Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: DOROTHY [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out DOROTHY.*

Los Angeles-based Dorothy brings bluesy rock with a sixties and seventies feel to the stage at this year’s Aftershock Festival. With a voice that’s equal parts Grace Slick and modern-day Janis Joplin, namesake and lead vocalist Dorothy Martin sings sleazy dive bar anthems that ooze with sex appeal and rebellious freedom. The band – which also includes Owen Barry (guitar), Leroy Wulfmeier (guitar), Eliot Lorango (bass), and Jason Ganberg (drums) have just released their sophomore album ’28 Days in the Valley’ earlier this year as a follow-up to their successful 2016 debut ‘ROCKISDEAD.’ Check out their highly entertaining music video for “Dark Nights,” directed by industry veteran Chris Marrs Piliero (The Black Keys, Ariana Grande). It’s a great track and equally kickass video that shows the band’s comedic side and even features a surprise appearance from Napoleon Dyanamite’s Pedro. Continue reading

State Of The Art: BYZANTINE!

Coming from West Virginia are the one and only Byzantine! With 7 official records they remain their golden yet underrated groovy sound that we call heavy metal. So without wasting anymore time, let’s get into it!

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Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: THE JACKS [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out THE JACKS.*

This year’s Aftershock Festival is packed with some of the biggest trendsetters in today’s current music scene. Going stronger than ever is the revival sound of classic rock and psychedelia. Doing their part to contribute to the retro movement are The Jacks who offer their spin on the British Invasion sound of the sixties and seventies. It’s a nuts-and-bolts style of catchy pop hooks and rock n’ roll simplicity that opts for a rawer sound as opposed to excess studio gimmickry. Continue reading

State Of The Art: West Virginia’s ROZWELL KID

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is West Virginia.*

“I’m tired of tugging my hair
And scratching my neck ’til it’s red
And I’m wired from all of the coffee
I’m funneling into my head
My legs are jelly at night
From boogiein’ straight into bed
And I try to straighten it out
And get tangled all over again” – “Boomerang”

Rozwell Kid are an unusual landmark band, breathing life into the saturated market of pop punk.  They take a quirky look inside the body politic of American society much the same way that David Lynch does with his vignettes of life in his movies.

The band began their recording career in 2011 with the release of The Rozwell Kid LP’.  The band is currently comprised of Jordan Hudkins (Vocals/guitar), Adam L. Meisterhans (Guitar), Devin Donnelly (Bass/vocals) and Sean Hallock (Drums/percussion).  They are a band great for driving to.  The music burns into your brain and the melodies stay with you like warm memories retrieved from neverending Summer days.

I discovered this band when looking for West Virginia rock and they did not disappoint!  I am now hooked on their flavorsome tunes and clever wordplay.

After numerous releases, Rozwell Kid issued an album titledPrecious Art, which was their first on SideOneDummy. The album received positive reviews from numerous publications.  To my mind, this is absolutely the greatest pop punk record I have ever heard.  This may sound hyperbolic, but it really is that good.  You have glorious upbeat songs to counteract the trail of terror that is modern life.  They take a unique and clever look at the world and you find yourself wanting to shout “hell yes!”  I am moving through some dark places at the moment and this is helping loads to banish the personal demons.

The record announces its birth with the fine “Wendy’s Trash Can“, which is a rather splendid dose of dumbness.  The mix is clear, the vocals as good as any pop singer, the guitars buzz sympathetically and the drums add swagger.

Other highlights include the clever “Boomerang“, with the ear worms burrowing into my brain.  “Booger” makes me laugh with its infantile lyrics and a lovely harmony guitar solo that is as unexpected as is welcome.  My favorite lyrics are for “Blow It” (as it applies to me, for sure) and I leave you with them below.  Suffice to say, Rozwell Kid will be playing in my house/car/workplace for years to come!

“I’m out of patience to commit
I’ve got a shallow bag of tricks
And I don’t know the first thing about what I’m doing”

Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: PLAGUE VENDOR [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out PLAGUE VENDOR.*

One of my personal philosophies is that if your music is difficult to categorize, you must be doing something right. Such is definitely the case with Whitier, California quartet Plague Vendor who fittingly classify themselves as “voodoo punk” to describe their style of dark and abrasive, yet often dance-able form of punk rock. At times emerging through are hints of Dead Kennedys, Nirvana, and Raw Power-era The Stooges, but never to an overwhelming degree that overshadows the band’s own uniqueness. Lead singer Brandon Blaine is like a pissed off Jack White with an aggressive and dissonant vocal attack that never fails to add a striking element of chaos or danger to every song. Plague Vendor’s combination of raw simplicity, aggression, and catchiness will have you tapping your foot, nodding your head, and humming along while at the same time feeling a horror movie-like tension pulling you into its sonic madness. This is music that refuses to be confined by a label and thankfully so. Continue reading

State Of The Art: West Virginia’s SCARLET REVOLT

Photo Credit: Rogue Crayon

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is West Virginia.*

A gritty blend of classic rock and stoner/doom metal is what’s on the menu from female-fronted quartet, Scarlet Revolt. Lead singer Eve Marcum Atkinson’s striking vocals will seductively draw you into the murky, moody sonic depths on tracks such as “Bleed” which presents an imaginative interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” The fuzzily-toned, Orange-amplified guitar riffs ooze and chug along with purpose under minimal production polish that allows for a pleasingly unaltered, natural sound. The song and music video come from the band’s 2017 CD release, ‘Cold Town’ via Von Artists. Continue reading

Rock Allegiance Artist Showcase: DEVOUR THE DAY

Hard rockers Devour the Day formed out the ashes of Egypt Central with Joey “Chicago” Walser and Blake Allison in 2012. Hailing from the bluesy city of Memphis, Walser and Allison began working on their new project immediately with Skidd Mills (Sick Puppies, Skillet, Pop Evil). After picking up former Egypt Central guitarist Jeff James and drummer Dustin Schoenhofer (Walls of Jericho, Bury Your Day) for touring they released their debut record Time & Pressure.  Devour the Day was able to sell over 220,000 copies and their radio single “Good Man” hit the Top 10 Rock charts. Continue reading

Rock Allegiance 2018 Spotlight: FROM ASHES TO NEW

Nu-metal is undoubtedly swinging back into the forefront and From Ashes To New is breathing new life into the 20+ year old musical subgenre. Elements of rap introduced with catchy radio friendly vocals and melodies make for an extremely palatable lead-in to rock and heavier music. Continue reading

Louder Than Life 2018 Spotlight: MONSTER MAGNET [Official Videos]

*This is part of our “Louder Than Life 2018 Spotlight” series where we  focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Louder Than Life Festival on Sept. 28th-30th.  This week, we’re checking out Monster Magnet.*

1989 marks the year of birth of New Jersey’s spacerock legends Monster Magnet. Though this band isn’t one of the headliners of this years festival they have put in their time and are veterans of the rock and metal world. They have likely put in more hours on stage than most of the other early acts combined. The bands first demos titled ‘Forget About Life, I’m High on Dope’ and ‘I’m Stoned, What Ya Gonna Do About It?’ should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the band, but there is much more you should know. The band released their official debut album ‘Spine Of God’ on Caroline Records in 1991 which became a full on genre classic literally in an instant. If you were ever looking for some stoner space rock look no further than the originators; Monster Magnet. Frontman Dave Wyndorf has expertly piloted the band through an asteroid belt of lineup changes and health scares, substance abuse and public opinion, emerging as something of a stoner rock elder statesman. The drug hazed heavy sound of the releases helped in cementing Monster Magnet‘s reputation of being the only legit descendants of the likes of psychedelic and stoner rock Godfathers Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, and their electrifying punk siblings in MC5.

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Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: HYRO THE HERO [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out HYRO THE HERO.*

Getting set to rip the stage alongside this year’s summer rock festival heavyweights is Houston, Texas rap/rock fusion artist, Hyro the Hero (aka Hyro da Hero). His high-energy, aggressive lyrical delivery contains a similarly incendiary riot fuel of a young Zack de la Rocha while musically the sound combines elements of gangsta rap, nu-metal, and punk. Lyrically, it’s a hard-hitting dose of reality and call to action for nonconformity to the system and individuality against perceived social norms. Continue reading