Archive for Rock

Track Review: Hollow featuring Brett Scallions and Ken Wallace “Something to Believe” [2010]

Posted in Fuel, Hollow with tags on February 21, 2010 by gearsofrock

New York City hard rock outfit Hollow mark their long-awaited return to the streets with a monstrous ballad, “Something to Believe.”  The single features exceptional lead vocals from ex-Fuel frontman Brett Scallions, working alongside Grammy Award-winning Ken Wallace (The Temptations) who together produce a transcendent wall of melody.

Scallions genuinely pours his soul into “Something to Believe” delivering his best performance in several years.  Another stellar feature, or should I say Heavenly feature, is the unparalleled work of a NYC gospel choir—leading us all to the promised land—during the choruses.

The lyrics written by Nza are infectious, intoxicating, and contagious to say the least.  The invigorating line “decorate your heart just for walking through the fire” is a prime example of the fortitude and perseverance that radiates throughout the track.

“Something to Believe” opens with a howling bass slide from Nza, setting the ensuing monumental tone. Guitarist Dirrty delivers towering leads throughout the intro, choruses, and the solo break, while drummer Howard Corr provides a powerful and mighty backbone.

This is Hollow’s finest and most exciting effort to date so be sure to look for it on iTunes March 9 via Koch Records. Music will once again give you something, something to believe.

Hollow is Dirrty (Vocals/Guitars), Nza (Vocals/Bass), & Howard Corr (Drums); featuring Brett Scallions (Lead Vocals) & produced by Ken Wallace (Orchestration). Krieger Band

Review: Lethargy – Purification [2008]

Posted in Lethargy, SOS Metal Update with tags on May 15, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon LethargyWelsh troupe Lethargy bundle hard rock heft of the 90’swith progressive rock compositions and classic rock durability into their 11-track sophomore sojourn PURIFICATION. Sounding at times like a cross between Porcupine Tree, Staind, Alice in Chains, and Warrior Soul, tracks like “Bleechin’ Bones” and “14:9” pack a wallop with its mid-tempo mix of melodic metal while the title cut could have come from the latest Alter Bridge disc by way of Fates Warning, and “I See Man’s End in His Construction” finds the unit channeling both an inner Zeppelin and Dream Theater. Ambitious enough to go the extra mile with a tasty solo or a left of center interlude yet not too far removed to slip back into familiar hard rock paradigms, this group’s ability to concoct solid slabs of rock laden with a sly in-between sound bursts with a broad appeal that fans of all things rock can easily sink their teeth into. -Mike SOS

4 Stars

Review: Evan Hammer – Bright Day For A Frog’s Rebellion [2008]

Posted in Evan Hammer, SOS Metal Update with tags on March 13, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-evan-hammerThe latest project by Brooklyn-based bassist Evan Hammer is a versatile release made by a multitude of musicians corralled to form a collective that dutifully brings this batch of songs admittedly “written by a younger man” to life on the 10-track BRIGHT DAY FOR A FROG’S REBELLION. Switching between jangly drug-era Beatles (“Martin Kane’s Magic Kandy Kanes”) and woebegone acoustic folk (“Hello Love”) isn’t an easy transition to get right, yet Hammer successfully chose the right musicians to achieve each song’s uniqueness, whether it be best suited for a smoky nightclub (“Little Girl”), a psychobilly luau (“What She Wants With Me”), or a post-grunge campfire (“A Barren Blue”). A musical potpourri that forms a composite of a wide range of styles from Barenaked Ladies to The Killers to Elliot Smith (“Harold Called This Morning”, “Honeypot Delinquents”), if you like variety, Evan Hammer delivers. -Mike SOS

Review: The Melvins – Nude With Boots [2008]

Posted in Melvins, SOS Metal Update with tags , on January 10, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-melvinsThe Melvins are an iconic underground band by all accounts, constantly evolving despite chronic cases of  band member fallout. Combining their wares once again with the duo Big Business (which gives the band 2 drummers in addition to a new bassist), The Melvins can now add swagger to their long list of attributes according to their latest 11-track disc NUDE WITH BOOTS. Melding a savage blend of Led Zeppelin and Nirvana into shards of  ZZ Top-like boogie for a good portion of this veteran unit’s most accessible work, this disc reveals yet another facet of this Bay Area band’s vast musical repertoire. Longtime fans will be taken aback from the arena rock shake and the unusual strips of brightness permeating through the camaro-rock of the title cut, as well as the big rock sound employed on “The Kicking Machine” and “Suicide in Progress”, but can rest easy knowing that there are trademark moments of menace and malice lurking through tracks like the spiraling “It Tastes Better Than The Truth,” the drone interpretation of “Dies Iraea” and the wickedly sludgy kick of “The Smiling Cobra” to round out the overall experience. The Melvins never fail to push past the point of no return while teetering between the experimental and the brink of the mainstream, and NUDE WITH BOOTS displays this band acting as a fully intact entity while fully enjoying their well-earned right to perpetually bend the rules, even within their own context.

www.ipecac.comMike SOS

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Review: Arghoslent – Hornets Of The Pogrom [2008]

Posted in Arghoslent, SOS Metal Update with tags , , , on December 23, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-argolenthAfter a six-year hiatus, Virginia’s Arghoslent return with HORNETS OF THE POGROM, stirring the pot once again with their bastardized combination of controversial viewpoints and scolding death metal. This veteran unit’s latest eight-track affair contains a bevy of the most well thought-out riffs and sheer brutality put to disc in the extreme genre, as tracks like “Oracle of the Malefic Rhizome” and “Swill of the Knaves” slay with barbaric might while undertones of undeniable melodic beauty echo beneath. This underground act may be better known for their offensive lyrical content and left of center school of thought, but the musical output displayed on this album is chock full of death metal magnificence and should be rendered as mandatory metal listening for the most unflappable. www.drakkar666.comMike SOS

Review: Dropclutch – The Reason [2008]

Posted in Dropclutch, SOS Metal Update with tags , , , on November 28, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-dropclutchUpstate NY quintet Dropclutch have incorporated the best moments from modern rock radio into their 10-track jaunt THE REASON. Heavy downtuned guitars, thunderous basslines, and tasty drum work fills out this unit’s Staind meets Godsmack by way of Seether approach on tracks like “Understand” and “Hollow,” while cuts like “Make Your Move” and “Over & Over” really hammer out the aggression a la Mudvayne. Armed with an accessible yet rumbling sound while demonstrating an endless array of bass and guitar chugging to keep the heads bobbing and the bodies grooving, there’s a place on your shelves between Sevendust and Nonpoint for Dropclutch’s latest fist-pumping release. www.dropclutch.comMike SOS

Review: Opiate For The Masses – Manifesto [2008]

Posted in Opiate For The Masses, SOS Metal Update with tags , , on November 13, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-opiate-for-the-massesOpiate for the Masses is a veteran act whose current release MANIFESTO takes a number of elements from a metal smorgasbord to comprise its sound, with melodic industrial metal taking the reigns and being the most prevalent throughout the 11-track sojourn. Electronically charged with the machine-like manipulations not unlike the harder moments conceived by Linkin Park or Stabbing Westward, tracks like “Black Book” and “Lie” keep the dance floor rocking with heavy guitars and a dark throb while the darkwave-esque “Naked,” “The Habit,” and the guitar-standout “Dead Underground” veer towards digitalized malaise of acts like NIN or Marilyn Manson. Despite this quartet’s less than stellar concealing of the influences summoned here, the catchy hooks, familiar-sounding structures, and flashy production provides a radio-friendly escape into an alternate Hollywood-created world where slick-sounding dramatically dynamic metal blasts through the seedy clubs and soundtracks the action scenes. www.centurymedia.comMike SOS

Preview and purchase here

Review: Ligeia – Bad News [2008]

Posted in Ligeia, SOS Metal Update with tags , , on November 6, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-ligeia1Beyond the ham-fisted breakdown fest audible from Bad News, there lies a rock ‘n roll record bursting at the seams exuding the same spirit of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll danger Guns ‘N Roses mustered back in their Sunset Strip era. Massachusetts road dogs Ligeia set the excesses of the rock star vocation to a moshpit friendly soundtrack for the modern age on this succinct and subtle 11-track endeavor. Falling somewhere in between the unlikely triad of Emmure, Hinder, and Every Time I Die, songs like “Bombshell” and the surprising DJ-scratch cameo on  “I’ve Been Drinking” convincingly convey the hard-nosed lifestyle of today’s rock youth through lyrics laced with profanity-laden cliches, rebellious rantings and misogynistic musings while a bombastic nu-metal-esque metalcore foundation keeps the heaviness churning at the proper RPM  on cuts like “Hot Mess” and “One Night Stand.” Despite their allegiance to the harder side of the spectrum, Ligeia employs a generic good cop/bad cop screamy singing formula and wheels out a barrage of inspiration more Mötley Crüe than Misery Signals, confounding the hooded sweatshirt contingent while making this band enigmatic for purists to even consider sitting through as they bash away with a bastardized combo of cock rock pretense and metalcore heft. www.ferretstyle.comMike SOS

Preview and buy this album

Review: Tragic Orange – Tragic Orange [2008]

Posted in SOS Metal Update, Tragic Orange with tags , , on October 25, 2008 by gearsofrock

Tragic Orange Banner

Long Island alternative metal troupe Tragic Orange remember the time when melodic hard rock bands didn’t deprive the music of its balls by watering down their output with sappy ballads. Firing on all cylinders while implementing the old school attitude into their modern metal paradigm, this unit isn’t just another MTV-fed mall rock band despite prominently showcasing those influences. Coming off as a mixture of Our Lady Peace, Taproot and Chevelle, this unit’s eponymous debut showcases a band whose sweeping choruses and hard as nails hard rock histrionics sound ready for extreme sports soundtracks and WWE pay per views on cuts like “Pure and Simple”. Yet the durability of the band’s powerhouse rhythm section, who smoothly steer the disc through trouble spots while accentuating the album overall with a sparkling array of deep bass grooves and lush yet driving percussion, sets Tragic Orange in a good position to jump onto the radar somewhere between Staind and A Perfect Circle.www.tragicorange.comMike SOS

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Review: Ruby Q – Fashion Fever Music Pitch [2008]

Posted in Ruby Q, SOS Metal Update with tags , , , on October 23, 2008 by gearsofrock

Most bands wait until they make it big before they start their own clothing line, but don’t tell the shape-shifting quintet Ruby Q, as they’ve jumped the step and coincide their latest release with a line of new clothes.They also walk the musical tightrope with the grace necessary on the catwalk, letting everything hang loose on the 11-track Fashion Fever Music Pitch. Changing styles from track to track with a bold-faced cheekiness that makes it hard to tell if this collective is in on the joke or not, regardless how serious you take this shining example of hodgepodge, there’s no denying how talented this unit is. From the lifted crunchy guitars and booming bass from QOTSA heard on “Fever Pitch” to a rebellious “Fuck ‘N Roll” that single handedly offends every rock fan with its vitriolic lyrical roll call of rock ‘n roll royalty, and the piano and chanteuse-like vocals cooing on “Chocolate,” this slickly-produced journey through pop music 101 has enough musical money moments to help this band go beyond the boutique circuit and into a subset, as sizable as their grandiose musical output. SOS

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