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

Kansas Band AETHER Performs Haunting & Amazing System Of A Down Cover

 

Everyone enjoys a good cover song, especially if the people that cover it bring their own sense of originality to one of our old favorites.  You might even be surprised at the places you find raw, unadultered talent, which is exactly how I felt when I stumbled across a Facebook video of Hugo Hernandez and Orlando Galvan of the band Aether from Dodge City, Kansas performing a hauntingly beautiful unplugged version of System Of A Down’s legendary song “Toxicity”. Continue reading

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

Review: THE VINTAGE CARAVAN – ‘Gateways’

 

Classic rock trio The Vintage Caravan caused an earthquake in the heavy music scene with their self-released debut album “The Vintage Caravan” (2011), and their sophomore record “Voyage” (2012; re-released in early 2014). In 2013 the band was officially signed with Nuclear Blast. Also their reputation as a powerful live band soon got around and gave them numerous possibilities to open up for acts such as Blues Pills and Grand Magus.

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Grunge Legends ALICE IN CHAINS Release New Single, “Never Fade”!

With two weeks to go before the arrival of the new ALICE IN CHAINS album ‘Rainier Fog(BMG), anticipation is ramping up with yesterday’s release of new single “Never Fade“.
 
Never Fade” is the third ‘Rainier Fog song release following “So Far Under” and “The One You Know” and all three tracks are available as instant downloads by clicking here to pre-order the album ahead of its August 24th release date.

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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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Watch JOURNEY Guitarist Neal Schon Dedicate Nightly Performance of “Lights” To Steve Perry

JOURNEY founder and only remaining original member Neal Schon, while on the current  JOURNEY & DEF LEPPARD 2018 Tour with wife Michaele Schon–who has been at the legendary guitarist’s side for his busy touring schedule for over 8 years and approximately 1000 shows–is paying tribute to former lead singer, Steve Perry, with a nightly dedication and moving performance of the band’s 1978 hit single, “Lights.” Co-written by Schon and Perry, “Lights” was featured on the band’s 4th full length album, ‘Infinity‘, and has become one of JOURNEY‘s most popular and easily recognizable songs.

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