It’s gonna be a busy month catching up on posts and reading other posts. Normally at the end of each month (for this year only), I’ve been posting my “best off” for the month.
These October posts are a bit late, but it’s been fun getting into em and allowing music to lift my mood.
The Night Flight Orchestra
A two song release from one of my favourite bands at the moment. There new take on old sounds has been dominating my headspace since the debut album came out, 8 years ago.
“Impossible” and “Reach Out” are the songs at the moment.
As soon as the rock funk disco feel of “Impossible” kicks in, I’m hooked.
Put it on, lay back and let the sounds wash over you.
For “Reach Out”, it just sounds like a song from the early 80’s and the mind goes away to that time, in my bedroom, taping the songs from radio stations.
Smith And Myers
Brent Smith is one of the best rock singers going around. Shinedown is the main muse for Smith And Myers and in between, they get together and rock out acoustically.
It started off as a covers project based on fan requests for YouTube video releases only and it has morphed into a full fledge original song project. In 2020, we get “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”.
“Not Mad Enough” kicks off “Volume 1” and it could have been on a Shinedown album. That Chorus is arena rock quality. “Rockin’ in the Free World” from Neil Young becomes a soulful piano ballad.
“The Weight of It All” is brilliant and “Panic!” has this modern pop vibe which Smith does a stellar job keeping up with and just rocking out with it. “Never Tear Us Apart” is a great INXS song and Smith/Myers do a great job covering it in acoustic format.
“Coast to Coast” rocks as hard as it can in an acoustic setting. “Valerie” is a Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse cover song but it’s the George Michael “Faith” guitar riff that gets me interested.
“Since You Were Mine” is a soulful piano ballad. It’s in the same category as “Call Me” from Shinedown. And “Volume 1” closes with “Unchained Melody”, a cover from The Righteous Brothers. It was sort of like a forgotten song, until the movie “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore brought it back into the public conversation. And its remained there ever since.
“Bad at Love” was one of the first songs written for this project and it kicks off “Volume 2”. It’s got this Tracy Chapman “Fast Cars” musical vibe, and a Smith vocal melody which is catchy. “Bad Guy” is a Billie Eilish cover and I like it when artists cover songs from artists that are not in their genre. This one has this flamenco feel and it works.
“New School Shiver” is basic hard rock, with a bluesy like acoustic riff and an addictive vocal melody. Then its “Sledgehammer” time, a Peter Gabriel cover. I was a bit over this song as it was so overplayed in Australia and the film clip which had state of the art tech at the time in it. But a good song is a good song and a good song will always translate well to the acoustic format, which in this case, it does. Suddenly, I feel like it’s a Bad Company song.
“Rebel Yell” feels weird to hear it as a piano ballad but it works. “Like You Never Left” feels like a Tonic song. “Losing My Religion” would make R.E.M proud. “One More Time” is this bluesy soul rock tune which needs to be heard and the “Volume 2” closes with “Don’t Look Back in Anger” from Oasis.
I’m a fan of their earlier albums and because of that early fandom, I keep checking out the other releases. And each album has a few tracks that get me to pick up the guitar and lock into the groove they create.
And it’s “Ohms” on this album that has the riff with the groove that gets me interested.
I knew nothing about this band except that their album cover appeared on a website called rockreport.be and I thought I would do something I haven’t done in ages.
Check out an album based on the album cover.
And I liked it.
Its melodic hard rock the way I like it.
The album is called “Time Waits For No Man”.
So I went digging.
From the UK, formed by guitarist Neil Fraser who got Jason Morgan as the vocalist. They both appeared in other hard rock bands before this, but none of em come to mind.
This is their second album.
“Fallen Hero” is like Lou Gramm on vocals with a bit of Survivor thrown in and some tasty melodic rock.
“I Want It All” sounds like it came from a Malmsteen album either “Odyssey” or “Eclipse”. The song “Judas” comes to mind. Actually “Iron Eagle” also comes to mind.
“Hear No Evil” has that Kashmir ascending progression, which David Coverdale used on “Judgement Day” and it’s that song which comes to mind. It’s a save and add to a playlist.
“The Border” reminds me of Magnum and 80’s era Bad Company. If you want your DLR Van Halen fix, then check out “Knocked Down”.
“Every Time We Touch” is a ballad, but it rolls along in a rocking way.
And finally, Neil Fraser was an unknown guitar player to me, but his guitar work on this album is excellent. He decorates the songs with precision, never overplaying and supplementing instead.
This band also appeared on the rockreport.be website that Trishula appeared. So I thought, why not.
“Parallel Love” is album number 2.
Atlas is also another band from the UK, formed in 2017.
“Without You”, musically, sounds like it could have come from Dream Theater’s “Falling Into Infinity” album from 1997. It was an instant save and add to a playlist.
“Human Touch” starts off with a “I Love It Loud” drum groove, but then once the music kicks in, it was time to pick up my guitar. Bands like W.E.T, Eclipse and Work Of Art are doing songs like this, a new take on old sounds from bands like Journey and 80’s Genesis.
And there are songs which don’t connect on the album but when they do, they are instant saves like “Falling Out Of Love” and the very Dream Theater sounding “We Are The Fire”
Brian Tichy on drums and Pete Shoulder on guitars/vocals put this project together. Bassist Daniel Spree came after.
Soul Blues Rock is how I would call it, taking you back to the sounds of the 70’s. The EP is called “Tear The Sky Wide Open”.
“Black River Rising” sounds like a 70’s Whitesnake cut and “Haunted By The Dawn” is a Led Zeppelin cut. Once you hear em, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
They are on my radar, what comes next.
It’s not the Bon Jovi I know nor the band that I grew up with in the 80’s and early 90’s. They lost me a bit in the mid 90’s but they got my attention again between 2000 and 2007, until they slowly lost me.
The best way to sum up the “2020” album is to not compare it with any Bon Jovi albums that came before.
Just think of a brand new solo artist, starting off and this is their debut album.
“Blood In The Water” still gets streams from me. It has that “Dry County” influence which I like and the lyrics are some of Jovi’s best. It’s solely written by Jon Bon Jovi, then again so is 90% of the album, with just a few co-writes with Billy Falcon and John Shanks.
“American Reckoning” has this musical vibe/groove that gets me interested. Lyrically, its JBJ at his best. We all know what happened, when George Floyd said, “help me please, I can’t breathe”.
The album is out as I type this but this blurb is for the song “Cold”.
The song reminds me of a song from Paolo Nutini called “Iron Sky”. “Iron Sky” came up in a Spotify playlist years ago and it was an instant save. I checked it out recently and it has over 60 million streams. The groove and vocal melody just captured a different musical side in me. Well “Cold” sounds like a carbon copy of that same song, and I like it just the same.
The track is “Fallen” and it connected with me because it sounds like Anberlin with a little bit of My Chemical Romance merged with the pop side of Coheed And Cambria.
And I like it.
I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.
“Trouble’s Coming” is the release here. Another song which pushes their modern rock Sixx AM vibe a little bit further.
It was in the ending scene when Jonny Lawrence threw his phone in the sand and set fire to his Cobra Kai painted car.
Yep, if you grew up in the 80’s, “The Karate Kid” was everywhere and now in the 2020’s “Cobra Kai”, the YouTube series which was purchased by Netflix is everywhere.
And the song “Cruel Summer” appeared, I pressed Shazam and I was hooked.
It’s a Def Leppard cover of “Mirror Mirror” with Joe Lynn Turner assisting. It’s from their 2007 album, “Songs For The Lost”. It came back in my life when I went and revisited their catalogue on Spotify and added it to the playlist.