the title track have indeed come to fruition, fourteen years later. Now that the band has our attention once again, they can finish what they started in paving the path to greater consciousness with music that speaks to all sides of human nature. 

June 9th will see the release of their best work today and a month later, the CD Release Party to be held in Dallas, Texas at Gas Monkey Live where the first 1000 people to register for tickets get in free. Not to mention the bill for this party holds some epic players as well. Unsigned record breaking, Bon Jovi concert openers BLACKTOP MOJO will play along with MURDER THE NAME featuring Jason Moreno of DROWNING POOL, Royal Sons and Croma. And if that wasn't enough, guest appearances by members of BLUE OCTOBER, and SLOW ROOSEVELT are scheduled to appear. There are a few tickets left so visit here for all the information and grab your tickets today before they are out! 

Breaking it down track by track, here's what I took away from the record:

  1. CHILDREN OF THE SUN - power chords riffle this track and the drums move along the groove in time with the bass like little footprints of followers running forward, it's not an anthem sounding track but more like an empowering song that does make you want to take a stand. Love the midpoint slowing it down to let you catch your breath before it jump starts your soul again and floods it with the full message Joe’s singing to you. Instantly you’ve just become a part of a movement,that is only if you let it move you.
  2. BROKEN CITY - bounce baby, bounce!! Full of energy and guitarist, Toby Bittenbender shoots notes around like paint coming out out of a can of paint like he’s tagging you with the secret symbol that makes you a part of the club or affirms your membership. I love the way this song is written and ya, the beat/tempo/drums makes this song strong.
  3. THE HUMAN CONDITION - y’all, not only is this song cool, but it has totally created a new super hero and it's theme song... This is a uniquely structured song but the essence translates to someone unknowingly is about to save mankind by the powers that oddly enough, reside in everyone. Jibe is able to bring them out. Jibe becomes the superhero...with spoken lyrics and broad swells of guitar riffs, accompanying drums that mimic a heart racing and then subsiding while the bass just blends in all cool like and confident.
  4. RELEASE - DANG GINA!! This heavily bass laden song brings a lower side to Jibe that kills...The raw hums of Joe and Corey lend a pseudo-melancholy feel; it’s ethereal. The tone is inherently familiar. This style of music is so much on my radar right now. Toby’s signature tone adds depth to the track and totally compliments Joe’s pleading vocals. “Change is what we need” and “The truth is what I know” are lyrics that stand out and have a personal meaning to me; that’s what I have lived for the last year or so and I’m not going to stop changing and seeking the truth or the facts. #confirmedandverified
  5. GIRL ON A HILL - dig the tempo and this song just pulls out the rocker in me and the listener. It’s very Jibe in that there’s an imagery with it and makes it appealing because you want to know the story Joe’s telling. His vocals shine in this song. Y’all go back to 1997 and compare - pretty sure the girl on the hill could be responsible, in part to the continuation of the youthfulness that Joe still has. The breaks are bad ass, love them!
  6. A SHADOW IN THE GARDEN - piano/keys little interlude; a break between some heavy feelings from the tracks before.
  7. CHANGE - suprising 33 seconds at the beginning! Very moving and I love the breaks that make an impact that opens up to the chorus - eeek!!! Brilliant!! The lyrics are pressing to that thought that we’re all needing to change and something has to spawn this - her, him love, forgiveness, surrender - and Toby - dude...the guitar solo is rad AF!!
  8. WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN - so personal for me since I was a part of the video and have been a fan first and foremost since the wee days. This song encapsulates the history of not only JIBE and the Deep Ellum music community, but for anyone that is a little older now and maybe once thought our lives were half over; well this song makes you see that we’re only just beginning to live now. And what we were searching for then, was always in our grasp. We just didn’t take it or believe it and somehow we had to venture out and fuck a lot of shit up (good and bad) only to see now, that it’s us that gets in the way of getting what we want. BOOM!! (Millennials, take heed!!)
  9. DON’T GIVE IT ALL AWAY - love the bounce in this song. I can see the crowds moving all at the same time. Corey brutalizes the bass in this track. I mean Ben Jeffries throws it all down towards the midpoint - my GAWD!! Where does that come from? Seriously, this guy is a huge player! Go back and listen...
  10. WAITING - very clean acoustic sound that blended up with Joe’s smooth with a smidge of dramatics in the vocals. There’s a point to be made - with the way it’s played, what the song’s played with, the dramatic ups and downs, and Joe’s perfect performance - I want to see this song live. And I want to see the other part sung by you know who...starts with a J and ends with an ustin...I love to sing with this song. I think this is another crowd favorite. I can see it - everyone singing along like we were all squished in the old Galaxy Club, sweating like pigs because it’s July and the AC was broken again.
  11. BEST I EVER HAD - this is another song that is very Jibe-esque and there’s definitely a touch of Texas bluesy rock tucked away in the blends of notes. It’s pretty righteous!! I love the feelings that I can hear the guys playing. At the jump, the drums again beat the hell out of the intro setting the stage up for what’s to come. The three instruments are literally one here. They all come together and point right at Joe when he comes in - BAM - these four are the best together. I mean you can’t add or subtract anything.
  12. SANCTUARY - another interlude that is so pretty and it kinda calms you down after “Best I Ever Had”. Let’s you catch your breath or let out the breath you’ve been holding in...
  13. BRAVERY - how does this band’s sound, what they write and how they play manage to fill up every pore of what is missing in me? Seriously - for over 20 years. “Bravery” makes me so proud of myself, Joe, Toby, and anyone else who have emotionally struggled for the majority of our lives - proud that we can realize we are brave and we have survived thus far. Whatever the past was, it’s not now and coming through that has made us. It’s made us want to show others that they can be too. I’m not even going to talk about elements of this song musically - you’ll just have to listen to it and see where this song takes you.

Epic Tales of Human Nature will take you on an inside journey. The songs will make you think, sing, cry, laugh, get pissed, remember, love, smile, yearn and most importantly; feel. I didn’t think about social media or how my pants are too tight, or the gray in my hair or my failed relationships, dysfunctional relationships with my daughter’s fathers or other woes I can have on any given day. Listening to JIBE did the opposite. It empowered me to do more, do better, try harder, believe in myself and my dreams, do my best to remember that I am enough and I am loved by those that love me.

You don’t have to be a long-time fan of JIBE to get the contents of this record. You don’t have to have anything “wrong” with you either to get this record. It’s full of 11 songs that are musically geared to grab a listener either by Joe’s voice, Toby’s guitar playing, Ben’s beats, or Corey’s bass swagger. The attraction to JIBE is the familiarity of their songs with elements of the human heart found in their music. The JIBE fans will tell you that what keeps them coming back for more is the way the music speaks cathartically to their beings and even those that have never met the band face to face, but have seen their shows feel a connection far more than just out to have a good time at a rock show. And after 14 years, well as a fan I can say they did not disappoint with “Epic Tales of Human Nature” either.

 

I feel really compelled to say the following though in light of Chris Cornell’s suicide May 18, 2017 I want to talk about something that Jibe’s music has helped pull out of me with this record. Y’all look - and I’m speaking direct now to you, the reader. Your past does not dictate your present or your future. You’ve survived yesterday and the day before and the day before that. Chances are that if you hold on, you’re going to survive today or right now. But you have to hold on and be brave. And if you don’t think you can, I get that totally. But just wait one more second and see what happens. Put down whatever it is that holds you back from being the person you were created to be, because you were created for a specific purpose.

I’m sitting here watching the “sky fall down” here in Dallas as rain blankets the city and thinking what a crazy ride this has been up to June 1, 2017 at 1:57 PM writing this review. How much time I wasted being scared of my own shadow at times. Wanting so much more for myself, inside you know? Not with “things” but with what I knew I was supposed to have; happiness, love, not afraid or scared, meek, thinking there was something “wrong” with me, listening to people’s opinions of me that were completely irrelevant to my fucking existence. Years of this mental ping pong game with me holding two paddles playing up against a wall, thinking I wasn’t good enough. And sometimes these thoughts of never going to be this way or that way led me to some really dark places. Not to mention how my little electron paths were paved for me from what I experienced when I couldn’t do for myself - how all of these things would come out and beat me up every once in awhile.

Here’s my point; you don’t have to think that way anymore. I don’t know what your story will consist of - how you start to stop. I have no clue. But you can change how you feel even about the most archaic roots that hold on to the deepest of wounds.

“No more time for wasting, we’re already over it now...
We are unafraid, so brave
We are not the only ones to overcome.
Bravery”

See, you made it to you reading this. And if you don’t think you’re brave, you are. I just urge you to interrupt the plaguing thoughts you’ve had for probably your whole life and wait one more second. No, life isn’t going to instantly make a 180 degree turn in a second. I’m not saying that by waiting one more second everything will change right then and there. But what I am saying will happen is that by waiting just one more second to engage in something that could be permanent, you have a chance. A chance that as some time passes you’ll look back and see that second as the moment that you chose yourself; that you defined yourself as being enough, good, happy, loved, brave, and that life is worth it.

Be brave and know that you’re not alone. If you need someone to talk to about anything, please follow this link to a website with handy resources for things like depression, anxiety, weight, self-mutilation, addiction, suicide - there are others that know exactly how you feel. And just talking to someone that has felt or feels like you do, is a comfort and will help. 

Til Next Time - MRML

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SEETHER'S LUCKY # 7 - POISON THE PARISH

DROPS EVERYWHERE - MAY 12, 2017

(That's tomorrow Rockers!)

SEETHER ALBUM ART

SEETHER’s “Poison the Parish” is the band’s lucky number 7 studio recording and many of us have been waiting with bated breath for the release of this record after being teased with three singles the past few months; “LET YOU DOWN”, “NOTHING LEFT”, & “COUNT ME OUT”. Now, I can say that I haven’t said a whole lot about the singles because I wanted to hear the record as a whole and not base an entire opinion on the tickles of three songs, which by the way did make me a little giddy, I must confess.

What’s not to love really? There’s that raspy darkness in the unmistakable voice of SHAUN MORGAN’s voice that match the vagrant and hollow guitar tones, the brilliance of the bleak bass lines of DALE STEWART that can rattle the most stoic of fans and the sticky swells of percussive tempos in JOHN HUMPHREY’s drumming; all of which have defined Seether’s unique sound since their inception.

Poison the Parish” is a 15 track album that is chock full of these iconic elements and this record can now serve as their placeholder as rock icons that haven’t diminished or changed despite the climate around them. Kinda sounds like a tall order to fill, huh? Well, when you listen to the record think back to some of the things I heard when I listened and see if you don’t agree. I’ll break it down right now, song by song so follow along if it’s Friday and you have the album in hand! Ready? Ok!

STOKE THE FIRE - love the creepish intro and the lyric “darkness inside you shines” stands out. This song is a Hefty black trash bag of heavy, filled with a bleeding bass line that is Seether-style. The hook and vocals make me wanna jump for joy that my kinda metal is making another appearance on the big stage again.

BETRAY AND DEGRADE - nice harmony, Shaun’s voice is clear as Crystal Lake and just as you think it will stay serene so you can skinny dip, that distorted guitar drops and sends some wave-like ripples that would even make Ja-Ja-Jason jump and run from. The transitions that break this song up are massively placed and WHAT? Is that part at 2:54? Holy crap, I have to see this live!!!

SOMETHING ELSE - that’s doubtful it's anything else, if we’re going off the first 4 measures of this song. I hear the best of Seether; reworked, self-reflected and the band dug deep for this track. I love that Shaun has the hindsight we gain when we aren’t so young that we have no mortality but not so final as being so wise everything being said is a lesson. So pivotal - I want something else too, man...

I’LL SURVIVE - seductive acoustic beginnings and Shaun’s fucking best voice ever. The structure of the song is almost predictable and somewhat typical, but this is the best part. The flow of familiarity makes my soul stir and make me realize that it’s what I love most about Seether. Now when the guitar solo busts in - man, that tone!

LET YOU DOWN - I love the flow of this song which was the first single released, I believe and how that distortion of the guitar & bass breaks up the gorgeous chorus that overwrites like a mo-fo by the lyric. Drop it in like a hacker rerouting some gravely important train of 1’s and 0’s. The lyrics say to let the beauty out, say it because the more beauty there is the easier it is to see the ugly. The bridge makes you think just for a second...do we all let everyone down?

AGAINST THE WALL - this is a slow dance you have with yourself - no! Not like that you dirty minded people! It’s a pretty melody and I love the honesty in Shaun’s vocal. That chord around 1:18 bounces off your chest because you feel what he just said and it’s like the slamming of a fist down on a table: WAKE UP! Is almost hidden somewhere in the perfect drums at the end as they mimic the souls’ pace. If you’ve felt this way - you get it. And like the rest of the record, I really could hear how much the mix stands out - it’s phat AF!! What comes out fills up every space between my ears, all the spaces! Yauus!!

LET ME HEAL - I like this song so much. It’s simple and it pleads for nothing but vocals, a beat and a light guitar to keep and hold the melody. The bass just swaggers back there waiting for the reaction that comes at the end to make it perfect. The lyrics make me believe that whatever anyone needs, we should be able to have it or give it, ya’ know?

SAVIOURS - OMG I WANNA HUG UP TO A PA and suck this song IN!! I love a bass line that is distorted AF and shakes up my innards. It’s all about where the song takes, you right? The bridge back to the chorus kicks your ass at the same time the message does. Again. And again. And again.

NOTHING LEFT - this track pours on the gooey all over my soul. The build up to the chorus makes me feel like belching from all the air I’ve taken in gasping for air anticipating that break! Godam! This song whips my ass...it’s gritty, slippery and exactly why Seether was beyond the times when they broke out. They had this inside the whole time and waited for us - and now, here it is!

COUNT ME OUT - Bitches!!! The chorus twists up my spine to my throat and just as I think I won’t be able to breathe, I let out a shriek and didn’t silence it. It’s a huge song that takes up a huge presence and silence isn’t an option. The end is the best part - wait for it!!

EMOTIONLESS - Once upon a time, we all have those people that come in and go out of our circle - this song reminds me of one of my frenemies and the demons they battled. Reminds me of being around them; I could literally feel the slug of the tempo of this song, like it was washing over them after they’d taken a pill of this or a pill of that. The echo behind the vocal is that past or that memory of addiction, choices, defects - that are still there, lying dormant. Y’all know what I mean? It’s a serious tune and one of those you put on when you wanna feel something else. (Sound familiar? Ya, see above...)

SELL MY SOUL - my gracious - this song feeds that lonely girl that’s inside of me and someone or something keeps throwing bread crumbs at her, luring her out from wherever it is she hides. The guitars in this song are Robert Johnson rich - right at the crossroads. I bet that’s what they wounded like, maybe. And would the fuckin’ devil want my soul as black and as cold as it is? Is a soul a soul, I wonder? But deep down, it’s gotta be the thickness in the bass that is waning satan away from us. Man, my heart sops up the syrupy mess the melody makes of my heart. Jebus.

FEELS LIKE DYING - the mix keeps every sound right where they’re supposed to be and I love it when things are all tidy in their place. So ya that chord progression at the chorus or pre chorus maybe - I wasn’t paying attention right there - too busy typing with goosebumps - but that f’ing move just dug a giant hole in my gut and almost made everything come out with that minor which always yank my heart out through my booty...

MISUNDERSTOOD - Yeah Shaun, I’ve been saying this forever. I’m totally mis...oh wait, it’s not totally talking about me? Oh, my bad. Well, I dig it because while I’m trying to pay attention to the soaring vocal and how it’s really strong here. I love it when there’s this happy like shoulder shakin’ beat to some lyrics that are talking about not needing him, or being disappointed...but I get it. I think it’s so true because that often feels like someone just shit down your mouth and then says “i’m kidding”...no, bitch, you’re not.

TAKE A MINUTE - wow, the tones are beautiful - from the beats to how Shaun’s voice seems to float on a bubble for a bit and then it pops open to expose this worn down sandpaper - this song, for me, contains the elements of what defines Seether. That change half way through, the semi-distorted guitar that opens up to seriously come at me like a ninja with two samurai swords, along with Shaun’s lyrics - the underlying energy that comes out and comes thick and bleeds out of my head....F ME!! Whew!!

SEETHER PROMO

"Poison the Parish" is a record that envelopes what continues to breed longevity inside rock. If you think one minute that a band that has recorded 7 records and has as the hits that SEETHER does is just going to magically sound completely like what’s currently going on in rock music, then you might wanna not think that. Now that’s not to say that can’t happen - it does all the time. SEETHER is an example that can blend current with their traditional sound (which again, may I remind you - iconic) or the sound that is synonymous with their band. And ya, I know there are other circumstances; members coming and going and different producers - blah blah. But for the point of THIS article - what you hear is what you get with Seether. They’re not reinventing the music they were ahead of back when they broke - how is that even possible? They’re using what they’re good at - well masters at and presenting it to be heard.

And for SEETHER, since they decided to go at it on their own and do this record themselves - label and all (Canine Riot Records), I think they went ballz in and came up victorious. I mean, this record could go up against any record that was produced and mixed by Whosey Whats - but I don’t know, I think SEETHER’s might have to come out on top for their first one, ya know? Not because it’s their 1st - but because it’s that good. Literally, I didn’t even remember until I went back and was referring to the press release for something and saw this: “Recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, Poison the Parish marks the first album produced in its entirety by Morgan, the band’s lead singer and songwriter. Playing with a newfound ferocity and purpose, the new material gelled quickly, providing Morgan's dense, melodic grooves and brooding subject matter a gritty luster and room to breathe.” So fak yah, this record deserves it all - it has it all! I hope y’all pick “Poison the Parish” on May 12, 2017 and if you’ve already pre-ordered, you get a big cherry kiss from me! Watch for the band’s tour schedule this summer - check their social media pages (links in the black icons below) for all the details!

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Til next time - MRML

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 EMERGING ARTIST ** NEW MUSIC ** EMERGING ARTIST ** NEW MUSIC

BAND RELEASED 15 TRACK MASTERIECE ON APRIL 28

DRIVEN BELOW PROMO 2016I actually panhandled to get a copy of this record from the band DRIVEN BELOW to review. Yep, flat out asked them - well in a hint, hint, nudge, nudge (nod knowingly - say no more, say no more) kinda way. I dropped by their CD Release Party at Trees last Friday the 28th and recorded a little of their set live. Man, the song they were playing as I went in on the side stage door was BRUTAL - and I kinda dug it! Now I’ve seen DRIVEN BELOW play here and there over the last 4 or 5 years and they’ve always been a solid band. But what I saw this Friday night was different - at least it was for me. And before you die hard Drivers get all nervous about line ups, genres and who’s on first & what’s on second - I will be totally honest in saying that I know virtually nothing of substance about the band or its history. I know Rob (Muck) and I know David (Gotti) and I know of Danny (from Within Chaos). But, that’s about it and ya, I could go look at their bio but I’m not - at least not yet. And I’m cool with that for the purpose of this review. Know why? Because truly, personalities get in the way when I’m doing a review - especially those folks that I know personally. That said, now that this review is out - I will get to know the band...and Lovelies, you should too.

If you’re a fan of harcore metal, if you’re a fan of thrash, death metal, or whatever the hell the industry is labeling the growling, raw-yaw-yaw-yaw’s, unclean (as they’re referred to now it seems), and guttural groans of a frontman, then you are already a fan of Driven Below. If you like a cornucopia of dark but not to heathenistic with a dash of hearty heaviness in your metal, then you are already a fan of DRIVEN BELOW. Hands down and cross my fingers hope to die stick a needle in my eye hole - even without hearing one song off “Trephination”, you already love the band. Why? Well....

What’s not to love, really? I mean look, the album is entitled “Trephination” - I know, I didn’t know what it meant either so I looked it up on the Google machine.

The definition of trephination is as follows:

trephenation imageTrephination (also known as trepanning or burr holing) is a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled, incised or scraped into the skull using simple surgical tools.

Wait, what? Did I just read burr holing? I’m totally using that out of context - “that burrito is burr holing as we speak” or “I totally burr holed this weekend”...anyway, I dig how it sounds, don’t you? Ok, look at the illustration above - no never mind, don’t. I don’t want to either. I mean it’s creepy AF, right? Look at those faces - these people are in physical and emotional pain. Like hardcore. I can’t imagine wearing that contraption around for the purpose of curing my crazies. F that, “I’ll take Lunacy for $500 Alex”.

Yet, as disturbing as the definition is, relating it back to DRIVEN BELOW’s style of metal is totally comprehensible. We rock out to the heaviest of heavy music - well, those that like it do, to assist us in releasing that angst, anger even hate. We put on some loud, low tones, screeching guitars, double bass beats, and growling, screaming, hollering vocals that for us, exorcise our demons, right? At least for me, I can process what is paining me or perplexing me to the point of hostility. I love this about heavy metal, for me personally. So their music is not far from the definition - or these 15 songs are what burr holes into their soul and releases distress, hate, anger, anxiety - whatever it is that is can be like Black Death that eventually tears holes in souls.

DRIVEN BELOW’s debutant DIY debut record is a 15 track (ya, that’s not a typo) mega-metal masterpiece. When I saw there were 15 trcks (really 13 because Infidel and Machine are short tracks) I got a little nervous. It’s freaking 15 songs, y’all! I thought that either they were all short, or this was going to be the last time I asked a band to give me their record to review! Here’s the list of tracks:

170x170bbTrack List - Trephination

1. Infidel
2. Architects of Suffering
3. All My Friends Are Dead
4. Trephination
5. Open the Wound
6. Denial of Fate
7. Weight of Words
8. Confusion Dilemma
9. Laid to Waste
10. Jakarta
11. Into the Ground
12. Parasite
13. Machine
14. Feed the War
15. Stratosphere

Here’s how I work a review for those that aren’t familiar - I go song by song and write on paper whatever comes to my hand and then go back and fill in the gaps. Sometimes I give it a number, sometimes I add up cherries - it just depends on my mood and the band I’m reviewing. So, if you have the record already, you can put it on and read song by song as you listen. Unless you’re a speed reader, then you’re already finished with the article and have made your way back to this point, to which I say “slow down. s-l-o-w d-o-w-n!” K, y’all ready? Let’s go!

INFIDEL - as an intro should, Infidel sets the stage for what’s about to come down the Metal Mountain on the back of a fire breathing war horse - the vocals give way to someone being summoned or doing the summoning. Either way, it’s dope as hell.

ARCHITECT OF SUFFERING - love the differences in the unclean vocals. After the first verse, a different guitar tone pops in and it is like I’ve just witnessed two mythological creatures unknowingly come through an opening in a worm hole and fall to earth and land in the middle of the ancient colosseum of Rome. Holy heavier that lead medicine balls - the last 20 seconds will bruise your spleen, I’m not even kidding.

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD - the chang-a chang-chang tone of the guitar pummels! The unclean vocals are perfect and THE definition of how this style of vocal should be performed. And I will be honest they will scare the pants off you. The hop-scotch with the percussion and that scratchy guitar tone - damn! Y’all put your friends under the stage, didn’t y’all? But they didn’t die - hell no!! They ROSE the F*@k UP from this track!

TREPHINATION - the bass slays and attacks the beat - SICK!! I love the timing of this one. It’s like I’m running from a zombie in a bounce house, but my legs are asleep. The cadence is alarming at the middle and makes sense. This track is heavier than the weight of the world’s sins and as we continue to live at this fast pace, there’s no slowing down and the burr holing will just continue scraping a hole into the skull of humanity. Or on the flip, maybe our sins and humanity is the device that is burring a crazy hole in our unified existence...

OPEN THE WOUND - OMG. Is there singing? Now this track is super aggressive in an oh-so creepy way. The pulsing drum beats pound out and punish those minor chords that come through and even though there’s a posi-negative aura here, it’s freaking beautifully written. I can hear the agony a little past the half way point - crap!! This poor bastard in the song isn’t singing about unicorns and making sweet, sweet love - no, he’s tied up on the rack and being stretched out like mama’s last dollar...

DENIAL OF FATE - Mosh-ilicious mother f’ers - y’all start circlin’ up and get ready to fling yourselves around like cartoons. So does David (Gotti) have 5 arms and 4 legs or are there like 3 drummers?? Dayum Gina! The clarity in the cymbal work is straight up. I love the tinging and how it blends and kinda then bounces off the verses. Ok, right at the break I thought there was going to be a complete change up - nope it stands up and gets right back in it. Doesn’t even brush off the vermin - just like a feral cat pounces on an unsuspecting mouse - SMAACK! I dig the bass keeping the lows in check - nice!

WEIGHT OF WORDS - Oh My Godsmack!! The first half of this record was a warm up for David (Gotti) - again another rapid infiltration of double bass, electronic-sounding drum parts and whacks on the skins - Mylanta! Danny’s vocals here are weighted alright. They’ll make your head bang and bobble around like an infant wearing an iron mask! WOAH!! There’s a guitar part in the middle that is high on the scale and high on the heavy - it’s very complimentary of the melody. And then. AND THEN...WTF just happened? Ballz! That melody and righteous guitar solo come out and literally slap the snot outta your soul!! My god!! Love, love, LOVE!!!

CONFUSION DILEMMA - I feel no confusion about his track! What. Is. Up??!! If this doesn’t make a pit move, those people don’t have a pulse! How does that guitar tone not pull my speakers down past the floor, ya feel me?! The tuning’s gotta be like a drop “H” for HEAVY (AF)!!

LAID TO WASTE - WOW! The melody along with the “bee-twang twang” guitar tone is like a precursor to this mega vocal part that commands! Giving some chunks from a struggle the other guitar - it’s like an archangel’s cry watching Lucifer’s fall - Danny’s intensity brings something powerful to the song. The bass and drums are entwined like a ball of sleeping snakes - totally mesmerizing and haunts that familiar and empty part inside us all. The chorus is so thick with a sense of loss - it’s just stirring and I love this song.

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JAKARTA - DRIVEN BELOW stirs up the pot of poison with a distinguished tempo in Jakarta. The drums are impressive (yes, again - but do you expect anything else from Gotti - or David? No or you sure as hell better not). “Divide and conquer” they do -

INTO THE GROUND - Hold on y’all - you’re about to get hammered with a rubber mallet Into the Ground - but only to your nostrils. And just when you have wiggled your neck enough to get your mouth out of the dirt, and open to gasp - this song’s pace kicks the dirt right back into your mouth. Your breathing is elevated at the end of the song and you really don’t know why. Only that it’s from the sheer lashing this song doles out. Towards the end there’s a part that is so hot, you can feel the heat radiating off every note. Wait for it....wait...for...it.

PARASITE - “bawow bawow bawawow” these guitars are so precisely written and played together. They are so straight with each other and listen, when the guitar solo is over you’re going to experience some drumming that you might not have before. So turn this song UP and clinch your booty cheeks - because there’s something after it that'll make your butt flutter.

MACHINE - this is like the intermission or break in the record and it’s 50 seconds of terrifying sounds. What is it about about that throcking “pwang” sound that is so scary? It’s like so primal or something that pulls your Scaries out of you and makes them line up in a nice little row...only they’ve got minds of their own and just when you think you’ve got it under control, all be damned if those things don’t sprout wings and fly right back inside.

FEED THE WAR - the noise continues to fade as the 50 second Machine ends and Feed the War begins. I mean how can you NOT dig how the unclean vocals are almost in harmony with the rest of the song. 

STRATOSPHERE - this gives me that heeby-jeeby feeling like I get when I watch “Donnie Darko” and Frank the Rabbit has his scenes or when that noise goes off when Donnie’s looking in the bathroom mirror, that “bam bam bam”. Y’all know what I mean - right? Look, this song seriously can put you in a trance. I am pretty sure as I sat listening, my eyes started getting heavier and heavier and they just closed with me sitting still and listening to what the guitars said in the repetitive progression and just was...

For the last minute or two of the last track “Stratosphere”, with my eyes weighted down with the gooey sludge of the music...I don’t know how long had passed but I didn’t hear anything but the creaks of the loft or the outbursts from the street below, I knew I’d been lulled into a trance; driven below that place in my subconscious that is summoned out of other people’s Dark Places that they chose to share with us through music...

For as heavy as DRIVEN BELOW is as a band on stage and in previous stages of their existence, “Trephination” is no doubt a work of intricacy, creating provoking thoughts as the measures in the songs go by on the record. The album is extremely well written and the recording, mixing and mastering is killer. From what I gather, this is recording is self-produced, recorded and everything...I’m not sure about that so before I go flappin’ my jaw, I will just wait to give the skinny on the record when I can sit down with the band - then we can get to all the nitty gritty goodies.

Everything worked out so well on this record for DRIVEN BELOW that even the explanations that explain can’t hold a candle to what I felt and heard. And really, when you think about it - that’s all a band wants right? Is for their listener to “get” what they are giving. When a fan can reach into the sound waves and pull something out of it, that’s what fulfills artists, musicians, writers, singers, painters - all creatives want to inspire and to be inspired. For me, the “why” is because I find the living in the inspiration - life happens right in the middle of a big ball of inspiration for me, and I can only speak for me. Y’all may live in other ways or find life happening in other parts and that’s cool - just as long as you’re finding something that makes you breathe in and out; something that keeps you going during those times when it seems as though that Nothing will take over forever; eventually it will become different. Until that shift happens either way, hold on to the source that brings you inspiration.

DRIVEN BELOW’s “Trephination” is one album that should be in every metal fan’s library or playlist. The record is out now and can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon and at other music retail outlets. Follow the band on Facebook by clicking a the links below. For any additional media inquiries please contact Padded Records.

About Driven Below:
Danny Reid is the former vocalist for Within Chaos (KOCH Records). Robert Wilson is a former guitarist of Flush (Midwest Records) and is also currently performing live with Low Gear (Padded Records). Jacob Flores is a former guitarist of Low Gear. Jim Taylor is the former bassist for Within Chaos (KOCH Records). Jim is endorsed by Spector Bass, Dean Markley Strings and InTune Guitar Pics. David Osbourn has played drums for Thee Final Chapter (Tribunal Records/Divebomb Records), Flush (Midwest Records), Nocturne (XXX Records), and is currently also performing live with Low Gear (Padded Records). David is endorsed by Silverfox Drumsticks and Soultone Cymbals.

 

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THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ALBUM "COMING HOME" AVAILABLE NOW FROM FALLING IN REVERSE

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"Coming Home" is the newest record from FALLING IN REVERSE.  The Sin City Hardcore Screamo Rockers break ground (again) with an offering good enough to be sacrificed to the gods of music's holy alter. My Pretties, I wasn't sure that the other 10 tracks could hold a candle to the single named after its placeholder, "Coming Home" but as I listened, I immediately flicked that thought off the table like a cold piece of corn left from lunch.

Y'all - THIS album IS. Like the Alpha and the Omega, "Coming Home" can be described as the dark matter holding all the pieces and emotions of life together. Careful though, give it any slight movement or the smallest movement; the energy will cause an Implosion of Great Importance in the space between the listener's ears.

From the beginning sounds or measures of the first track, we prepare for the storm that will drench us with memorable guitar riffs, haunting melodies and screams of solem and unexpected solos. As the title track continues, we are spanked with big drops of vocals pulling us back and forth like tornadic winds uproots an old tree and eventually falls to the ground in our minds We're positive now that what wet heard echoing in the beats and bass lines, just kicked our asses thoroughly. And like a misbehaving Demigod that has just been punished by Zeus, we know that these 11 songs have rooted themselves to our core. 

Simply magnificent. Here's the song by song breakdown:

COMING HOME: They say go big or go home - this is massively well done. We're going to rephrase and say that FALLING IN REVERSE is "Going Big to Go Home" 

BROKEN THROAT: Positive that this song is a signal from the Universe that wakes up our sleeper gene of survival; it is a reckoning. The depth of Ronnie's (Radke) voice is so loud - not in decibels necessarily, but in terms of 'hear me NOW'. I adore this song. 

LOSER: Are we all familiar with this feeling of being toyed with? The come here, go away. The neglect of love, hate, loving a person that isn't capable of loving you the way you need to feel love (maybe anyone, really) and how that translates into our feeling, thinking, knowing we are losers is beyond me. Note: if someone is doing this to you or you feel like a loser around someone and they're not able to quiet that demon, GTFO fast.

FUCK YOU & ALL YOUR FRIENDS: Let's get all the dirties out, wash them out and inspect them really good. Here's one of those hooks I was talking about - it's like a prison shiv that sticks right into the cerebral artery. The angst in Ronnie's tone is evident and believable. Damit, there are pieces of everyone's broken hearts rolled up in this song and I'm not just talking about broken hearts from romantic relationships - getting your heart broken isn't so much just a romantic thing, ya know?

I HATE EVERYONE: Dude. This soars! It's glides like a paper airplane is supposed to for just a bit before it drops to the ground. Here's where I noticed a guitar solo that literally shocked the hell outta me. Wasn't expecting that. #badass I mean the song is badass. I love it because I have hated everyone and myself but have still held on to thinking there was "love" for the one that made me hate everything. Make sense? Why is that? I mean F the PC bullshit - sometimes you have to blame someone; because they actually DID something

I'M BAD AT LIFE: HA! HA! "I'm not well..." what a perfect lyric. There's a vocal change to something soft yet when it swells into a power chorus - it slays! I mean let's be straight, it's the notes and progressions right here that slice up your already shredded heart like a f'ing ninja warrior. Love the chorus, for real. Who can't identify with this song and who really thinks they're great at life 100% of the time? Ya, maybe minus 80 and that's the percentage of time I think I'm OK at life. The energy this song has by the end either makes you wave the white flag or beat the shit out of someone with it.

FALLING IN REVERSE PROMO

HANGING ON: What?! The drums and guitars are awesome in this track. It reminds me of an A-HA tune - or very wafty like their sound just floats on the top of the gust of wind. Ya feel me? The tempo make your heart pump out the poison and your heart is automatically sends you into feeling like you're in a spinning class, BAM! I love that you can jump or bounce to this song to shake the dust off or knock off the uglies. And man, what's sticks out lyrically in this song is that mother f'er...we are all singing and pleading with someone to just love us, accept us, include me, remember me - godamit!!

SUPERHERO: Killer elements like the tinkling of a synthesizer and the bumps of the basses, booms and beeps in this song, hell throughout the whole record! I wanted to bang my head like I was down in front at a metal show - BANG IT!! It's partly the beat and partly because we know what Ronnie means.Gawd, I just want to be - not something that we know we can't be for them or to ourselves. This message sounded off in my head like one of those Ricola horns in the commercial. HOOOOAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNGGGGG (the sound a horn makes!!)!!

STRAIGHT TO HELL: Even before Ronnie starts singing with an angelic and pleading way, the absolution in his voice makes me want to shout Amen and dance around like I was doing a jig togood ol' southern gospel! Brace yourself - as you're coming out of the guitar solo that snaps you back in the moment, Falling In Reverse brings an ending to this track that is dope AF!! 

I DON'T MIND: This lyric: "My biggest fear is coming true. Mother, I'm becoming you..." heavens to Betsy does that sucker punch me right in the kisser!! The slow, daunting melody echoes - in a tunnel that goes through the widest mountain. Ashamed is a feeling that comes to me in this song and I get the feeling from the incessant guitar chord with the drum build to the chorus that this song, like the punch drunk tempo is on repeat in Ronnie's subconscious and now it's surfacing...coming up for air.

THE DEPARTUREOooh what a fun one to shake my booty to as it lifts me up and out of the room! Here's the sarcastic tone that wants to be taken seriously. As the chorus blends into the middle verse, taunting me. It picks up the pace while picking up the suitcase of that disappointment or need to be launched out into space to just drift...and as the chorus fades out from this mantra-like tempo - POOF!! - just like that the record is over.

It's over...

In listening to Falling In Reverse's "Coming Home" there's one thing that I know from all of the upheavals that coursed through me in the 11 songs: we are home wherever we feel safe, loved, cared for and nurtured. To some of us,what should have been home, where we grew up that felt anything but. Home now even as adults, is a very sad and lonely place for some. And in calling these places our "home" out of loyalty and duty, we minimize what home truly is.

When we depart that place, we leave all the baggage piled nicely in the corner and we leave it to sit alone, waiting.  And when we are forced to return, coming home will hurt and it will feel like shit but it has to be done for the sole and simple reason that we recognized; how different it feels whispering, "I'm 'Coming Home' ". Watch the video for "Coming Home" right here. 

"Coming Home" is available online through the links below or any of the online music sources that tickle your fancy. Find it and give the band the biggest compliment you can possibly give them: you purchasing their record. 

Til next time, MRML - Cherri Bird

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