Menage Is Glorious Music To Our Ears

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(PCM) As over-saturated as the music industry can be these days every great once an awhile a band will come along and make you stop in your tracks and go ‘damn … this band is really great’. That is pretty much the feeling I had when checking out the self-titled EP from Toronto-based band Ménage.

The group made up of siblings,Basilio, Gabriel and Bela Ferreira, who parents emigrated to Canada from Portugal are certainly beginning to generate a lot of buzz. Their sound is a glorious mixture of both Portuguese and North American influences and that particular blending has given Ménage a very unique musical perspective that is very much all their own.

Their songs have the ability to appeal to the masses, in fact their song “Our Time Is Now” was took home the accolade for Rock Song of the Year at the International Portuguese Music Awards. Listening to Ménage’s EP, as well as, their new track “Black And White TV” which features Portishead bassist Jim Barr I was thrilled with the audaciousness and overall freshness that Ménage brings to the current music scene. They are truly going to be a band to keep on your radar this year.

There are touches of various musical genres found within the band’s songs as I was able to sense everything from R n’ B to classic rock. With tracks such as “Our Time Is Now”, which has radio-hit written all over it, Ménage showcase their more hard-rocking side while tracks such as “Promises” and  “Love Song” definitely focus on their more softer and introspective side.

I can’t get enough of Ménage’s EP and certainly can’t wait to see what this band has in store for us next!

To keep up to date with all of the latest Ménage news and updates visit the band’s official site!

 

 

 

 

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A Look At Marilyn Manson’s Brilliant New Album “The Pale Emperor”

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(PCM) Marilyn Manson has without a doubt created some of his strongest work to date with the upcoming release of his ninth album “The Pale Emperor”. Throughout his extensive career Manson has been able to constantly and flawlessly reinvent himself and his music with each and every album release, all while maintaining a certain level of familiarity that is a central vein that ties his art together. Manson is and will always be Manson, bottom line.

With “The Pale Emperor” we yet again see Manson treading into some experimental territory and the result is some of his most ambitious and brilliant material to surface. Adding into the mix collaborators such as ex-Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Gil Sharone and film score composer Tyler Bates has certainly had its’ influence on the album as well. The chemistry has come together just right and I certainly hope that this album is a strong indicator as to what could possibly be in-store for the future.

There is a level of new found maturity in the songs that make up “The Pale Emperor” and I feel that Manson’s music is continuing to grow in ways that I almost never imagined. Being a long-time fan, I have savored each album throughout Manson’s career and at times feel as if his music is growing up right along with me as I reach certain milestones in my own life, as I am sure that many longtime fans can relate in much the same way.

When albums such as “Anti-Christ Superstar”, “Holy Wood” and “Mechanical Animals” were in heavy rotation in my Walkman I was able to relate to the amount of anger, angst and rebellion that poured out of those albums, just as now I find myself being able to equally relate to the new set of emotions put forth on “The Pale Emperor”.

I thoroughly enjoyed the blues/funk undertones that make up several tracks on the new album and it is something that I don’t think I have ever heard out of Manson in the past. Tracks such as “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”, “Killing Strangers” and “Odds Of Even” probably showcase this the best, however I also adored the highly emotional “Warship My Wreck” and the haunting “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge”.  I even had to note while listening that the album’s second single “Deep Six” is probably the only track that even has a hint of Manson’s previous more industrial sound and I think fans will totally be okay with that, it is a solid track and probably an excellent way to engage fans with the new album.

Manson’s vocals are sounding as strong as ever and I absolutely can’t wait to see how all of this will transfer into the live setting, as Manson is about to embark on the “Hell Not Hallelujah” Tour this week. Stay tuned for our live show coverage coming soon!

To keep up-to-date with Marilyn Manson, please visit: http://www.marilynmanson.com/

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How Tokio Hotel Have Secured Their Reign As The “Kings Of Suburbia”

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(PCM) Tokio Hotel released their brilliant new album “Kings Of Suburbia” last November and it has been met with both fan and critical acclaim. Listening to the album I have found that it is truly some of the band’s most honest and heartfelt work to date.

With their debut album in 2005, Tokio Hotel- -twin brothers Bill (lead singer) and Tom Kaulitz (guitar, backing vocals), Georg Listing (bass) and Gustav Schafer (drums)–rose to become the most successful German rock band of the last 20 years. 7 million copies of their releases have been sold worldwide, and with around 160 Gold and 63 Platinum awards in 68 countries and well over 100 national and international awards, Tokio Hotel is an international phenomenon.

Bill and Tom Kaulitz (25) moved to California overnight at the absolute height of their fame. Submerged in the anonymity of Los Angeles, their experiences there lent them new creativity and inspiration which they used to write and produce “Kings of Suburbia”, their third international studio album.

“Kings Of Suburbia” is filled with a variety of different musical flavors and we see Tokio Hotel having the chance to explore and experiment with a variety of soundscapes including rock, pop and even various electronic elements. The album is a breath of fresh air for the band and certainly stands apart in their illustrious catalog.

From the club-heavy wallop of “Feel It All” to the softer, introspective “Run Run Run” and “Love Who Loves You Back,” it’s an album that finds the Kaulitz twins pushing limits of sanity and discovery, a singular statement born out of one very important realization: Their band could mirror their lives, could provide the soundtrack to the parties that never end. If it feels alive, well, that’s because Tokio Hotel were living it as they were making it.

I recently had a chance to catch up with Tokio Hotel to discuss the making of the new album, their upcoming touring plans, changes within the music industry and more.

It has been about five years since we last had any new music from Tokio Hotel, so when talking about the creative process for the new album Bill says “After the release of our last album we were not really sure what we wanted to do with our music next, so we decided to make the move to L.A.. It was there that we found that we finally had the creative freedom to do what we truly wanted to do with our music. We wanted to make something that we love and what makes us happy.”

We are always curious about the mindset of the band while in the studio during the recording process. The band revealed “With “Love Who Loves You Back”, the albums first single, for that song we kind of had that moment in the studio where you just know that you have something special. That song just stuck with us all day. When we were writing it and recording it and we just really couldn’t get it out of our heads. We really wanted to get it out to audiences and see if their reaction was the same. It is a way to think about experiencing love. 

We also made the music video that we have always wanted to make for that song as well, so it was really a perfect fit. It is also the exact opposite of what the rest of the album is like overall. It is very pure without a lot of production, we just wanted to keep it very simple. It is a very fun song and the video was incredibly fun to make. It was something I had never done before.”

Speaking of the music video for “Love Who Love You Back’ Bill revealed that the idea for the video came from a film he saw called “Perfume”. Bill says “In the film the character was getting a lot of hate from those around him as he was creating his perfume. As odd as it sounds, he then sprays his perfume around and it begins to turn the hate into love and then branches out into an orgy of sorts. I had always wanted to recreate that with music and now we had finally found the right song”. 

He goes on to say “We found the right director and he had all these people and he asked me if I even wanted to be involved. I said ‘Of course I want to be involved (laughs). He was surprised that I actually wanted to do it. I have never been involved with something like that in front of the camera so it was definitely fun. When I got home that night I felt like I was leaving a porno shoot. Making out with so many people was exhausting, but it was also a lot of fun”.

I was also curious about Tokio Hotel’s upcoming touring plans, as well as, what will be going into the live show. Bill says ” We are going to begin touring in March in Europe with the Feel It All World Tour. It will be a memorable experience for fans. We are still working on some of our concepts and ideas for the show, but it will be great”. 

When asked what the most misunderstood thing about Tokio Hotel would be they answered “I think by now people get it, but there was always some confusion about how long we have been together. We have been a band for over 14 years, even before we were doing it professionally”. 

During the recording process sometimes there are things that a band will learn about themselves that can be a bit surprising. Bill comments ” Moving out to L.A. and being out here on our own and having control over the whole production was something that we had never done before, so we learned that we could do it on our own without someone telling us how things should be done. It was also interesting in L.A., that no one knew who I am or what I do and I had not had that experience in quite some time. I am used to meeting people who knew exactly who I was, so having this anonymity was a new experience.”

When speaking about the influence that living in L.A. had on the recording process, Tom adds “The move to L.A. provided us with new life experiences, prior to that we had nothing new to say, here we were able to be influenced by all of our new experiences and create new stories to share”. 

Many musicians have been affected by the changes in the music industry over the years. Bill tells us that people downloading rather than buying music has been one of the many changes that has had the biggest effect on the band. He says “When we first came on the scene there was not downloading. Nowadays it is more important to have streams and downloads. I don’t even get all of this. There are so many new rules to follow. I remember we used to have these long lines for autographs and nowadays they don’t even do that anymore. They don’t want an autograph, they just want a selfie (laughs). Autographs are not necessary anymore.”

He goes on to say, “When we first started there were music show on TV and talk shows and awards shows to attend, now there are only like one or two award shows to attend per year. So much has changed with the way the world processes music. It is all very different.”

Finally, I wanted to know if we are going to see any Tokio Hotel touring here in the States. They replied “Yes, of course. We announced the first half of our world tour in Europe, so definitely be early summer we hope to announce some touring in the U.S.”. 

We can’t wait! We will have to remember to bring our selfie sticks! If you haven’t already be sure to pick up a copy of Tokio Hotel’s phenomenal new album “Kings Of Suburbia” and keep up to date with the band and the following links below:

www.tokiohotel.com
www.facebook.com/tokiohotel
www.twitter.com/tokiohotel
www.youtube.com/user/tokiohotelchannel
www.instagram.com/tokiohotel

 

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Album Review: Slipknot “.5: The Gray Chapter”

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(PCM) Words can not even begin to express the joy that overcame us when news was first announced that a new album from Iowa rockers Slipknot was on the way and we were even more thrilled to get an early listen to “.5: The Gray Chapter” prior to its’ official release!

Back in May, Slipknot front-man Corey Taylor was roasted by his peers during the Roast on the Range w/ Corey Taylor which was the kick-off to the epic rock festival Rock On The Range. We had caught up with Taylor on the red carpet and were the first to bring you the news about just what “.5: The Gray Chapter” was going to sound like!  Taylor told us that “People are going to lose their minds when they hear it” and we absolutely couldn’t agree more!

“.5: The Gray Chapter is the perfect blend of both the brutality of Slipknot’s early album “Iowa”, but at the same time beautifully sonic and melodic like “Vol. 3″.

It is no shock that  the tragic passing of Slipknot bassist and songwriter Paul Gray is a centralized theme of sorts throughout the album and it is quite evident that the band has poured all of the pain, anger and sadness straight into the vein of many tracks found on the new album. It is full of both intensity and raw emotion and certainly some of Slipknot’s best work to date.

Tracks such as “Skeptic”, “The Negative One”, “Killpop” and “Custer” take the listener on a fascinating musical journey and one that truly speaks to the soul. Musically speaking the band has pushed their limits to places one never would have thought they could have achieve. The songs that truly hone in on the loss of Gray the most would be both “Skeptic” and “Nomadic”, however the gorgeous ballad “Goodbye” seems a fitting farewell as well.

Many fans did not believe that we would ever see another Slipknot album, but the band has truly outdone themselves with “.5: The Gray Chapter” and come out sounding (and appearing) as re-energized as ever! Being able to take their pain and angst over the loss of their fallen bandmate, the band was able to channel it into one of the most brilliant albums to be release this year.

We could go on and on about the many reasons we have fallen in love with “.5: The Gray Chapter”, but we feel that it is best experienced by listening for yourself. With this release, Slipknot further cement the fact that rock is far from dead, so get out there and support this absolutely stellar release.

Also, be sure to catch Slipknot live if you have the chance!  The band will be performing unique sets each night of KNOTFEST this coming weekend in San Bernadino, CA that will feature brand new music, as well as, an entirely new stage set up and experience.

Also, performing at KNOTFEST is Danzig, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Of Mice & Men, Anthrax and dozens more!

Slipknot also hits the road for a co-headlining tour with KORN that will be making its’ way across the U.S!

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Buzzworthy Band The Fletchers Release Brand-New Tunes!

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It’s been three years since Heroes of Gravity, The Fletcher’s third album soared up the college radio charts.The New Jersey-based indie band’s latest CD, Reset the Dial, is now available and highly recommended.

At times, the songs really rock and other times the band will change gears into a more emotional, intelligent and stirring direction. While the group has clearly evolved and matured since their earlier releases, this record is a testament that their rebellious Jersey attitude is still alive and well, even if it’s well hidden at times.

The band released records each year since their formation back in 2008. While working on their recently released fourth album, the guys took more time than usual and focused on creating a record on their own terms. After several listens, I must agree, mission accomplished!

Lead singer Gary Kaplan had this to say… “Three years has offered the time to play and work out the songs that make up Reset the Dial, and over that time we’ve continued to develop as a band. I, for one, am a lot more confident,” said Kaplan. “There’s more range to the vocals, and overall more textured sound. We weren’t afraid to be too sweet. We weren’t afraid of being dark. We’ve really painted pictures that tell stories with these song, and we feel good about this chapter.”

This is a record full of passion and honesty, delivered with warm vocals, outstanding musicianship and sincerity.

The Fletchers are what rock-n-roll is meant to be; harnessed emotion, tons of energy and songs that resonate in your head and heart after one listen. Do yourself a favor and catch this band live in Jersey, NYC or Philly.

Gary Kaplan – Lead Vocals & Guitar
Dan Coffey – Bass & Backing Vocals
Cliff Heaton – Drums & Backing Vocals
Rob Freda – Guitar & Backing Vocals

To keep up-to-date with The Fletchers please visit:

www.thefletchersmusic.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/seriousmachines/videos

http://www.reverbnation.com/thefletchersmusic

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Finch Drop New Album! Exclusive Interview!

Finch1(PCM) Finch has just released their first full length album in nine years titled “Back To Oblivion” and without a doubt the band has truly outdone themselves with this brilliant release.

After listening to the album it is quite apparent that the band has pushed themselves above and beyond and what I love is that they are truly not afraid to take some risks with their music.

“Back To Oblivion” is a true statement to the band’s longevity and certainly showcased a deeper and more matured side to the band.

Recently we were able to catch up with Finch guitarist Alex Linares to discuss the band’s new album, touring plans, musical history and more!

We were certainly sure that the band was more than excited to get this highly anticipated album into the hand of listeners. Alex comments “Yeah, it felt like it was taking forever. It was finished a couple of months ago and I am so anxious for people to hear it”.

With this being the band’s first full length album in nine years were were curious about any challenges they may have faced in the studio. Alex tell us “Probably just writing together again. It has been almost ten years since we all sat down to write a whole album together. Before we split up, we tried to write a record and came up with nothing worthy of a third full-length record, but with this album it took about a year of us writing in secret. We were doing all these anniversary shows for the 10th anniversary of “What Is To Burn”, but we were always secretly working on the new material. We just didn’t want to announce it at that point”.

When speaking about tracks on the new album that can definite the mentality in the studio, Alex reveals “We worked really quickly and it was sort of over before it began, but I don’t know if there is really one song that captures the tone of us recording. I think maybe it would be “New Wave”, it is the last song on the record and it was one that was wholly created in the studio. Normally during the recording process each person records their parts separately and they are all put together, however for that song we were all in the studio together, at the same time, working on it, and we created it together. I think that might be an example of the new Finch where we are a bit more united”.

With “Back To Oblivion” Finch were definitely not afraid to experiment some with their sound and create a very unique new album. Alex says that he is “crossing my fingers and toes” that the fans take to it more than they did “Say Hello To Sunshine”. He felt that “Sunshine” caught most people off guard, although some people did love it.

Alex goes on to say ” I have ADD in the studio and I feel it is important for us to keep challenging ourselves with every record, so that will keep us all interested”.

“Two Guns To The Temple” is the first single off of “Back To Oblivion” and we were curious to know what led to the band’s decision for that track in particular to become the single and also if they ever get a feeling about a song and then are surprised by what the fans happen to gravitate towards. Alex comments ” I don’t even pretend to know which song should become the single, usually I’m like ‘Yes, that’s the one’ and the record label and manager types are like “You’re f**king crazy, dude … it’s five and half minutes and you don’t get to the chorus for three and half, so that doesn’t work’! The lead off single was really “Anywhere But Here” as the internet single and fit a little more into the traditional single format.”.

We also spoke in-depth about many of the changes that have taken place within the music industry over the years. Alex reveals ” Five years ago I didn’t want anything to do with a label, but I think how they function now, it makes sense, it works and we are more comfortable with it. So far, Razor & Tie has been a really good home for us. They have not made any sort of ridiculous demands that we have had to deal with from label in the past. They seem to really respect their artists and that is genuinely what artist really want … to be respected.

We also spoke about the up rise of social media and Alex commented “As much as social networks give you access to the band in ways that you or I didn’t have twenty years ago, I mean you had to buy Hit Parader if there was a cool picture of Marilyn Manson or Jonathan Davis in there, now you have this inside peek. You get to see backstage and see how boring it really is (laughs), I think it is kind of good and kind of not good sometimes. It takes some of mystery away.

He goes on to say “When I was thirteen, Korn was my favorite band ever and this last tour we were on tour in Australia and they were on it and seeing Jonathan Davis, like romp around backstage, he looked like the most mega-geek and that’s probably what most people involved with social networks these days really think about the artist’s they see. They take backstage photos and they are just sitting there with a book, reading or something. It’s like someone explaining how the magic trick works and it’s a f**king bummer!”

Currently the band is gearing up for a headlining tour run with Maps & Atlases that is set to begin in a few weeks. Alex also told us that there is some talk about the band headed back to England and some other parts of Europe as well and plan for non-stop touring for the next year and half of so in support of the record.

We mentioned to Alex that it would have to be difficult for the band to craft a set list each night and he replied “The only hard part is not wanting to put too much new material in there. I want to go out and play the new record from beginning to end but I know that would greatly annoy most people that paid for a ticket so I think we will play a good mix of both old and newer material”.

Alex also reveals that one of the great inspirations for the new album was the 10th anniversary show for their seminal album “What Is To Burn”. He says ” To play the album together again was bizarrely easy and running through all the songs, it was like muscle memory. I think feeling such constant enthusiasm for my band and just constant desire for us to not go away after this tour was a great motivator to try our hand at a new record.”

Often times certain information about a band may be misconstrued or misunderstood, we asked Alex if that had ever happened with Finch. He replied “So much!  Usually everything! (laughs) I am not actually a grizzly bear, most people think I am the offspring of some great grizzly mother … that’s not true! No, I’m kidding. People come up with the wildest things and it’s ridiculous. I think the worst on is that people actually think that I’m a d**k. People will come up and talk to me and be like ‘man, we heard you were a d**k, but you’re really great’.  I appreciate that … really.”

Well, we can certainly set the record straight! He is neither bear nor d**khead! Alex along with the rest of Finch are truly great guys that have put together a truly wonderful new album that we certainly urge you all to check out!

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