Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

September 2020 – Part 3

This post covers two good albums. One is melodic hard rock like the good ol 80s and the other is melodic modern rock like the good ol 00s.


From Brazil.

Another melodic rock band signed to Frontiers. Their Frontiers press announcement says this about their sound.

“Landfall’s sound can be described as falling between classic melodic rock a là Journey with some slightly heavier influences, such as classic era Dokken, White Lion, and Extreme.”

I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did.

This album reminds me of the first two albums of Harem Scarem. It reminds me of Mr Big’s first two albums. It reminds me of Pretty Maids. It reminds me of acts like Tangier who came out in the early 90’s and never really had a chance. It reminds me of Cinderella, Winger and Skid Row. It reminds of Ratt. It reminds me of Van Halen. And I can go on and on and on. It’s basically the 80’s repackaged into an excellent album.

And they show their influences without copying.

“Rush Hour” takes me back to the late 80’s with a song which sounds like it came from a Pretty Maids album with Mr Big’s “Addicted To The Rush” chucked in.

“No Way Out” brings out the Bad English vibe.

“Jane’s Carousel” has this verse riff which puts me back into the 80’s but it sounds like the Paul Stanley song “Live To Win”, only lighter.

“Across The Street” has this Night Ranger feel.

“Taxi Driver” feels like it came from a Van Halen album with Steve Perry like vocals. And the lead break is very Vito Bratta like. Just listen to it and you’ll know what I mean.

“Distant Love” is basically a Journey cut. Hell, it can even appear on a Revolution Saints album with Deen Castronovo singing.

“Roundabout” took all the excellent things about Autograph and mixed in some Def Leppard and made a real cool track.

“Road Of Dreams” can be interchanged with any Revolution Saints track.

“Sound Of The City” closes the album and it makes me press repeat to re-listen to it again.

This album brings back that feel-good 80’s vibe with the window down, driving 100km on the highway and the wind licking my face on my way to the city with hopes and dreams.

Adelitas Way

From the U.S.

Adelitas Way has over 1m listeners on Spotify and songs like “Invincible” have 34m streams and counting. They have a fan base and they’ve been servicing this fan base for a decade. When it comes to Modern Rock acts, this band is up there.

When I pressed play on “What It Takes” I thought I was listening to Digital Summer. They are an independent band I’ve supported over the last 15 years.

And the album is full of that modern rock vibe, a cross between Shinedown, Three Days Grace and Nickelback. It’s a guilty pleasure and I like it.

“Stay Ready” could have come from a Linkin Park album, the ones with heavy guitars and melodic vocals. And it’s one of my favourites on the album.

“My Derailment” is the best song that Nickelback hasn’t written in the last 5 years.

Other tracks worthy of a listen are “What It Takes”, “All In”, “Shine On”, “Stay”, “Habit” and “Heartbreak”.

Part 4 is coming up.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Adelitas Way

The self-titled debut was released in 2009. I downloaded it illegally and it got me by the throat, smacked me down and made me a fan.

How good is “Invincible”?

It’s as good as any monster 80’s song, plus it was featured in the WWF or WWC and it just has over a million views on YouTube and on Spotify it has close to 25 million. I guess Spotify is the place fans go to listen these days. But to the labels, YouTube is still a problem.

“Scream” has a lead break that has me playing air guitar. “Dirty Little Thing” is about a woman who takes him to places that he’s never been and it would have been a number one hit if it was on a Motley Crue album.

“Last Stand” has clean tone arpeggios which got me interested, a vocal line and tone in the verses which remind me of Chris Daughtry and a Chorus vocal tone which reminds me of the Hinder vocalist. Basically, these little connections to other bands hooked me in, which is rare for a ballad.

“Hate Love” rocks from the gate and it has a lyric line which speaks truth, “every time that I hate you I love you.”

“So What If You Go” has a riff that makes me want to pick up the guitar and the vocal melody, laced with anger, remains long after the song is finished.

“Closer To You” is slower, but still hooky, while “Just A Little Bit” is one of the best Bon Jovi songs that Bon Jovi didn’t write. Just think of the song “One Wild Night”.

“All Falls Down” is “Simple Man” from Lynyrd Skynyrd re-written into a shorter concise pop rock song and “My Derailment” shows the train wreck a relationship can wreak on the heart and mind of a person. The closer, “Brother” is a cross between “Drops Of Jupiter” and “With A Little Help Of My Friends”.

And I listened to the album on YouTube.

The comments from people who listened to the tracks, couldn’t believe that they didn’t have over 100 million views per track.

With so much music out there, the audience is fragmented and for it to cross over into the pop mainstream, it needs promotion like the old days, but then again, the audience listening to music is different to what it was in the old days and scorched earth marketing polices don’t work.

Also Spotify has overtaken YouTube as the place to listen to music.

“High School Valedictorian” came out in 2011. And album number 2 didn’t disappoint. Like the debut, I got the album for free, but man, I was hooked, and I committed.

Do you feel “The Collapse”?

And I’ll take, I don’t ask
This breath will be your last
Do you feel the collapse?

I know one thing. When I felt wronged in the past, I wanted that person to face hell. But like anything, as you get older, that lizard brain response just seemed so dumb.

“Sick” has 4.8 million views on YouTube. It’s standard modern rock, with a chorus that screams, if you’re sick like me there’s no stopping now. Sort of like in Maths, two negatives make a positive, two sickos make a positive sicko or something else. Maybe the mathematical analogy wasn’t the best.

“Alive” has almost 2.5 million views on YouTube. The theme of “being alive when your with someone you love” might be clichéd, but you can still rock out to it, especially when it is done right.

And three songs in, I remember clearly why this band really connected with me. The first song reminded me of Shinedown, the second song reminded me of Breaking Benjamin and the third song reminded me of Lifehouse. It’s those little connections to past bands that hook me in and then they deliver with a song which hangs around long after its finished.

“Criticize” foot stomps its way through my mind, with the brilliant chorus lines of “I like the way you won’t apologize, I like the way you just demoralize, I like the way you always roll your eyes, Someone as perfect as you is hard to criticize”.

Man, I’ve been on both sides of that. I’ve thrown those words out and those words have been thrown back at me. And there is no winner or making up when it gets to that stage. It’s just a matter of time before the break happens.

“Good Enough” continues the themes present in “Criticize”.

There was a time
When my best was good enough

Damn right, once upon a time, everything was okay.

So how did it all go wrong?

Did responsibilities and pressures of life get in the way of friendships or relationships?

“Cage The Beast” has the theme of being unable to cage the beast inside. Listening to it today, it gets me thinking of The Beast character in the Glass movie.

Check out the breakdown section with the lead break.

Plus it’s one of their top 5 songs on Spotify with over 7 million streams.

“I Can Tell” deals with unreciprocated love. They are still together, but one partner has already left the relationship emotionally and mentally, just not physically.

“Somebody Wishes They Were You” has a lyric line that you can tattoo on your skin.

Life ain’t that bad, look what you have
When the highs aren’t so high, just do what you can

Be grateful each day that you have survived as humans by natures design are meant to survive and produce. And as much as we wish every day to be perfect, and every high to last forever, they don’t.

And then Adelitas Way disappeared. “Stuck” came out on 2014, but I didn’t know about it and I don’t remember hearing it.

“Getaway” came out in 2016 and I was heavily into streaming services. And it was lost in the noise, although I did hear the title track which I enjoyed.

Since then they have dropped “Notorious” in 2017 and a new single called “What It Takes” has hit streaming services recently, so I’m expecting a new album to drop.

And the one song which really stands out during this period is “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)”. If you haven’t heard it, you should.

A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

It’s Time That Artists Leave The Old Way Behind and Be Leader’s Once Again

I still don’t agree with the old business model of putting together twelve tracks just to sell them for ten dollars as a package. I would like to see established bands like Machine Head, Dream Theater, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown and Trivium lead the way with a new paradigm. Leave the old way behind.

I know that Five Finger Death Punch are about to release a double album and Trivium have a new one coming along as does Dream Theater and Machine Head is not that far away either. All of these new releases are based on the old way. The album still has a place if done right and what that means is that all the tracks have to be of high quality. No one has time for filler these days.

Five Finger Death Punch started the writing process for their new album/s on the Trespass Festival Tour at the start of 2012. They brought out a mobile recording studio with them, to hash out riffs and put bits and pieces together, so when they got into the studio in September 2012, they already had the songs.  This is where they should have been releasing some songs. At the end they had 25 songs written that they are releasing on two CD’s.

Five Finger Death Punch are signed to a label, so of course they will need to release an album, as that is what the labels demand. So keeping that in mind, FFDP should have picked the best 10 songs for a CD release and from September 2012 to July 2013 they should have been releasing a song a month from the other 15 songs they had left. It is a different take on the old way. It is keeping the labels happy as they are still stuck in the past and it is keeping the fans happy as they are living in the future and just want content.

One thing that artists need to be clear on; streaming has won the war. YouTube is the original and unofficial streaming king. That is where the kids go to watch and listen. If artists pull their albums from legal services like Spotify, those same albums will still be available on YouTube to be streamed unlicensed. The fans have spoken. The fans killed off the CD, by embracing new technology. It is time the artists take note.

One more thing that artists need to understand: Spotify gives them 70% of the revenues. The exact same amount as iTunes. The difference is that Spotify pays you over time instead of right now and that is the problem that a lot of artists with the pressure of the label and the manager do not understand. The reason why they don’t understand it, is because the label and the manager all want to be paid RIGHT now.

Go on to Black Sabbath’s Spotify account and check to see which songs are the most streamed from them. It is all the songs written 40 years ago and nothing from the new album. Streaming services do pay.  If the artists have a problem with not getting “paid” by streaming services, they should be checking with the company they sold their rights to. Black Sabbath might scream piracy, however who is collecting the monies from Spotify streams for their back catalogue. The answer: the company that holds the rights is collecting.

I remember a time when musicians used to lead. Now technologists lead, while the artists entourage of money leaches are screaming they are not making any money, while the association who represents the Record Labels (and who claims incorrectly that they represent the artists as well) the RIAA plays Whac-A-Mole with technology. They killed Napster only to get Kazaa and Limewire. They killed Kazaa and Limewire, only to get BitTorrent and The Pirate Bay. They kill one cyber locker like Megaupload and another ten more appear. They send DMCA takedowns to Google and then another 100 new links spring up. Seriously does Google need to be doing all this work, just for providing a service like a search engine.

What artists and the labels do not realise is that Spotify and YouTube has made a dent in people’s downloading habits. Progress doesn’t happen overnight or right now. It takes years and sometimes decades. Invest now for rewards later, however the record labels do not believe in this, the managers do not believe in this and they convince the artists that they sign to not believe in this. So what do they believe in; short term profits.

The answer to success is right there in front of the artist. If an artist wants to make plenty of money in music, they need to be a superstar as no one has time for anything less. Just like there is one Facebook, one Google and one Amazon, the same filtering will happen in music and their respective niches.

Five Finger Death Punch is knocking on that Superstar door for the metal genre. They have competition from Stone Sour, Bullet For My Valentine and Disturbed, however if fan engagement is an indication then Five Finger Death Punch are the new superstars.

Shinedown is already the new superstar for the hard rock genre. Bands like Hinder, Adelitas Way, Alter Bridge, Seether, Halestorm, Three Days Grace, Black Stone Cherry, Saving Abel, Pop Evil, Rev Theory, Breaking Benjamin are the challengers.

Dream Theater is already the superstar for the progressive genre. They are unrivalled and really unchallenged at the moment.

Periphery are the Djent superstars.

TesserAct are the new Pink Floyd superstars.

Machine Head are the new superstars of the thrash genre.

Metallica have surpassed superstar status and have moved into the Legends space.

If you want to survive in the future, you need to live in it. Metallica now understands this, however AC/DC still doesn’t understand it. For some insane reason, AC/DC is holding their music back from Spotify (which is licensed and pays) while it is on Grooveshark and YouTube (which are unlicensed and do not pay).

Spotify might not even win the streaming war. Maybe Google will come up with something better, maybe iTunes Radio will win, or some other new player will come on the scene and blow everyone away. One thing is clear, there will be only one streaming champion. Diehard fans will still pay up front for songs they have never heard, however with so much music coming out at the moment and our time so limited, this is not the business model that artists should base their future on.