Archive for Music

Review: Revoltons – Underwater Bells [2009]

Posted in Revoltons, SOS Metal Update with tags , , , on December 5, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-revoltonsA dose of rousing metal from Italy comes courtesy of Revoltons, a quintet whose Iced Earth by way of Hammerfall style melds virtuoso abilities with strong compositions on UNDERWATER BELLS. This 15-track release comfortably straddles the line between power metal’s presence and progressive metal’s prowess with the grace of bands such as Fates Warning shining on cuts like “Cybertale” and “London Fall.” Packing an anthemic punch (“Berserker”) while taking it down to a symphonic level with relative ease (“Scanning Horizons”), this well-versed outfit fits in nicely amongst your melodic metal albums. www.revoltons.comMike SOS

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2009 Grammy Nominations Announced; So, who will the NARAS disrespect this year?

Posted in Grammy Awards with tags , , , , on December 4, 2008 by gearsofrock

grammyIt is common knowledge that the annual Grammy Awards Show and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) are absolute trash, especially when it comes to legitimate rock music. Let’s take a quick look at this year’s nominations that contain a semblance of meaning, namely the rock categories, followed by likely winners, as well as those that really deserve to win.

amazon-metallica-death-magneticBest Metal Performance: Metallica has the unalienable right to this award, but Slipknot makes me a bit nervous in this category. If the NARAS does not give it to Metallica then they should have the dignity to award “Best Metal” to Judas Priest. DragonForce would be a gross upset while Ministry has us all wondering how they got this nomination. Finally, the lack of Motörhead’s Motörizer in this category has us thinking, “Are You F*cking Kidding Me?”

  • Heroes Of Our Time
    DragonForce
    [Roadrunner Records]
  • Nostradamus
    Judas Priest
    Track from: Nostradamus
    [Epic]
  • My Apocalypse
    Metallica
    Track from: Death Magnetic
    [Warner Bros.]
  • Under My Thumb
    Ministry
    Track from: Cover Up
    [Megaforce Records]
  • Psychosocial
    Slipknot
    [Roadrunner Records]

amazon-judas-priest-nostradamus1Best Hard Rock Performance: I would love to see Judas Priest take this one, but the NARAS will most likely throw it to Disturbed’s “Inside the Fire.” “Saints of Los Angeles” would be my second choice to Priest. I also loved the Rob Zombie Live album, but they picked arguably the worst track. By the way, where the hell is Alice Cooper?

  • Inside The Fire
    Disturbed
    Track from: Indestructible
    [Reprise]
  • Visions
    Judas Priest
    Track from: Nostradamus
    [Epic]
  • Wax Simulacra
    The Mars Volta
    [Universal Motown]
  • Saints Of Los Angeles
    Mötley Crüe
    Track from: Saints Of Los Angeles
    [Motley Records/Eleven Seven Music]
  • Lords Of Salem
    Rob Zombie
    Track from: Zombie Live
    [Geffen/UMe]

Best Rock Album: Coldplay will win, Death Magnetic should win, and AC/DC’s Black Ice better take this category next year since it was released after the deadline of Sept. 30, 2008. Black Ice may even be up against Chinese Democracy in the 2010 Grammy’s.

  • Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
    Coldplay
    [Capitol Records]
  • Rock N Roll Jesus
    Kid Rock
    [Atlantic]
  • Only By The Night
    Kings Of Leon
    [RCA Records]
  • Death Magnetic
    Metallica
    [Warner Bros.]
  • Consolers Of The Lonely
    The Raconteurs
    [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

acdc-black-iceBest Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: AC/DC will definitely take this category with “Rock n Roll Train” if their is any honor on award’s night. Why Coldplay and Radiohead are in a category with rock and roll legends are beyond me. The Kings of Leon…c’mon…seriously? AC/DC’s chance of winning: -10%

  • Rock N Roll Train
    AC/DC
    [Columbia]
  • Violet Hill
    Coldplay
    Track from: Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
    [Capitol Records]
  • Long Road Out Of Eden
    Eagles
    Track from: Long Road Out Of Eden
    [Eagles Recording Company II]
  • Sex On Fire
    Kings Of Leon
    [RCA Records]
  • House Of Cards
    Radiohead
    Track from: In Rainbows
    [TBD Records]

Best Rock Instrumental: The David Gilmour tune is a great track, but I am pulling for “Suicide & Redemption,” even though it may be the least impressive instrumental that Metallica has ever released.

  • Castellorizon
    David Gilmour
    Track from: Live In Gdansk
    [Columbia]
  • Suicide & Redemption
    Metallica
    Track from: Death Magnetic
    [Warner Bros.]
  • 34 Ghosts I-IV
    Nine Inch Nails
    Track from: Ghosts I-IV
    [The Null Corporation]
  • Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace)
    Rush
    Track from: Songs For Tibet: The Art Of Peace
    [Art of Peace Foundation]
  • Peaches En Regalia
    Zappa Plays Zappa
    [Strobosonic/Razor & Tie Entertainment]

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: Award will most likely go to Springsteen like it always does. In my opinion, Sir Paul McCartney shouldn’t get an award for covering his own tune. Eddie Vedder is the coolest rock star in this category, but his solo material is only cool in very small increments.

  • Gravity
    John Mayer
    Track from: Where The Light Is — Live In Los Angeles
    [Columbia]
  • I Saw Her Standing There
    Paul McCartney
    Track from: Amoeba’s Secret
    [Hear Music/MPL Communications Ltd.]
  • Girls In Their Summer Clothes
    Bruce Springsteen
    Track from: Magic
    [Columbia]
  • Rise
    Eddie Vedder
    [J Records]
  • No Hidden Path
    Neil Young
    Track from: Chrome Dreams II
    [Reprise]

Unfortunately, the NARAS has given us little reason to watch the actual Grammy event on Feb. 8, 2009 because most of the categories above (the rock specific ones) are hardly televised. This was an amazing year for hard rock/heavy metal but it seems to be poorly reflected by some of the nominations. While I enjoy Metallica winning awards that they truly deserve [“St. Anger” did not deserve the award in 2004], I would still like to see legends such as Alice Cooper and Motörhead get some respect from the academy.

Review: Skylark – Divine Gates Part III: The Last Gate [2008]

Posted in Skylark, SOS Metal Update with tags , , , on December 3, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-skylark1Italian metal troupe Skylark play a rousing version of power metal with symphonic overtones emblazoned with solid female vocals leading the charge on DIVINE GATES PART III: THE LAST GATE. This unit’s 10-track endeavor contains just what you’d expect from a band of their nature, as a bevy of galloping guitars, angelic vocals, and the type of pomp and circumstance necessary for this brand of metal reaches out and effectively tug at the heartstrings while allowing the headbanging to perpetuate. Chances are if you dig Doro or are into Nightwish, songs like “All is Wrong” and “The Scream” will appeal to your pristine metal sensibilities. www.myspace.com/renaissancerecordsusaMike SOS

Purchase album at amazon.com

Review: Bruce Springsteen “My Lucky Day” [2008]

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-bruce-lucky-dayBruce Springsteen released a second single online from the upcoming record Working on a Dream. Below is an overview of the new song titled “My Lucky Day.”

Good news, Boss fans—this track is a classic E Street rocker compared to the recently released “Working on a Dream.” “My Lucky Day” opens with hard hitting drums, a heavy acoustic guitar, a roaring bass, and a smooth lead guitar riff. Like “Working on a Dream,” the bass line is the driving force behind the tune and is reminiscent of the late John Entwistle’s [The Who] work. In addition to the solid bass performance, Springsteen’s lyrics are more thoughtful than repetitive, while the lead guitar lands itself back on the spectrum of “interesting.” Kudos to the band for leaving the listeners and fans no reason to cringe as the radio spins this tune. 8/10

“My Lucky Day” is currently streaming at MySpace.com

Download this single at amazon.com

The current E Street Band lineup: Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica, synthesizer, glockenspiel; Patti Scialfa – backing vocals; Nils Lofgren – lead guitar, backing vocals; Steven Van Zandt – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, mandolin; Garry Tallent – bass; Clarence Clemons – saxophone, backing vocals, Soozie Tyrell – violin, backing vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar; Charles Giordano – organ; Roy Bittan – piano; Max Weinberg – drums

Pre-order the album Working on a Dream due Jan. 27

Miscellaneous Rock Links: Metal Hurts Heart, XM Sirius Programming, More Maiden…

Posted in Iron Maiden, News, Ticketmaster with tags , , on November 12, 2008 by gearsofrock

1. Study with infinite loopholes finds that heavy metal music restricts blood flow to the heart causing added stress [gigwise.com].

2. Lame vampire soundtrack bumps AC/DC’s Black Ice from the peak position on the US pop chart [reuters.com].

3. XM and Sirius finally merge their stations. Sirius “Hard Attack” is now “Liquid Metal” and “Buzzsaw” becomes “The Boneyard” [rollingstone.com].

4. Time to fuel up Ed Force One — Iron Maiden announces an extension to their highly successful “Somewhere Back In Time Tour,” hitting New Zealand for first time in 16 years [billboard.biz].

5. Ticketmaster experiments with dropping abusive service charges such as their absurd TicketFast fees [billboard.biz].

Def Leppard Goes Country With Taylor Swift

Posted in Def Leppard, Shows with tags , , on November 7, 2008 by gearsofrock

Tonight Def Leppard performs with Taylor Swift on CMT’s “Crossroads.” The episode airs at 9 p.m. and features the artists playing each other’s tunes. Check out Taylor Swift singing lead on Def Leppard’s “Photograph” below:

Great music knows no boundaries as Great Britain’s premiere arena rock band and a country superstar take the stage together in Nashville. You won’t want to miss it as Def Leppard and Taylor Swift collaborate on each others’ hits in front of an invitation-only audience. Tune in as the rockers join Swift on chart toppers such as “Our Song” and “Love Story.” Also featured are Def Leppard classics including “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph.” The new installment of this popular performance series, CMT Crossroads: Def Leppard and Taylor Swift, premieres Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. [cmt.com]

Buy Def Leppard records

Review: The Killers “Human” [2008]

Posted in The Killers with tags , , , on October 20, 2008 by gearsofrock

Las Vegas rockers, The Killers, released the minimalist titled “Human” as the first single from their upcoming album Day and Age.

On the first listen, a state of bewilderment leads the journey as the lack of rock and roll energy makes this tune unlike previous singles such as “When You Were Young” and “Mr. Brightside.” The track begins with soft keyboards, clean palm muted guitars, and calming vocals. When Brandon Flowers offers the confusing line, “are we human or are we dancer?” the song transforms into a dance-aholic’s fix of electronica sounding percussive repetition. The Killers seem to be nurturing the direction heard on Sawdust when they offered a post-punk Joy Division cover, “Shadowplay.” Even though, “Human” is not a rocker it contains all the right ingredients for their genre of post-punk revival; confusing lyrics, catchy guitar hooks, and excessive synthesizers. 7/10

Projection: Loyal fans of the alternative genre will dig the new album, rock and roll addicts will not.

Stream this song

The Killers are Brandon Flowers [vocals/keyboards], Dave Keuning [guitars], Mark Stoermer [bass], and Ronnie Vannucci Jr.

Purchase Day and Age by The Killers