Review: SHIT THE COW – ‘When in Caracas’ [EP Stream]

Shit The Cow is a band of Swedish rockers set out to explore the limitations of their own universe, and from what I’ve heard there are no limits on what this band can do. The bands risk taking when it comes to sound has really developed their music into something new. They are conquering uncharted territory and inventing sound as they go. They’ve done what is classified as “rock disco” on their 2012 release ‘Volume/Cow’ before moving on to a more garage rock sound on 2013’s ‘Salt Of The Earth’. Then they evolved into a more punk feel with 2014’s ‘Rissna’ before moving to more darker elements on “67p” in 2015. ‘One With The Devil’ released in 2016 was one of my top 10 favorite releases. The band has defined their sound as “Scrapyard Rock” and it’s very fitting. The band simply takes inspiration from all over and juxtaposes their sound. The band had released 5 EP’s and then 2017 saw the release of their first full length ‘Cavelord’. Shit The Cow wastes no time writing and recording and the band is releasing yet another EP on December 14th, 2018 titled ‘When in Caracas’. 

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Review: SILENCE IN THE STARS – ‘Believe’ [Select Tracks Streaming]

 

2017 seen the formation of Southwest Virginia hard rock band Silence In The Stars. The band released their debut self-titled full length last year. At the time the band was a 5 piece. Currently the only remaining members are lead vocalist Ryan Osborne and guitarist and backing vocalist Jeffery Mullins. Silence In The Stars has now found the time to write and record a 16+ minute EP. Though the band is currently just a duo they found help in recording from both their producer and another talented band in the region. The new EP titled ‘Believe’ was recorded by John Chaney and Mark Chaney and was produced by John Chaney. Then the album was mixed by Steve Correo. ‘Believe’ showcases Ryan Osborne on lead vocals, Jeffery Mullins, producer John Chaney and Mirrored Image guitarist Mark Chaney all helped out with the guitar work, Jeffery Mullins also played drums on the album as well, bass and keyboard parts was also added by Mark Chaney. The EP was released on November 30th.

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DEF LEPPARD Release Video For Cover Of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”

Glam metal heros, Def Leppard have a way of making anything original. Perhaps it is the 80’s layered and harmonized vocals, or the even more 80’s reversed drum slap, but they have managed to reinvent the Depeche Mode classic, “Personal Jesus.” An accompanying music video is streaming for the single now. A black and white, minimalistic approach not to distract from the sonic groove. Continue reading

Review: UNHOLD – ‘Here Is The Blood’ [Album Stream]

Unhold has been an active band for over 25 years beginning in 1992, fusing together a unique mix of sludge, doom, and post metal and in the process cementing themselves as a staple in the scene. Unhold is like a heavy metal experimental astronaut constantly in search of things out of this world and blazing new paths. After many years as a quartet, in 2012 Unhold united three rough edged and enticing voices, guitars, keys / synth, bass and drums following their mission to merge beauty and beast into one hybrid creature – fierce, intimidating, beautiful and compelling. The band is comprised of Reto Wittwer on bass, Miriam Wolf adding piano as well as vocals, Philipp Thöni shredding on guitar and providing clean vocals, Daniel Fischer behind the drums and Thomas Tschuor on guitar and belts out the harsh vocals. Unhold are routinely playing stages all over the world and have played alongside bands such as Shrinebuilder, A Storm of Light, Zeal & Ardor, Zatokrev, Minsk, Crowbar, and Torche. As you can see those bands they have played alongside vary by genre drastically. Unhold has a unique enough sound that they can almost fit any bill alongside any band regardless of their genre or sub-genre in the rock or metal world. The bands latest release is ‘Here Is The Blood’ which released November 9, 2018 via Czar Of Bullets. The album was mixed and mastered by Andrew Schneider in New York whilst in daily contact with the band. It was recorded by Christoph Noth at Studio La Fonderie in  Fribourg, Switzerland. The results are for all to hear. Andrew Schneider and his experience and sonic mastery shines throughout their songs, as it has with other bands he has mixed such as Unsane, Cave InKen ModeBig Business, and Shrinebuilder. ‘Here Is The Blood’ is the follow up to 2015’s ‘Towering’ and the band yet again expands on their journey in exploration of sound.

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State Of The Art: 20 WATT TOMBSTONE [Album Stream]

 

20 Watt Tombstone is a ballbastic duo playing deafening rock to their fans. Coming from Wausau, Wisconsin 20 Watt Tombstone combines metal, country, Hip Pop and Jim Bean intravenously into their music. They have been nominated twice for the people’s choice WAMI in 2013 and winning in 2014. 20 Watt Tombstone is combined of Grand Master Oh to the Zee handling drums and yellin’ and Reverend Meantooth riffing on guitar and hollerin’. Continue reading

Just Announced: CLUTCH Reveals 2019 Winter Tour Dates

Maryland bluesy hard rock veterans, Clutch have just released dates for the first leg of their Book of Bad Decisions Tour for February and March 2019 in support of their latest album, ‘Book of Bad Decisions.’ Tickets go on sale today (November 16, 2018) at 10:00 AM at www.pro-rock.com. Continue reading

State Of The Art: MOON RATS [Album + Track Stream]

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

Moon Rats was formed in 2016 by members of Calliope and Sonic J. The hard hitting 5 piece is dedicated to psychedelic stoner rock that is out of this world. The band is comprised of  Al Kraemer  on vocals and guitar,
Victor Buell laying down riffs on lead guitar, Brendt Dondero behind the kit on drums, Myles Coyne on bass, and
Nathan Toth on organ. The bands first release came in the form of a single back in May of 2017 with the track “Motor Sword”. The track would also appear on the bands debut full length ‘Highway Lord’ which released on June 23rd 2017. The album was recorded in the remote northern woods of Wisconsin. It was written, produced and recorded by the band and mastered by Justin Perkins at The Mystery Room. The album was released on cassette via Gloss Records, however the band is an independent/unsigned band. ‘Highway Lord’ is by far one of the best debut albums I have heard in years. To think this band formed and recorded this album themselves within a year is an astounding feat that deserves attention. I believe their ability to record on their own and the added ambiance that recording in the remote Wisconsin woods helps the chemistry of the band and keeps their sound unique with no outside influence. Moon Rats have also proved they aren’t lazy and have already released a new single since their debut. The track ‘Ride Or Die’ released in February of this year and claims to be the first glimpse at Moon Rats’ second installment into the Highway Lord mythology, ‘Lonestar.’

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John Cooper (Skillet/Fight The Fury) On Writing Process For ‘Still Breathing’ – “I Just Thought, Man, What Would METALLICA Do?”

Skillet

Vocalist/bassist, John Cooper (Skillet, Fight the Fury) speaks with Joshua Toomey for an interview on an episode of Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast. They talk about the writing process for the recently released debut EP, ‘Still Breathing’ from Cooper’s newest metal side project, Fight the Fury. Among other topics, they discuss upcoming tour plans, how Cooper discovered bass-playing, his wide range of musical influences, and much more. As co-founder of the Christian rock band, Skillet, Cooper also assures fans that he will never lose his faith, but has decided to branch outside of his religious focus to pursue more riff-driven metal with Fight the Fury. Continue reading

Grand RockTember VI Day 3: AUTOGRAPH, LYNCH MOB, HERICANE ALICE, TUFF, QUEENSRYCHE, TESLA

Tesla

Minnesota’s own HERICANE ALICE opened up the final day. In 1990 they released “Tear The House Down” and we got some of the great cuts off that album. The band is fronted by Bruce Naumann and also features Johnny Holiday (guitar), Johnny (Super J) Keyte (Bass) and Jerry Babcock (drums). The band opened with a cover of “Radar Love” but the crowd really reacted to “Tear The House Down” and “Wild, Young, and Crazy”. There is new material on the way and I know a lot of people looking forward to that. They were a great way to get the day started.

Tuff

The Stevie Rachelle lead TUFF brought a great show to the stage next. Flanked by founding member Todd Chase on bass the band opened with “God Bless This Mess”. The roster was filled out with Jimi Lord on drums and Billy Morris on guitar. They were a lot of fun and Rachelle’s personality kept you dialed in. Some songs that made the playlist included “Spit Like This”, “Ruck A Pit Bridge” and “In Dogs We Trust”. Stevie gave a nice shout-out to Nicci Wikkid and dedicated “Good Guys Wear Black” to him. He was the guitarist for one of Minnesota’s most loved metal bands, Slave Raider, and sadly past away recently. “The All New Generation” and the anthem “American Hair Band” brought the TUFF gang’s time on the stage to an end.

Autograph

AUTOGRAPH launched into “Deep End” and then “Loud and Clear” to get people moving. Steve Lynch (guitar) and Randy Rand (bass) have been waving the Autograph flag since the beginning and have recruited drummer Marc Weiland and singer Simon Daniels to carry the band forward. They released a new album in 2017 called “Get Off Your Ass” and showcased the title track along with “Every Generation” and “You Are Us, We Are You” during the set. It’s hard to imagine an AUTOGRAPH without a Steve Plunkett on vocals but I’ve seen this line-up multiple times now and they have won me over. Daniels is a true talent and his vocals play well with the Autograph catalog. Your not leaving an AUTOGRAPH show until you get the built in closer, “Turn Up The Radio”, and it still consumes everybody within earshot of it.

Lynch Mob

George Lynch would make his second appearance of the Festival with LYNCH MOB. “Street Fighting Man” was the opener and then they jumped into “She’s Evil But She’s Mine” and “River Of Love”. Nathan Utz handled the vocals while Sean McNabb (bass) and Scot Cogan (drums) took on the rhythm section. A couple highlights for me were “Tangled In The Web” as loved that second LYNCH MOB record and the DOKKEN cover of “When Heaven Comes Down”. I not sure I’ve ever heard that song sound so heavy and epic, it was brilliant. Utz was very entertaining and was all over the stage and George put in another great performance to follow up the DOKKEN show the night before. The rest of the set included “Mr. Scary”, “It’s Not Love”, “No Good”, and the closer “Wicked Sensation”.

Queensryche

QUEENSRYCHE struck gold when they were able to replace Geoff Tate with Todd LaTorre. He is a true talent with a voice that perfectly fits within the bands sound. Every time I see them I’m still amazed how seamless that transition was. Michael Wilton on guitar and Eddie Jackson on bass are the only original members playing with the band now. Scott Rockenfield is still listed in the band but hasn’t played with them in some time as Casey Grillo has been filling in behind the kit. Guitarist Parker Lundgren was absent and Mike Stone took over those duties for the evening. The band opened with “Best I Can” with a rousing response from the crowd. I like hearing the stuff from the pre-mindcrime era and we got a few, “The Whisper”, “Queen Of The Reich”, “Take Hold Of The Flame” and “Screaming In Digital”. The staples of every set were also present in the forms of “Silent Lucidity”, “Empire”, and “Jet City Woman”. These guys never sound bad and they played a great set that was capped off with “Eyes Of A Stranger”.

Tesla

TESLA would close out the three-day festival. These guys seem to never come off the road and remain one of the busiest rock bands out there. With a ton of great material to choose from, the band opened with “I Wanna Live” and then “Hang Tough” and “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)“. There isn’t much left to say that hasn’t already been said but TESLA is simply a great rock-n-roll band. Jeff Keith on vocals, Brian Wheat on bass, Troy Luccketta on drums, and the twin guitar attack of Frank Hannon and Dave Rude powers the TESLA machine. The crowd loved every minute of the set that also included an acoustic section that included “Cumin’Atcha Live/Truckin’”, “Lazy Days, Crazy Nights”, “Paradise” and the ultimate sing-along song “Signs”. All the usual hits like “Love Song”, “What You Give” and “Little Suzi” were played but it was “Mama’s Fool” and “Edison’s Medicine (Man Out Of Time)” that got my attention. A perfect ending to the event was TESLA filling the nighttime air with “Modern Day Cowboy” and I’m sure I’m not alone in that thought.

Grand RockTember VI comes to an end after three days of some of the most iconic material written from a time period that so many hold near and dear to their hearts. The guessing game is already in progress to who will be on the bill in 2019 as hotels are already being booked for next years pilgrimage to the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN. Let the countdown begin…

 

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE & BAD OMENS In Maplewood, Minnesota! [Review & Gallery]

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine is currently making a run through the United States in support of the new release “Gravity”. This Tour was billed with We Came As Romans and Bad Omens. It was just announced that We Came As Romans will join this tour as planned, despite the passing of singer Kyle Pavone, but they did not appear at this show. Bad Omens, from Los Angeles, moved up a slot in the bill and provided direct support. Continue reading