Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

MFSL1-442-2On Sunday September 15, 2019, the rock world and the Boston music scene lost one of it’s greats in Ric Ocasek who was one of the singers and rhythm guitar player of Boston rock band The Cars. The Cars were a very important band to the identity of Classic Rock in the city of Boston and they were a band that I grew up on. For today’s album of the week, I have decided to cover the band’s fifth studio album in Heartbreak City because it was the album that introduced me to the band. The album was released on March 13, 1984 which marks this as the 35TH anniversary of the album’s release and it was produced by famed producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange who was known for producing albums by AC/DC and Def Leppard to name a few. The album once again featured Ocasek (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals), Ben Orr (Bass and Vocals), Elliot Easton (Guitars and Vocals), Greg Hawkes (Keys and Fairlight CMI programming), and David Robinson (Drums). The album was a huge success and it bounced the band back as it peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 Charts making it only the second album to reach this high on the charts (Candy-O also peaked at 3). The album would also chart at number 12 in 1984 and 49 in 1985 on the Billboard Top 200 year end charts as it sold over four million records.

the-cars-heartbeat-city-6-cd1. Hello Again– A new wave rocking hit, but it definitely was experimental as well for the band at the time. I always loved the key and synth opening of the track and we’ve seen the vocal intro effect before with Def Leppard. 5/5

2. Looking For Love– Even though this wasn’t a single, I always thought this was an awesome song for a deep cut on the record. It does a nice job treading on the line of ballad and synth pop single very well as she looks for love. 5/5

3, Magic– The second single released off the album and a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. You can hear the Fairlight CMI programming being put to use in the beginning before the keys take over. The track has a great charging rock sound to it complete with awesome bass riff from Orr. The track is all about when you find that true love, everything feels like magic, but it doesn’t last forever. 5/5

4. Drive– This is probably my favorite song on the whole entire album and one of the band’s best ballads. This is a track that is sung by Benjamin Orr and his bass riff dominates this great track. The track is all about how anyone can say they love you, but there is one true person who will “drive” to the ends of the earth for you. 5/5

5. Stranger Eyes– I love the intro to this song because it’s so 1980’s with the synth they are using I love it. I could see this song on a soundtrack to an 80’s horror film. A very bass driven track that is once again sang by Orr. 4.5/5

the-cars-602962-2-cd6. You Might Think– The very first single released off of the album that peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top Rock Tracks. I love the balance of it being a rock track with the keyboard playing and the nuances of the synth playing. 5/5

7. It’s Not the Night-a keyboard and synth heavy track that was written by both Orr and Ocasek and it features vocals from the both of them as well. When it comes time for Orr to sing, it turns into more of a rock song with the keys and synths still there. 4/5

8. Why I Can’t Have You– another Keys and Synth drive track whose tempo is a little slower than the other tracks that has that person in distress kind of mode (described as a lush ballad) especially since the song is about a guy who wants this woman, but he can’t have her. 5/5

9. I Refuse– a more upbeat synthpop track from the band in this track about a guy who refuses to be used by someone. 4.5/5

10. Heartbreak City– The last track on the album that was originally titled Jacki on the US cassette release. It’s a synthpop track that is a little bit on the darker side as it has to do with two lovers who can’t seem to be together because Jacki is obsessed with big lights of Hollywood or Heartbreak City. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I love this album and always have since the first time I heard it and that was thanks to MTV who used to play music videos. There’s really only one song on the album that I never really cared for, but other than it’s a solid release. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade. R.I.P. Ric Ocasek

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The album cover when you unfold it

take what you wantI know that this is going to be a highly contested entry due to the backlash the track is already getting online. The worst part about the backlash is not about how good or bad the actual song is, but due to the lack of knowledge on his fan base. I want to first start out by giving Post Malone a lot of credit for putting the Godfather of Heavy Metal Ozzy Osbourne on his track and while it’s not a new concept, it still deserves a lot of props. The song that I am referring to is the track Take What You Want which is featured on Post Malone’s newest album Hollywood’s Bleeding. The track not only features Ozzy Osbourne, but it also features one of hip hop’s hottest artists in Travis Scott as well. The track starts off with that semi-acoustic, clean channel guitar playing that is very similar to Ozzy’s Mama, I’m Coming Home, but it is definitely not. I meant more in the way the track starts, but Ozzy kicks off the song singing the chorus before Post Malone takes over with the verse and then it’s forward from there. The track itself is very catchy and Ozzy does an amazing job lending his vocals to the track. The one thing that I am wondering though is who is the guitar player at the end that shreds an amazing guitar solo because it sounds like Zakk Wylde’s playing. Anyways, I am sure we will find out soon enough who the guitar player is, but I do know that Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is playing drums on the track. I wanted to end this article by saying that even though most of his fans do not know who Ozzy is, this is a good opportunity for them to learn just who he is. So, check out the track below and enjoy.

satellite-frontOne of the premier bands to ever come out of the Nu-Metal scene has always been the very underrated Christian Nu-Metal group P.O.D. (Payable On Death). This group from San Diego, California had been cutting their teeth on the scene for a little while before they gained recognition for the album The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. But the album that helped define the band’s fourth album Satellite which came out on September 11, 2001. The album once again featured Sonny Sandoval (Vocals), Marcos Curiel (Guitars), Traa Daniels (Bass), and Wuv Bernardo (Drums) while the album was produced by Howard Benson and P.O.D.. Despite the idea of the album coming out on the worst day in American History, the album did very well for the band as it peaked at number six on the Billboard Top 200 charts as it sold over 133,000 copies in the first week and it spent five straight weeks in the top 10. The album sold over seven million records worldwide (3 million in the US) and it placed at 137 on Billboards Top 200 albums of the decade (2000-2009). The album also had three different songs nominated for a Grammy despite not winning any of them and it shows you how amazing the record was.

51huIfSkhJL1. Set It Off– A kick ass way to kick off the album with a track that is so full of energy when it needs and melodic when it needs to be as well. The track is all about getting up and realizing that you have to stick up for yourself and be proud. 5/5

2. Alive– The first track released off the album that helped sooth times during 9/11 in a track that is all about knowing that life is so beautiful that we are lucky to be alive. The track was nominated for a Grammy for Bets Hard Rock Performance in 2002. 5/5

3. Boom– Another high octane, high energy track that bumps in this track that is all about the band’s rise from nothing to the top. 5/5

4. Youth Of A Nation– A very dark and melodic track that was inspired by a tragedy. The band was on their way to rehearsal when they were stuck in traffic. They found out the reason was because their was a school shooting and after the album’s release was delayed they wrote this track. The track was nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2003. 5/5

5. Celestial– a very cool instrumental from the band that segways nicely into the next track. 5/5

6. Satellite– a very cool and inspirational track from the band that is all about God and how he looks down and watches us. It’s like saying to yourself that you know things are good because God is always watching over me. 5/5

7. Ridiculous– a rock track with a more reggae feel to it and that could be because the track features Jamaican reggae artist Eek-a-Mouse. 4.5/5

satellite-4ee2821eb12cd8. The Messenjah-a cool track that is all about how P.O.D. have established that they will always speak the word of Jah no matter what until death so they are the messenjahs. 4.5/5

9. Guitarras de Amor– The track title translates to guitars of love and this is another instrumental track that blends some Latin guitar playing into it. 5/5

10. Anything Right– a very melodic track from the band that features Christian Lindskog of Swedish group Blindside. The verses are very melodic, but the chorus is intense as Sonny claims that no matter what he does, he an’t do anything right. I think the track is basically saying we should show more love because not everyone is like us. 4.5/5

11. Ghetto– Another melodic track that has a lot of hope for the world in it’s lyrics as Sonny believes that the world believes in love. It’s basically preaching that love is basically the answer. 4.5/5

12. Masterpiece Conspiracy– an OK track on the album that is all about how this band is a family and that everything they have they have worked for so no one outside the circle can claim a slice. 4/5

13. Without Jah, Nothin– an in your face punk style track (with a little reggae mixed in too) that features HR of Bad Brains on the track whose lyrics basically says that nothing good comes out of this world with out God. 4/5

14. Thinking About Forever– a track that is semi acoustic in this song that Sonny wrote for his mother who passed away. He hopes that she is proud of him. 4.5/5

15. Portrait– The last track on the album that was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 2003. The track is a metal track with a little bit of a punk feel to it that talks about how people have taken a beautiful thing like God and they have distorted his teachings and who he is. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This at the time was the last album that Marcos would be on with the band until 2008’s When Angels & Serpents Dance. This was one heck of a follow up to Fundamental…, but it set the standard for the band moving forward that they have had to top. These are literally some of the nicest guys in the business which is why I love this band and have a lot of respect for them. So, I am going to give this album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

unnamed-7A band that I have enjoyed since the first time I heard their track Monster is the band Starset. Dustin Bates, the lead vocalist of the band in my opinion has always properly described the band’s style as Cinematic Rock and it’s pretty accurate as the music always has more of a fuller sound and very cinematic. After two successful albums, the band is gearing up to release their third record DIVISIONS which comes out September 13TH via Fearless Records. To get you geared up for the release of the album, the band has unleashed a music video for the track MANIFEST that matches the overall theme of most of the band’s music. The music video is fantastic as it launches us into a world where machines have essentially taken over and humanity was lost in the shuffle. You see humans are monitored with what seems to be an implant in their temples and there is a group in the video that is looking to be free of the tyranny of machines, but it’s not easy. It kind of sounds like the world that we already live in, but I like to think it’s not that bad yet. The video is amazing and you should check it out below plus if you want to get some very cool pre-order bundles of the new album you can do so by clicking here. The band is currently on tour as well so check out the tour dates below:

 

Starset 2019 Tour Dates

Sept. 13 — Cincinnati, Ohio @ Bogart’s
Sept. 15 — Reading, Pa. @ Reverb
Sept. 17 — Silver Spring, Md. @ The Fillmore
Sept. 18 — Norfolk, Va. @ The NorVA
Sept. 20 — Charlotte, N.C. @ The Fillmore
Sept. 22 — Atlanta, Ga. @ Buckhead Theatre
Sept. 24 — Baton Rouge, La. @ Varsity Theatre
Sept. 25 — Houston, Texas @ House of Blues
Sept. 28 — Dallas, Texas @ Canton Hall
Sept. 29 — Oklahoma City, Okla. @ Diamond Ballroom
Oct. 1 — Phoenix, Ariz. @ The Pressroom
Oct. 2 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Regent
Oct. 4 — San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom
Oct. 5 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace Of Spades
Oct. 7 — San Diego, Calif. @ House of Blues
Oct. 8 — Ventura, Calif. @ The Majestic Ventura Theater
Oct. 13 — Seattle, Wash. @ Neptune Theatre
Oct. 14 — Boise, Idaho @ Knitting Factory
Oct. 16 — Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Complex
Oct. 17 — Denver, Colo. @ Summit
Oct. 20 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ Varsity Theater
Oct. 21 — Chicago, Ill. @ House of Blues
Oct. 24 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ TLA
Oct. 25 — New York, N.Y. @ The Gramercy Theatre
Oct. 26 — Hartford, Ct. @ The Webster
Oct. 27 — Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club

decompose vinyl“The track ‘Decompose‘ is one of the first songs that was written for the new album, and one of the songs I was most excited about. Our drummer Kyle came up with the music, and once the band all got together, it took on a new life. With the addition of the eerie keyboard/piano pieces added in by Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, HELLYEAH), this is another classic Wednesday 13 graveyard sing along” is what Wednesday 13 said about the new single which is off of their upcoming release Necrophaze which will hit the shelves on September 27TH via Nuclear Blast Records. The track and album was produced by Mike Spreitzer who you may remember from Devildriver while the album features guest appearances from the likes of Alice Cooper, Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil), Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), and Jeff Clayton (ANTiSEEN). As far as the album is concerned, Wednesday said, “To say we are excited about this release would be an understatement. We have re-built and Frakensteined an all new Wednesday 13. This is the next chapter, the next experience, the next phase into our world…Enter the Necrophaze. This is the most elaborate, horror themed album I’ve ever released under the name Wednesday 13.

wedneday13necrophazecover1Channeling the atmosphere of early 80s horror films, tv shows, cartoons and movie soundtracks the ‘Necrophaze‘ was complete. To add a little more Blood to the party, we had the complete honor of having the Godfather of shock rock, the legendary Alice Cooper. Alice is a guest doing the introduction to the album and the title track ‘Necrophaze‘. We wanted to give the listener the ultimate listening experience as if our band was the soundtrack to a horror film. The artwork for the CD and vinyl is a visual guide to the songs, and the live show will be the living breathing horror movie version. There will be a Wednesday 13 action figure, music Videos, movie soundtrack trailers, commercials and more all on the way with the release of ‘Necrophaze‘. The artwork and packaging is a tribute to the classic art and packaging from my favorite time of the 1980s. So welcome to Party…but bring your own blood.” I don’t think that Wednesday 13 ever lost his thunder at all, but the track is absolutely bad ass. It definitely is a new chapter for the band and for him as well. Check out the track below and be sure to check out some of the presale options here.

Track Listing for Necrophaze

1. Necrophaze (Featuring Alice Cooper)
2. Bring Your Own Blood
3. ZODIAC
4. Monster (Featuring Cristina Scabbia)
5. Decompose 6. Be Warned (Featuring Jeff Clayton)
7. The Hearse
8. Tie Me a Noose
9. Life Will Kill Us All
10. Bury The Hatchet
11. Necrophaze Main Theme (End-Credits)
12. Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) (Featuring Alexi Laiho

One of my favorite bands from the 1990’s was England’s own Bush who stormed on the scene in 1994 with the powerful and edgy alternative rock classic Sixteen Stone. Now we fast forward 25 years later and Bush are back with a new track for the long anticipated next chapter in the amazing Keanu Reeves feature John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum entitled Bullet Holes. The band recently hooked up with long time Marilyn Manson collaborator Tyler Bates to help them work on a new album and one of the tracks ended up on the soundtrack and it’s awesome. The track is absolutely amazing as it takes you back to 1994 with a very Sixteen Stone-esque sound. The video for the track itself is a performance based video where Gavin Rossdale shows you that he might be older, but he is in great shape and you combine that with footage from the film itself and you have yourself a video. Tyler Bate spoke about the song saying, “‘Bullet Holes’ is one of four songs Gavin Rossdale and I wrote together for the forthcoming Bush record. At that time, I was working on the score for this film and once Gavin sang the chorus I felt the song would be a perfect compliment to the movie. We sent the track to the director, Chad Stahelski, and he was into it. We are very psyched that this song is now part of the John Wick world.” Check out the video below:

skillet singleA band that has always impressed me with the material they have put out is none other than Christian rock band Skillet. The track that got me hooked into the band was none other than their 2009 mega hit Monster and the track certainly brought them into the mainstream for sure and they have not looked back since. Now 10 years later and the band is gearing up to release their tenth studio album in Victorious which comes out August 2ND via Atlantic Records. To get the fans ready for the album, the band has released a track that may sound a little familiar to fans in the track Legendary which the band has played live. The anthemic track was described by singer John Cooper, “It’s actually a little different for Skillet as well. That opening guitar riff isn’t like anything we’ve ever done on guitar. It’s a little bit bluesy, a little bit rock. I thought it was cool.” He continues to say, “It’s the first time that me and Korey [Cooper] produced most of the record ourselves. When I was looking at what we did well on Unleashed, I thought it was a real energizing and fun record to listen to. That’s what a great Skillet record is — songs that make people want to put their fists up in the air at a concert or get them through a run or drive or whatever they are doing. So we set out to make a record that had a lot of emotion to it.” The band will be on the road this summer with Sevendust so be sure to check out that tour, but in the meantime check out the lyric video below: