Albums
Daily Basis: Music Asylum
Written by Mike Zambelli    Wednesday, 02 April 2014 23:07    PDF Print E-mail
 Los Angeles locals, Daily Basis, has their 1st album available on iTunes, Spotify, and numerous other online locations. Daily basis is led by the Dearth brothers with Tommy Dearth on vocals and guitar and Darrel on drums. Their music is a fusion of metal and punk with elements of Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sum 41. Setting them apart from most young metal bands is coherent introspective lyrics akin to Linkin Park. The album’s first two tracks “Forevermore” and “Lucid Dream” are about living life to the fullest without fear. The band is currently producing their first video for “Lucid Dream”. The next few songs delve into frustration (“Boredom”), coping with anger (“Renegade”), and dealing with temptation (“Seed Of Evil”). The “War Within” is about believing in yourself but the next two songs (“Your Life Is Over”, “Lay You To Rest”) expose our weaknesses at times as we succumb to anger and revenge. Although it’s nice to vent once in a while and these two provide that opportunity. Coming through the other side with perseverance is the next song “Vanguard”, followed by “False Identity” encouraging one to believe in themselves. Closing out the album is a song about struggle “Unlit Shadows” followed by “My Blood Is Not My Own” which makes it seem we are a small piece of an infinite puzzle. The highlights of the album are “Forevermore”, “A Lucid Dream”, “Seed Of Evil”, “Your Life Is Over”, and “False Identity” and will probably all have videos in the future as singles and featured tracks. It will be interesting to see the band’s video representation of their music as well as experience them live. Currently they do not have tour dates scheduled. Overall “Music Asylum” is a great collection to rock out to, use as a workout soundtrack, or for self motivation. Go check out their music and enjoy it on a daily basis. You can get more info on the band on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DailyBasisBand.
 
Chess Club Romeos: Picture Day
Written by Vince Anderson    Sunday, 23 February 2014 11:08    PDF Print E-mail
Fresh, and funky ... That's my initial response to the new music from Chess Club Romeos. I'm not quite sure what genre you'd put them in (not sure one exists), but it has elements of blues, funk and jazz.

The music is self-produced, but really adequately produced and not "over produced." The production is smooth and seems perfect with the "less is more" approach when referring to the distinctive vocals. I asked my friend - Alden, we'll call him by that since ... well, that's his name ... but I digress - for help trying to compare them to someone and he suggested maybe The Mummies, or quite possibly Cameo or a member of Cameo, and then he likened them to Edwyn Collins ("A Girl Like You").

I agree. Do your research to see if you think it's accurate. However, I think it's right on target in spite of the unusual vocal harmonies on songs like "Eyes Down" with its breaking glass, which is a little haunting and ethereal. I'm not sure how this would come across live, but I'll find out soon enough as the band has a live performance planned at House of Rock on March 7 with others.

But back to the music. My least favorite cut out of the five I listened to is "Obituary For A Librarian," but I enjoyed the rest.

The band consists of Lucas Coirolo on guitars and vocals, David Flitt on keys and vocals, Ryan Beckner on bass and vocals, and Rick Jermain on drums and vocals. Lucas and Dave are the main songwriters while Dave and Rick have known each other about 30 years. Chess Club Romeos came out of some weekly jam sessions Dave and Rick had with Lucas and Ryan and there were no real intentions of forming a band ... "Next thing we knew we had a bunch of original songs, so we decided to record them." Rick says then adds, "Everything we do is entirely self-produced. We produced our CD in the NoisePit, our studio in Baltimore. The video for 'Eyes Down' was shot while recording the album." Most of the album, "Picture Day," was recorded in one day, except for some guitar and vocal overdubs.

 
Ballyhoo!: Pineapple Grenade
Written by Brendan Clemente    Sunday, 23 February 2014 11:05    PDF Print E-mail
When 311's funky rock and reggae stylings began invading tape players around the world in the early '90s, a highly influential sound and scene was brewing. One group of kids from Aberdeen, Md. listened closely and decided they would take the style and make it their own.

This group's name is Ballyhoo!, and they have come a long way since their humble beginnings on the East Coast. The band has shared stages with Slightly Stoopid, 311, Matisyahu and The Dirty Heads. Ballyhoo!'s newest studio recorded LP, "Pineapple Grenade," showcases the band's stellar ability to smash the walls between genres and elevates the experience of listening.

The album drops in with a reggae sound that takes you straight to the islands on "She Wants to Destroy Me," but it doesn't let you get too bored before a heavier riff rocks you straight into the energetic chorus.

When the gritty surf stylings of the second song, "Battle Cry," start grinding in your earphones, it's easy to realize that this album will continue to change directions on a dime, and every time it does, you're going to thank Ballyhoo! for doing so.

Ballyhoo! is one of those bands whose music says, "We play what we want, and no matter what we play, it's going to kick ass." One of the best parts of the album is you never know what's going to come next, and the songs are hit after hit. You can listen to the album from beginning to end and have absolutely no clue which tracks are the singles ... there are just way too many awesome jams on here to guess. (I'll save you the trouble, it's "No Good," and check out the video on YouTube!)

From beautiful songs that bare the soul to pop anthems like "Instigator" that could kick start a party on a Monday night in church, these guys are seriously good at catering to any occasion; the variety of the album makes for an easy and exciting listen all the way through.

When a band puts a great punk song like "Out of My Mind" on the same album as the heart-wrenching ballad "When They Told Me," it really reflects the cohesive and beautifully twisted sense that Ballyhoo! makes. Somehow, it all fits perfectly together to create the distinct sound they're known for.

"Pineapple Grenade" is one of the most interesting and fun mixes of songs you'll hear on the same release, and like their high-energy and entertaining live shows, the band makes sure there's something everyone can enjoy.

Ballyhoo! is going to be huge...

They're already big, and the formula for massive success surrounds them with every move they make. They have an AMAZING live show (and they tour their asses off). They put out five albums that are all a perfect testament to their experimental and fun nature. They have played shows from the 311 cruise to the enormously successful California Roots Festival, and they know how to kick you in the teeth and then slip a beautiful reggae pillow under your head just before you hit the ground. Thousands of fans from all over the world will tell you that no matter what they put out there, it's something you're going to enjoy.

We fine folks here in San Diego are stoked for their arrival with reggae-rock staples Passafire and Pacific Dub on Jan. 30 at The Irenic. So make sure to go check out their latest release, "Pineapple Grenade," on iTunes and Pandora, and enjoy the show after!

Brendan Clemente is a writer and musician living in San Diego, CA. He blogs for Hill Kid Clothing and plays bass for The StirCrazies.

 
Funk Junkies EP
Written by Susan Wise    Saturday, 15 February 2014 15:03    PDF Print E-mail

The Funk Junkies are a Baltimore-based hard rock band with exceptional talent. This may explain how, since the band’s first show in 1990, their popularity has remained strong. Recently, the band released a three-song demo recorded/mixed by Drew Mazurek at High View Studios. After numerous plays it can be safely said that these songs are amazing!

The immediate impression upon listening to the tracks is that they could be on mainstream radio. They have quality hooks, powerful drive, passionate vocals and relatable lyrics. Terry Connelly is an excellent vocalist throughout with Larry Connelly providing back-up vocals. The musicianship is impressive with Mike Smith on guitar and keyboards, Donovan Kropkowski on guitar, Larry Connelly on bass, and Jimmy Redmon on drums.

The first track, "Death of Me," has a memorable chorus and powerful vocals. There is a great use of dynamics that allow the listener varying emotions. “Here We Are Now” begins with a hint of eeriness and turns into a strong groove with the bass guitar driving it. Throughout the track there are good vocals, transitions, dynamics and tight rhythm sections. “The Road to Hell” has in-the-pocket, driving drums, tight rhythms and intricate guitar work.

Within all the songs there’s an overall heaviness with appealing hooks and a current sound reminiscent of Papa Roach and Breaking Benjamin. Part of what makes them so likeable is the Slayer and Iron Maiden sound that’s also woven in and a style that has been compared to Faith No More. Check them out on Reverb Nation and YouTube, and watch for a new Funk Junkies website.

 
Alter Bridge: Fortress
Written by Mike Zambelli    Monday, 09 December 2013 23:43    PDF Print E-mail
 Alter Bridge, the hard rock foursome, is back with their fourth studio release. Fortress, comprised of 13 songs, is their strongest work yet. It is a progression of their talents and heavier than their previous three albums. Lead singer Myles Kennedy and guitarist Mark Tremonti have appeared to hit their professional peaks at the same time and the result is musical excellence. Tremonti's Metallica influence and affection for speed metal seeps through but there are also some harmonious seeds from his four albums w/ Creed. There are hints of Iron Maiden, Queensryche, and Rush throughout, but the collection is original and could be considered a concept album from start to finish. There is not a weak link or moment on the entire record.
The lyrics are deep and dark at times covering themes of human overconsumption destroying the earth as we know it (“Bleed it Dry”, “Waters Rising”) and personal responsibility for the choices individuals make in their lives (“Addicted to Pain”, “The Peace is Broken”). There is some positivity towards the end on “All Ends Well” and “Outright” which is a candidate as an uplifting selection for a movie soundtrack, probably during the end of film credits. It’s also fun to listen to wonderfully crafted and structured gems including the opening “Cry of Achilles”, “Calm the Fire”, and “Fortress”. Overall it’s a fantastic ride and journey from start to finish.
Myles continues to shine on lead vocals, influenced by his recent touring with Slash covering “Guns N Roses” and “Velvet Revolver”, and possessing a vocal quality similar at times to Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson. He’s also a world class guitarist and has a different style than Tremonti forming a complimentary duo. The album actually begins with Myles playing the introductory solo and Tremonti singing lead vocal on “Waters Rising”.
Tremonti’s level of play arouses thoughts of guitar gods such as George Lynch, Warren DeMartini, and Eddie Van Halen. Scott Phillips on drums and Brian Marshall on bass provide stellar support throughout. This is no surprise as Mark, Scott, and Brian sold out numerous US arenas as part of Creed. Tremonti has built a strong portfolio of music with four solid Creed albums, one heavy solo piece, and now the fourth collection with Alter Bridge. Many songwriters falter after a few strong albums but Tremonti seems to be continually evolving to greater heights.
"Fortress" is an instant classic. This album is a necessity for anyone that appreciates the previous four decades of hard rock and metal.
 
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