Music

2019 – Part 4

“In 2019, we worked harder and got more done than maybe we thought was possible”

Our management team started off their final email blast with that opening line.

And to paraphrase, in 2019, I listened harder and got through so much music that I thought was possible.

Here is Part 4.

Nails In The Coffin
Jared James Nichols

Jared James Nichols is a hell of a good guitarist and singer and songwriter.

“Nails In The Coffin” reminds me of some of the songs which topped the pop charts like “Take Me To The Church” from Hozier, with a twist of Jared and a twist of blues and a twist of rock.

Last Day Under The Sun
Die To Live
When We Were Kids
Sorry Sack Of Bones
Leviathan
The Everlasting
Under The Influence
Volbeat

Volbeat’s take on 60’s rockabilly and pop merged with metal and thrash can ever get old for me, as there is so much diversity on each album.

A song like “Die To Live” (which is also my favourite, the full 3 minutes of it) is a 60’s rocker with honky tonk piano and everything else which is rock and roll, while “Last Day Under The Sun” and “When We Were Kids” show a very progressive style of song writing and songs like “Leviathan”, “Sorry Sack Of Bones” and “The Everlasting” show the metal side and “Under The Influence” is a modern take on an old sound.

Unleashed
I Am Broken Too
I Can’t Be The Only One
Take Control
Killswitch Engage

From the “Atonement” album.

One of my favourite bands for aggressive and abrasive vocals which then morph into a waterfall of melodicism. And the music, connects with me on so many levels. These four songs cover the diversity of the band musically and lyrically.

I keep making the same mistakes, just to feel alive again
It’s the only way to break on through

The above lyrics are from “I Am Broken Too”.

To be human is to feel pain, to make mistakes and to keep on trying, because all of the small wins and losses define who you are and the character you are.

Look within your soul and take control

Easier said than done, as we let ourselves be controlled by so many forces instead of focusing on what we can control, like our emotions, our attitude, our intensity and the words we say.

Light In Life
Silvera

I know nothing about this band, but what I do know, is that “Light In Life” is a good song and that it is on quite a few Spotify generated playlists, so I expect the song to have a decent number of plays.

Which it does.

Wouldn’t You Rather
Godspeed
Take The Crown
The Bitter End
Pay No Mind
Forever Falling
Walking On The Sky
Tear Us Apart
Dying Light
Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge again deliver a diverse album loaded with metal riffs, rock riffs, ballad arpeggios and arena rock choruses.

Wouldn’t you rather, live from the heart

From “Wouldn’t You Rather”.

Who wouldn’t want to live from the heart but we spend more time trying to figure out what our heart really wants. That person we loved at 15, isn’t the same person at 30 and suddenly we are in and out of love because we’ve changed as well. That occupation we wanted to do, we don’t want to do it anymore, and that college education in Accounting led to a job in HR because it paid better.

The ideal is nice, but life and the social class structures we live in, are much more complicated.

“And then the days, they ran out”.

From the song “Godspeed”.

Our lives are short, so why are we wasting our days doing things we don’t want to do. Why do we waste our days giving in to our lizard brains and allowing hate and rage to rule instead of common sense.

Wouldn’t we rather live from the heart because the days will run out. And then there is no more living.

But this much I know, somehow we’ll be alright
Cause it’s never too late, to learn how to start living right

From “The Bitter End”.

Damn right.

Humans flourished from the tribe to the cities because we had each other’s backs. The bigger enemy was death by predators. Then the predators got removed by us. And then the biggest enemy became ourselves and our need to conquer.

So entitled since the day that you were born
Still we hear you screaming, “give me more, give me more”

From “Pay No Mind”.

There is a status gap.

A child from a family of money and influence does 180km on their provisional licence and escapes with just a small fine while a child from a family with no influence and living from pay to pay, does the same crime, gets a driving ban that goes into years, pays a fine in the thousands and needs to do community service.

Yeah it’s not fair, but no one said life is fair. And the ones who we see as entitled, well how much more zeroes do they want at the end of the billion dollar zeroes.

At least you’ve lived, your own way

From “Walking On The Sky”.

Easier said than done. Life is so complex from relationship ties to financial ties to social ties and they all intertwine into a crazy complex web.

As soon as you get that loan, you are living a life on someone else’s way. And if you lose your job, anxiety will set it, because you need to find another job quick.

For a lot of us, it’s too late, but we can raise our children to be smarter and not be reliant on credit and loan.

We have to face
And learn from mistakes to grow

From “Tear Us Apart”.

So true.

Nothing is achieved without failure or making mistakes. It’s like all of those interviews you see from inventors and sporting people and how mastery comes from failure.

We are lost in the swarm
From the moment we’re born

From “Dying Light”.

The world is there to turn any heart of gold, cold.

And that little child, becomes a number.

For governments, it means, how many prospective tax payers would we need to sustain our lifestyles and revenues. For schools it means how many new starters do they get.

Oh My God
Hellyeah

Hellyeah always has a tune which gets me interested and its always due to the lyrics. Check out these;

Oh my God
I made a deal with the Devil, now the Devil’s in my blood
I’m the bullet, he’s the gun
Now the targets on your back, and here I come

Our society is built around a battle between good and bad. If we have depression or dark thoughts, there is no greater enemy than the devil. And this baddy sure gets around.

Only Way Out
Empyre

I have no idea who the band is, but the song is a melancholic and moody piece which gets me interested and then keeps my interest going for the duration.

Holding On
Solid Gold
Caleb Johnson

From the “Born From Southern Ground”, I came across Caleb Johnson from a review over at the excellent blog, “2loud2oldmusic”.

And these two songs, with the gospel like background vocals, grabbed my interest straight away. Plus “Solid Gold” has this swampy, delta blues rock riff all fuzzed out and ready for rock and roll.

And while I was listening to the album, it kept on reminding me of another artist I like, and the band that came to mind was “Black Stone Cherry”.

The Hunted
Saint Asonia

Adam Gontier is one hell of a rock singer and songwriter and to me one of the best singers in the last 20 years with his work in Three Days Grace and Saint Asonia. When you add Sully Erna to the track, who also is one of the best rock singers as a guest, you get a pretty awesome track.

And on guitars is another underrated musician in guitarist Mike Mushok from Staind.

Counting Stars (A Parallel Universe)
SixForNine

At 9 minutes long, it’s just a cruisy song, slowly percolating until its ready to explode.

What Gives You The Right
Light Shine In
Religion
Wilder Woods

Another artist which came to me from the “2loud2oldmusic” blog. The review is here if you want to read it.

Unbroken
The Butterfly Effect

One of my favourite Australian bands at playing a brand of progressive rock I like. They have been away for a while, but reformed, started to do a tour and now have new music.

And “The Final Conversation” from their last full album around 2006/7 is still in my lists for songs I listen to. You will find it in my overall Spotify 2019 list.

Rise
Waiting On The Demons
All Amped Up
Tom Keifer

Tom Keifer is back in a good way, and these three songs capture everything I like about his style of song writing and his voice. Soulful, abrasive and rockified.

Never Die (Forever Wild)
Crazy Lixx

In the Maze
Reptile
Crashdiet

A bit of Scandinavian Melodic Rock to finish off the post. Two bands who have been at it for at least 20 years. It’s a long way to get to the top, but everyone can rock and roll these days and get an audience via the internet and streaming services.

Both of these bands came into my life because Amazon recommended them as artists I might like based on my purchases. And although I haven’t purchased any of their CD’s, I do stream them.

If you like a new take on an old sound, these two bands will suffice.  

The final post for 2019 is coming.

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

Release Radar

Spot On Spotify

These are the songs that Spotify’s algorithms got spot on. Click the link to listen

Midnight Flyer by The Night Flight Orchestra
My favourite Swedish supergroup of metal heads is back, playing the classic rock music I love. This time around, it’s about a galactic space opera, where the human race is pitted against female space commanders with pearl necklaces. Brilliant

“I’m a stranger to myself
But still I long for the unknown”

Our love of adventure is what drives the world around.

Sinking Ship by Harem Scarem
What a funky groovy foot stomping riff?

How good is Pete Lesperance on guitar?

Along with Harry Hess they have navigated 30 years of Harem Scarem and 14 studio albums, plus their solo work and side projects. As a fan, I’m looking forward to the release of “United”.

When there’s no one out
When there’s nothing left
I’m gonna stand my ground
On a sinking ship

It sums up the career of Harem Scarem. When everyone abandoned hard rock, Harem Scarem, stood their ground. And the sinking ship of the genre is back on the ocean sailing to new horizons.

It’s The Right Time by Mitch Malloy featuring Van Halen
The long lost audition tapes between Van Hager and Van Cherone. As a guitarist, I dig the verses and the way EVH plays it, with palm muted arpeggios and staccato chords. It’s creative and innovative and that improvisation factor makes EVH unique.

In the end, I guess it wasn’t the right time for Malloy to join Van Halen.
“I go on gut feelings, and it was clear to me that something was amiss, so why continue?” It seemed like they were uneasy, and that whole presentation with Dave thing that they did for MTV … I mean everybody kind of knows now … that they were forced to [do that]. But I didn’t know they were going to do that, it was kind of like, ‘What is going on right now?’ It was a very strange time, and it didn’t feel good. [So] I was like, well, if they don’t want me, let me do them a favour and bow out.”
Mitch Malloy on why he didn’t join Van Halen 

Snakes In Paradise by Crazy Lixx
Great melodic rock from Sweden about snakes in paradise that feed you lies. What more do you want?

Never Was A Forever by Honeymoon Suite
It’s a good return to form for an old favourite of mine.

Don’t say you’re sorry
It’s an empty word when you don’t know what it means

It’s a brilliant lyric.

Light Me Up by Doom Unit
It’s got this swampy bluesy feel which I really dig. Plus the vocal melodies are addictive. And they are from Finland. I’ll be honest, there is something in the culture water’s around Northern Europe because there is so much good music coming out of the region.

When I start another day
I’m slowly drowning all the way
Light me up

Straight To The Top by Creye
Creye is another melodic rock band from Sweden with big keys and big 80’s chorus’s.

All the way to the end
This is your life
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Give it all you got
All the way to the end
Just follow your heart
Don’t give up, don’t give in
You’re going straight to the top

Yeah I know it’s clichéd and been used a million times, but it works.

Underneath by Blacktop Mojo
It’s a nice acoustic piece from these Texas boys who started off playing old country covers, and from time to time they would throw in some of their own stuff. With time, their originals got less twang and more distortion.

I trade this cloud for a hurricane
With enough water to wash away

What great lyrics to kick off the song.

Big Sky Country by KXM
There are some good musical movements. It actually sounds pretty similar to Metallica’s “Now That We’re Dead” in the intro, just a touch slower and a lot more groove.

“Shoot before you run”

It’s relevant to what is happening right now, with governments spying on their own citizens and terrorists driving their vehicles into crowds of people.

Undecided

These are the songs that have done enough to have me interested to check out some more. So I suppose it’s close to “Spot On Spotify” than “Misses”.

Broken by Falling In Reverse
I think this band has the potential to go really high and once they realise it, their classic metal masterpiece will come.

Age Of The Raven by The Raven Age
It’s aggressive and in a modern metal style I like. Just the lyrics are not connecting with me right now.

Stand My Ground by Adrenaline Rush
Musically it’s good, melodic rock but the vocals ruin it.

Remain Violent by Warbringer
It’s got that “Fight For Your Right to Party” vibe..

Half As Dead by Demonhunter
I’ve never heard any music from Demonhunter before this song, and with a name called Demonhunter, I expected a certain style. But I was surprised at the quality of the song, and that groovy riff.

Welcome To The Night by Night Demon
Again, I wasn’t sure what style I expected, but the New Wave Of British Of Heavy Metal merged with melodic rock was not the style I expected. At one stage it reminded me of Iron Maiden’s first album.

Warrior by Dead By April
This band kills me. Drop the screamo vocals, because musically the song is brilliant and when the clean tone vocals happen, it’s on.

Eating Lies by Blaze Bayley
Musically the song is brilliant, but man Blaze’s vocals really don’t connect with me.

How Could I Let You Go by Confess
The song is a typical power melodic rock ballad, however I am interested to hear how they rock, because even though the ballad doesn’t move my world, it’s done well.

Only The Dead by Westfield Massacre
It’s got enough there to get me interested.

Misses

Only Broken Heart by Warrant
Not too sure what to make of their Thin Lizzy inspired vibe. I suppose Warrant will forever be remembered as Jani Lane’s Cherry Pie instead of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and April 2013. Hence the reason to retire the Warrant name and start afresh, in the same way, Black Star Riders retired the Thin Lizzy name and started new.

Day and Night by Night Ranger
They have released a few songs from the new forthcoming album. “Truth” and “Comfort Me” are okay, this one is a big miss.

Lonely Nights by Bonfire
These are 50 year old men, singing about “Lonely Nights” and believing they are 20 again. Such a shame, as Bonfire between 1988 and 1994 was essential listening for me.

All I Got Is You by Deep Purple
Sorry guys, as good as the music is, the lyrics just don’t connect.

Shimmering Status by Cellador
Epic speed power metal just doesn’t do it for me. Dragonforce made sure of that.

Trouble by Tesseract
It’s a dance act that uses the same name as the progressive rock band I follow. Lame Spotify, surely you are able to distinguish between dance acts and rock acts.

Song For The Dead by Carach Angren
Don’t know why this would be in my release radar as I don’t listen to artists that could be even similar nor do I even follow this band.

Here’s To The Crazy Ones by John 5
“The Black Grass Plague” was a brilliant instrumental fusing country with metal. This one is a miss.

Hand Of Hell by The Doomsday Kingdom
The riffs are okay.

Click the link to listen

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