Album Review: The Pretty Reckless “Going To Hell”

TPR_GTH_72dpi(PCM) Taylor Momsen and her band The Pretty Reckless are dropping their new album “Going To Hell’ today and it is absolutely brilliant. It is the kind of album that defines the spirit of rock n’ roll as it is chock full of attitude, rebellion and raw aggression that speaks to the soul.

Forget any preconceived notions you may have had about vocalist Taylor Momsen, as she has most certainly shed them all and has shown her true colors as extraordinary vocalist and lyricist with the songs that make up “Going To Hell”. Momsen’s vocals are both spell-binding and seductive and she, along with the rest of the band, have without a doubt secured their spot on the top of the rock music world.

From the album’s opener “Follow Me Down” the listener is immediately captivated and we are ready to follow The Pretty Reckless where ever their musical journey chooses to lead us and what a trip it turns out to be!

The album carries the full range of the emotional spectrum and weaves a beautiful story with hard and heavy tracks such as the album’s title track “Going To Hell”, radio single “Heaven Knows” and the brutal “Sweet Things”. The more emotional side of the band is revealed with songs such as “Dear Sister”, the acoustic track “Burn” and the gut-wrenching closing track “Waiting For a Friend”.

The Pretty Reckless are currently out on the road in Europe with Fall Out Boy and are set to return to The States next month for an appearance at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards on April 23rd. The band is also slated to appear at several of this year’s major U.S. rock festivals including Rock On The Range, Rocklahoma, Monster Energy’s Fort Rock, Welcome To Rockville, RockFest Kansas City and more!

 

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Album Review: ARTPOP by Lady Gaga

artpop2(PCM) The year 2013 has brought us some fabulous album releases and we have had a chance to check out the good, the bad, the so-so, and the un-listenable from this year’s crop of new tunes. Thus far, the new album from Lady Gaga aptly titled “ARTPOP” has given me the most mixed feelings. Is it possible to love an album and hate an album at the same time?

“ARTPOP” consists as a smorgasbord of various genres, melodies, and styles all brought together in a way that only an artist like Lady Gaga can manage and I simply have to give her credit where credit is due. Gaga is never afraid to be experimental with her music and that earns her my utmost respect, but sometimes there are certain elements that seem to be a bit out of place. I found that some of the tracks on “ARTPOP” lost their sense of flow, leaving the album to feel a bit jumbled and a lot of the stylistic changes occurred quite drastically.

That being said there are more than just a few tracks that showcase Gaga’s incredible talent for songwriting and the creation of a delightfully catchy pop track that has way more substance behind it than the other bubblegum crap we hear on Top 40 radio these days.  Tracks such as “Dope” and “Gyspy” are simply oozing with raw emotion that can be thoroughly felt with each and every verse.

Songs such as “G.U.Y” (standing for ‘girl under you’) and “Sexxx Dreams” are incredibly sexual but fantastic nonetheless ,as if you couldn’t guess that from the titles and “Jewels N’ Drugs” finds Gaga collaborating with rappers T.I., Too $hort, and Twista and along with “MANiCure”, “Swine”, and “Do What You Want” feat. R.Kelly make up some of my favorite tracks on the album.

The album almost lost me right from the start with the strange album opener “Aura” and when “Venus” began playing I kind of wanted to punch my speakers much the same as the ridiculous “Donatella”. Those tracks aside, Gaga has certainly put together a thought provoking piece of musical art with “ARTPOP” and I’m sure that Mother Monster has made her little monsters proud with this release.

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KORN Tops The Charts With The Release Of " The Paradigm Shift"!

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(PCM) KORN has once again reached the top of the charts for the 12th time with the release of the their absolutely stellar new album “The Paradigm Shift“, which entered the Billboard charts at an impressive #8.

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It is no surprise at all that the album has debuted to such great response, as I think it is without a doubt some of the most solid work that we have heard from the band and is wonderful addition to the band’s incredible legacy of hard rocking and influential music.

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KORN has never been afraid to take a risk, much as we saw with the 2011 release of the band’s metal dub-step hybrid album “The Path of Totality”, but it always seems to work out in their favor. Despite what some critics might have said, I thought “The Path of Totality” was brilliant and now with “The Paradigm Shift” we see KORN shifting back to their earlier sound, but not without some growth and maturity along the way. “The Paradigm Shift” also marks the return of co-founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch to the band and that may also give the album a certain sense of familiarity.

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KORN have always done an amazing job of being both original and ground-breaking with their music and stand-out tracks from “The Paradigm Shift” include an almost homage to each era of the band’s career especially with tracks such as “What We Do”, “Paranoid and Aroused”, and “Lullaby For A Sadist”.

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I, for one, absolutely can’t wait to catch more of these tracks in the live environment. I did get a small taste during the band’s recent performance at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA and the band is sounding as tight as ever! It was one of the best performances from KORN that I have seen and I absolutely can’t wait until they are back in our neck of the woods again at the end of November. I saw the band prior to the release of the new album, so perhaps we will get to hear/see even more tracks off “The Paradigm Shift” on the upcoming “Night Of The Living Dreads Tour” with Rob Zombie.

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Also, catch the band on November 1 for the premiere episode of the Award-winning music television series “Guitar Center Sessions” at 9pm ET/ 10pm PT exclusively on DIRECTV’s Audience Network (channel 239).

Photography credit: Mike Sievila

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New EP From Halestorm Features Some Amazing Covers!

halestorm1(PCM) Rockers Halestorm have just unleashed their new EP “ReAniMate 2.0:The CoVeRs eP” via Atlantic Records and it is amazing!  The electrifying collection of covers features takes on classic tracks by AC/DC, Daft Punk, Fleetwood Mac and more!

I, for one, am loving some of their cover tracks, just as much, if not more than the originals. They did an especially fantastic job taking on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and “1996″ from Marilyn Manson.

ReAniMate 2.0 is the follow up to 2011’s ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP and is Halestorm’s first release since their Grammy victory earlier this year!

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Album Review: Bourbon Boys "Hail To The Chief"

cover_hi-res(PCM) I recently had a chance to check out the sophomore album from bluesy Swedish rockers Bourbon Boys “Hail To The Chief” and much to my surprise it blew my mind.

When I like about music from Sweden I envision either death metal or some sort of glossy pop, but never did I imagine I would discover a Swedish band that has perfectly nailed both rockabilly and the sweet sounds of good old southern rock n’ roll. It is brilliant.

“Hail To The Chief” was an overall fun album to listen to and I thoroughly enjoyed it, again much to my own surprise. Lyrically, this album shines a light on the everyday working class and is truly a pick-me-up for the underdogs in life. Check out the album’s first single “Don’t Tread On Me” if you want to get a taste. Other stand-out tracks on album include “Broken Bad Boy Blues” and my personal favorite “To Hell And Back”.

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Album Review: Dave Stewart "Lucky Numbers"

Dave-Stewart2(PCM) The amazingly talented Dave Stewart has just unleashed his newest album “Lucky Numbers” his first with Kobalt Label Services. “Lucky Numbers” marks the third album in three years and is an absolutely outstanding follow-up to both last year’s “The Ringmaster General” and 2011′s “The Blackbird Diaries”.

With “Lucky Numbers” Stewart flawless blends together a style that includes elements of both country and rock, but with his own very unique flair. While both “The Ringmaster General” and “The Blackbird Diaries” were recorded in Nashville, Stewart made the decision to take the recording sessions to the high seas with “Lucky Numbers” and Stewart and the band journeyed to the South Pacific to create the album.

Listening to “Lucky Numbers” was the most fun I have had listening to a new release in quite some time. I, for one, absolutely love when I discover an artist that can not be boxed into one particular genre or another. There is a little bit of everything on this album and each track was like entering a bit of a new adventure with each listen. Whether you are in search of a bluesy ballad such as “What Is Wrong With Me” , a retro vibe with “How To Ruin A Romance” or a haunting melody with “Nashville Snow you are sure to find something to fit your appetite and the album will without a doubt leave you hungering for more!

Players on “Lucky Numbers” include guitarist Tom Bukovac, drummer Chad Cromwell, bassist Michael Rhodes, pianist Mike Rojas, pedal steel guitarist Dan Dugmore joined by multi-instrumentalist Kieran Kiely, who played accordion, flute and, most notably, the Irish bodhrán drum that can be heard in the opening notes of the first single, “Every Single Night.” The list of guest stars includes singers Martina McBride (“Every Single Night”), Karen Elson (“Nashville Snow”), Aussie pop diva Vanessa Amorosi (“What’s Wrong With Me”), Broadway star Laura Michelle Kelly and violinist Ann Marie Calhoun (the soaring cinematic set-piece, “You and I”) and a gospel choir headed by Lynn Mabry (“Drugs Taught Me a Lesson,” “What’s Wrong With Me”).

For more information about Dave Stewart, please visit:

http://davestewart.com/
http://www.facebook.com/davestewart
http://twitter.com/davestewart
http://www.youtube.com/user/DaveStewartOfficial

 

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Album Review: The Lonely Forest "Adding Up the Wasted Hours"

Lonely-Forest1(PCM) Many have been anxiously awaiting for some new music from The Lonely Forest and the wait is nearly over as the band is currently gearing up for the release of their stellar new album “Adding Up the Wasted Hours” on October 8th!

I have had a chance to check out the upcoming release and  “Adding Up the Wasted Hours” does not stray too far from the band’s initial sound which is heavily rooted in power pop, however it is definitely noted that the band is definitely showing more growth and expansion with this album and prove that they are not afraid to take a few risks along the way.

This time around the band has added in a few electronic elements and the album overall has a more soothing vibe and while some fans may complain that “Adding Up the Wasted Hours” is less rock-centric than an album such as “Arrow”, I think many will be pleased to see the band’s ability to showcase a bit of a different side. Stand-out tracks include the album’s first single “Warm/Happy” which is currently streaming on the band’s website along with my personal favorite on the album “Neon Never Changes” and the album opener “Pull The Pin”.

The Lonely Forest will hit the road in support of the upcoming album release so definitely be sure to head out and catch these guys on the road!

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Album Review: Alterbridge "Fortress"

Alterbridge1(PCM) As the band themselves have stated I think intensity it the perfect way to sum up the overall feel for “Fortress” this upcoming new album from rockers Alterbridge set for release on 10/8/13. Without a doubt Alterbridge have proven with “Fortress” that they are fearless when it comes to both experimenting with and evolving their sound and these tracks open us up as listeners to new and much darker side to the band.

From the gorgeous opening guitar melody of “Cry of Achilles” the pace for the album is set and it moves forward with incredible vigor. It is no surprise that the band chose “Addicted to Pain” as the albums first single because it does a fantastic job of both showcasing vocalist Myles Kennedy’s superb prowess and guitarist Mark Tremonti’s ability to shred like a beast.

“Fortress” is also not without it’s emotional moments as can be found on tracks such as “Lover” and “All Ends Well” which take the listener on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and are both executed with perfection. We also see drummer Scott Philips and bassist Brian Marshall thinking outside of the box a bit more musically and attempting different styles and arrangements that make this album a total evolution in the band’s catalog overall.

It is refreshing to see that Alterbridge are continuing to move progressively further with their music and I, for one, can only anticipate more great music from this band well into the future.

 

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Album Review: Echosmith "Talking Dreams"

Echosmith1(PCM) There is a ton of buzz generated around LA based alt-pop quartet Echosmith and the highly anticipated release of their debut album “Talking Dreams”. The band recently wrapped up performing on the Vans Warped Tour and are certainly well on their way to taking the musical landscape by storm.

The band is composed of four siblings Graham, Sydney, Noah, and Jamie Sierota ranging in age from 14 to 20 and they have without a doubt crafted together a stellar debut album with “Talking Dreams”.  The group was previously known on Youtube for their incredible covers of artists such as Mumford and Sons and Adele, but with this album that have certainly found their own voice and the collection of songs that make up “Talking Dreams” weave a wonderful story full of youthful intensity and provide an inside peek into the psyche of this band.

It is no wonder that rather than playing just a few shows, the band was asked to play the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer. Their sound is fresh and engaging and each track on the album has elements that very relatable, especially to the younger generation of upcoming and coming music fans. Tracks such as “Cool Kids”, “Come With Me”, and the album’s title track “Talking Dreams” are sure to become staples in the band’s live set and I can easily see hundreds of fans belting out these lyrics each and every night.

Echosmith have a finger on the pulse of youth culture and they are certainly going to be a band to keep on your radar into 2014.

 

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