A gritty howl opens Joyous Wolf’s upcoming debut LP, ‘Enigma’, and it’s the perfect introduction since the band plays rock & roll at its most primal and passionate. Formed in 2014 guitarist Blake Allard’s bluesy riffs harken back to the classic hard rock of AC/DC, Cream and Deep Purple while still packing a thoroughly modern wallop, while front man Nick Reese’s voice seems to come from deep in his gut as he sings about everything from warring kingdoms to a tribute to a fallen friend. Together, with bassist Greg Braccio and drummer Robert Sodaro, Joyous Wolf’s members work together to create some of the most exciting, promising and unwieldy back-to-basics rock to come out of Southern California in recent years. If you have been searching furiously for a band that has a throwback sound that truly shows old school influence while also adding modern elements to their sound to remain fresh, vibrant and unique then look no further. Joyous Wolf played a major role on several fall rock festivals this year, being one of the only unsigned bands to grace the stages from Kentucky to California. I have no worries that this band will soon find a label with their huge booming sound, it’s impossible to hear their music and not fall in love. Continue reading
Malet Grace formed in 2014 in Italy. The band formed based on the idea of the singer / guitarist Giampaolo Polidoro, who developed the plan after an encounter with guitarist Alessandro Toselli. After the first session of composition, where the first version of “Egopathy” was perfected, they contacted guitarist Andrea Paglierini who decided to devote himself entirely to the instrument of the bass. The newly formed neo-band develops the idea of a concept album based on the disintegration of the ego and its opening to the apocryphal patterns of the human intellect and the consequent immorality of the contrasting debate between good and evil. The term “Malet Grace” shares both idiosyncratic shapes of the fragile art of existence. The band recorded their demo in late 2014, but afterwards the drummer left the band. In December 2015, drummer Andrea Giovanetti joined the line-up of the band. The first full-length recordings are scheduled for June 2016. The band has now released ‘Malsanity’ that includes a unique blend of varying influences and styles. It’s not often a band can cross genres on one single song but somehow they manage to be the masters of doing just that.
Grant National come to us from Germany and claim they have been “Making juices flow since 1973”. You can certainly hear some old school influence in their sound, but they are by no means stuck in that era and there are tons of modern influence in their music as well. The band is comprised of Gaylord Goldmann (Vocals, Bass, Guitar), Earo Sheppert (Guitars), and new member N.D. Sheppert (Drums). With influences ranging from James Brown to The Melvins the band somehow manages to cohesively mold all these differing influences into one well flowing style. The bands last release was ‘Volume II’ in 2013 and prior to that the band released ‘Sheer Beauty’ in 2011. The band has now unleashed their newest creative force with ‘Double Black’ on October 20th, 2017. Grant National took a little longer between records this time around and I believe it certainly shows in the progression of their sound. ‘Double Black’ was recorded with German Noiserock popes Guido Lucas & Ralf J. Rock at their Stöhrsound Studio during the 1st half of 2017 and the album was released via Bluenoise Records.
Josh Todd has easily become a household name since Buckcherry’s jaw dropping performance at Woodstock ’99 which propelled them to stardom. Buckcherry has since released 7 studio albums the most recent being 2015’s simply titled ‘Rock N Roll’. Josh also released a solo album in 2003 titled ‘You Made Me’. Not only has the rocking vocalist been on the stage for years but he has also made appearances on screen as well. He was in one of my all time favorite movies The Salton Sea which starred Val Kilmer, Vincent D’Onofrio and Meatloaf. If you haven’t seen this film I highly suggest you check it out. He has also appeared on the shows Bones, The Shield and the movie The Banger Sisters. This year Josh Todd formed a new project named Josh Todd & The Conflict. The band has a heavier style than what he has done with Buckcherry and it’s a in your face rock n roll style that instantly gets your blood pumping. The band released their debut album ‘Year of the Tiger’ on September 15, 2015 by Century Media Records. The album was co-produced by guitarist Stevie D and Stone Temple Pilots drummer Eric Kretz. The album also includes a cover of the Prince song “Erotic City”. Josh Todd & The Conflict are currently on tour through the end of November, so if they are coming to a venue near you I highly suggest you get out their and witness this band live. Below you can see the video for one of the bands singles “Fucked Up”. You can also check out the videos “Rain” and the title track “Year Of The Tiger” as well. Continue reading
Not too long ago American Head Charge announced that Chad had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The exact illness wasn’t specified but the band began to plan a memorial and benefit show to pay for Chad’s final expenses. Sunday, November 26th at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. American Head Charge will be rocking the mainroom for a very special cause. All the profits from their merchandise that day will go to Chad Hanks and his family towards his medical expenses. It was announced that Chad had passed away this weekend after his battle with a terminal disease. School Of Rock Eden Prairie stated “Chad Hanks, a dear man, wonderful person and former teacher passed away this morning after a health battle he’s been fighting. He touched the lives of more people than anyone could imagine. He was a kind and patient teacher, an incredible musician and he cared deeply about everyone in the School of Rock family. Though I am tremendously sad that the world has lost such a great person I am also happy that he is no longer suffering.” Our thoughts are with his friends, family and bandmates. RIP Chad Hanks! Continue reading
They just couldn’t stay away. Just 18 months after calling it quits, California hardcore veterans Lionheart are back with their brand new album ‘Welcome To The West Coast II’. Formed in 2004 in Oakland the beatdown hardcore band couldn’t lay the lion to rest. Hardcore bands strive to get the sound that Lionheart has been unleashing for over a decade, and the band just premiered a music video for the single “Cursed” which gives an exclusive look into their world, and why they decided get back to business. “We fucked up,” vocalist Rob Watson told Alternative Press. “Everybody missed it immediately. That’s life. That’s how it goes; people make bad decisions all the time. We should never have broken up. We should have just taken a break.” ‘Welcome To The West Coast II’ is available now via Fast Break Records. Continue reading
2005 saw the formation of what could become We Came As Romans in Michigan. The band to date has released 5 studio albums and has extensively toured the world numerous times. We Came As Romans has had numerous lineups over the years but their current 6 piece lineup is the strongest lineup the band has had. Though the band has been active for 12 years 2017 is the start of a new era for We Came as Romans. After a turbulent 2016—quiet from an exterior perspective yet wrought with trial, tribulation and struggle internally. After finding more than a niche, but a home at SharpTone Records, reconnecting with their first booking agent and freeing themselves from toxic relationships that held them back, We Came As Romans have released their fifth full-length studio album ‘Cold Like War’ on October 20th. “It [the title] is about struggle, those trials,” says guitarist and songwriter Joshua Moore. “They can turn us towards each other, towards those we love, towards those who have supported us. Because the last two years to us have felt like this giant war—an internal war—to figure out the right path for our band…to figure out how to stay together and be happy again.” Continue reading
*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state*
This month’s state is New Jersey!
2015 saw the formation of the band Mom Fight in Middleton, New Jersey. The band is currently a three piece, but started out as a 4 piece band. Former singer Joe left the band in May and cited his desire to focus on film making as his reason for leaving the band. It was at this time that guitarist Nick Timoniere stepped up and filled the role of vocalist as well as continuing as the bands guitarist. On Nick moving forward as the vocalist the band stated “After Joe left, we decided it would be best to record Vacant as a three piece, with Nick being the most natural of transitions for vocals. If you saw us back in August or looked at the photos, you knew Nick was putting the guitar down and fronting the band. Everyone knew, but we just never confirmed it. Nick put in a tremendous amount of work on this EP, as he did every guitar and all the lead vocals on it.” The band also picked up guitarist Shawn Riyann so Nick could focus on vocals and completing the band once again as a 4 piece. Some of the Mom Fight’s influences are Bottomfed, The Greatest Virtue, Deadbeat, Hounds, Queensway, and Gallery. The bands sound has a varying style. You can hear a wide variety of genres they sort of touch on but they certainly can’t be pigeon holed to one specific genre. At times you will hear a bit of metalcore and other times they seem more sludgy with a hint of thrash and hardcore. No matter what you call it, one word that can define their sound is HEAVY.
Photo Credit: Coda Photography
On January 1st, 2013 a transmission from a star in the Ophiuchus Constellation in the year 2047 was received containing a warning of the fate of the human race. It is said that Dr. Aston Wise of the Starset Society recruited Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert, collectively known as Starset, to spread awareness through music and media. The Columbus, OH quartet quickly gained notoriety on YouTube with the release of their first single “My Demons”, which has well over 280 million views, as well as two albums under their belt – ‘Transmissions’ (2014) and ‘Vessels’ (2017). According to their (fictional) background, they aim to spread the contents of “The Message” to the general public through demonstrations (‘shows’ to you and me). They have been summoned by The Starset Society in an attempt to save the human race from its imminent demise, foretold in a transmission that was received in Northern California on New Year’s Day 2013, along with required knowledge of how to avoid such a travesty. The band’s founder/vocalist/keyboardist, Dustin Bates, acquired his Master’s degree at Ohio University, fueling his interest in astronomy and hopes to spread knowledge of science and engineering as well as “The Message”. He says:
“Kids are coming to Starset shows and getting scientific thinking, but they’re just looking for rock,” He states. “The science is sci-fi and hyperbolic at times, but I think it can inspire kids into real science and engineering – and I hope to.”
Starset have crafted a unique way of blending the self-proclaimed “cinematic rock” and ambiance with a bit of djent-style metal. The onstage imagery of the space-like suits donned by the band and the futuristic technology used by Bates during these ‘demonstrations’ really strengthen the band’s backstory, while offering fans a different way of enjoying a show – learning.