Hard rock and heavy bands are plentiful and with so many bands around it’s tough for an act to be rise above the noise. Especially since the internet revolution leveled the playing field. Suddenly every person with a guitar can record and release music. And then we had thousands upon thousands of artists releasing music. And if an artist can’t get their songs heard, is it the fault of the world, the music business or their music’s fault!
Lately I have been going nuts on the Swedish Heavy Rock scene but the U.S has also given me a few favourites over the last 8 years or so.
Better Days – Another Lost Year
Their new album “Alien Architect” hit Spotify a few weeks ago, which I need to sink my teeth into. But I’m going back to 2012 on this one.
“Better Days” is the title track of the debut released on Megaforce Records and it’s not on Spotify. Go figure.
“I will move on to better days”
It don’t matter how bad a situation gets, we always have that resilience that if we get through it, we can get through anything.
Another Lost Year hails from North Carolina. Lead vocalist Clinton Cunanan formed the band around 2010, as a solo project. Eventually it turned into a full band project. Lyrically, you will hear a massive Aaron Lewis (Staind lead vocalist) presence.
Get Thru This – Art Of Dying
The song is from “Vices and Virtues” released in 2011. Even though it’s from a different band, it continues the theme of “moving on to better days”.
The song is undeniable.
If I can get through this
I can get through anything
That’s the catchcry in this song. It’s simple and effective.
Art of Dying hail from Canada and are fronted by Jonny Hetherington. His story is one of resilience and perseverance. As the lyrics state, if he can through a situation, he can get through anything.
Tomorrow’s my reason for today to let go
If there is no tomorrow, there is no future. The band is 12 years old. You don’t get to double-digits by giving up, because as Brent Smith from Shinedown stated recently, there is more negativity than positivity in the music business.
“There’s always twists and turns, and you’ve gotta learn how to be as positive as you can be, because the industry can be really, really negative”.
The biggest struggle in any band is to keep all band members on the same page. Each member has a different definition of success. You have doors slammed in your face. It leads to arguments. It takes a lot of money and time to record an album. It leads to more arguments, especially if the contributions are not equal. Then the songwriting and publishing leads to more arguments.
Art Of Dying have their niche.
How big is it?
Only time will tell.
True Faith – Anew Revolution
It’s a cover from New Order and I believe it was on their “Brotherhood” album released in 1986. This version sounds wicked and it appears on the album “Rise” released in 2008.
I used to think that the day would never come
I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
The ode to heroin use.
Anew Revolution hail from Austin, Texas and formed by ex-members of Unloco (vocalist Joey Duenas) and Slaves On Dope (bassist Frank Salvaggio and drummer Rob Urbani). All three guys are record label veterans.
Unloco was formed by Joey Duenas in 2000 and the band was signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records label. In 2001, the Johnny K produced “Healing” dropped and didn’t sell. According to record label math, no sales = no fans. In 2003, the Andrew Murdock produced “Becoming I” came out and even though the band was on a lot of high-profile tours, the album failed to meet record label expectations.
Meanwhile, Slaves on Dope was formed in 1993 and it wasn’t until 1999 that they got a record deal on the Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne label Divine Recordings. In 2000, “Inches from the Mainline” came out however Divine Recordings lost their distribution deal and suddenly the band had no label. Eventually the guys got another deal with Bieler Bros. Records and the second album “Metafour” came out in 2003. A year later, the vocalist departed and the rest is history.
So in 2005, Anew Revolution released a five-track self-released EP. In 2007, they signed a deal with Koch Records. “Rise” comes out in 2008. In 2010, “iMerica“ is released via E1 Music. In 2012 and without a label again, they started a Kickstarter campaign to finance a new studio album. They asked for $3K and got over $5K. Tracks written for the album were sent to the Kickstarter backers, however up until now, no new album has surfaced.
Angels – Another Lost Year
This is a fantastic ballad. One of those, should have, would have, could have been a hit. But it wasn’t. Megaforce had no idea what to do with the album.
The road is long and hard
But there’s nothing on your face
Just the pain of memories
When all of the walls you built fall down
Feels like there’s no one around
I will be there until the angels take your place
When it all goes to shit, we are looking for that lifeline.
On the 2nd verse there is a female singer from New Zealand called Lish that does a fantastic job and gives the song a major boost.
Head Against The Wall – Anew Revolution
It’s from the album “iAmerica” album released in 2010.
I keep banging my head against this wall
Life feels like that sometimes. A good situation leads to a bad situation and suddenly you feel like you are back at the start.
No matter what I do
No matter what I say
It’s like I’m fighting for nothing
Life is all about highs and lows, motorways and dead ends. That fight for nothing, always leads to something.
I burn my tongue to hold every word I am thinking
We fall into popular hive mind thinking. Society has conditioned us. Our Universities are factories, giving us degrees to find employment, when once upon a time, higher education was to expand your horizons and innovate. So we hold our tongue, afraid to speak our mind, because our views are not what the majority of our friends hold and not what our degree factories have taught us. We don’t want to be alienated. We all want to be loved.
Beautiful – Anew Revolution
This one is from the “Rise” album, released in 2008. The intro starts to rock when the heavy guitars kick in. One guitarist plays power chords while the other plays octaves.
They told me I need to take heartbreak
But who needs more heartache
I’m gonna feel like shit no matter what
Truth. When a relationship breaks down, a heart ache is a unquantified feeling quoted from books and lyrics but feeling like shit is real. You know the feeling, when you don’t want to face people, you don’t want to get out of bed and those friends you had have chosen sides.
War On The Inside – Another Lost Year
It was released as a single and it’s the only song from the “Better Days” album to be on Spotify. Vocalist Clinton Cunanan recounted the following in a 2012 interview with backstageaxxess.com.
“My mom had died two and a half years ago and she had been dead about a year when I wrote “War On The Inside.” I just remember being in a really dark place. I had this idea to write and I kind of felt that either way I went was life altering. You know, once I made that choice there was no turning back. And that was kind of my way of, kind of my therapy for it I guess.”
And one of the lyrics that has remained with me, is;
There is no one around this time
For some reason, every time you need to make a life altering decision, you are always on your own. There is no shining light, no helping hand, no spiritual guide.
All these voices calling my name
Keep reminding me of all of this pain
I’m stuck here out on this ledge
Can you save me tonight from the war on the inside
The angst of the modern world. While I grew up shouting I wanna rock at the devil, the modern world grew up with themes that the thrash bands of the 80’s wrote about. And even though thrash and death metal music had themes of depression and suicide, it wasn’t until the Seattle change and the monster Black album that these themes became mainstream.
Let Go – Anew Revolution
And if I let go,
will you let go of me?
Cause I can’t keep holding on.
I’ve given everything
and if I let go
Know that you can’t hold on
You can’t hold on to me
He’s not sure to let go of the relationship in case the other side wants to hold on, because a part of him wants to hold on as well.
Saddest Song – Anew Revolution
And all you are, are to me.
The saddest song that I’ll ever sing.
And all you are, are to me.
The saddest song.
The saddest thing.
When it all breaks down, the memories and the music you shared takes on a different tone. Suddenly that song you loved together is not happy anymore.
I Will Be There – Art Of Dying
I will be there
to watch you grow, to let you know somebody cares
I will be there
to love you when nothing works and no one cares
As a father, words I live and swear by towards my children. There is no greater gift in life than your own blood.