Shinedown just completed a special headline tour supporting their 2018 album Attention! Attention! (Atlantic). For their final run of dates for the year they took audience requests, played deep cuts, and songs never attempted live before. Watch them play ‘Monsters’ for the first time in America live at the House of Blues Orlando.
Fifty years ago this week, arguably the greatest band in rock n roll history was created as Led Zeppelin began recording Led Zeppelin I (Atlantic) together at the famed Olympic Studios in London. In the midst of a year of celebratory events and releases, the band has unveiled released three exclusive digital-only releases today on all digital download and streaming platforms. This includes a never before heard new mix of ‘Rock N Rock’. Continue reading
HBO’s new Southern Gothic psychological thriller mini-series event Sharp Objects concluded last night with a shocking twist ending. The acclaimed show starring Golden Globe winner and five-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams featured an incredible, eclectic soundtrack featuring intense instrumentals, indie music artists, and rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller, Sylvian Esso, and The Acid. In the series finale, Zeppelin’s late-era hit ‘In The Evening’ is heard over the closing credits, giving weight to the final moments of the series. The track which is the lead song from 1979’s In Through The Out Door (Atlantic) was actually teased several times earlier in the series. Check out this Spotify playlist for the show, perhaps hinting at an album release similar to other HBO shows like Game Of Thrones and Westworld. Continue reading
Last time out, the lukewarm critical response afforded to their third album Into The Wild Life (Atlantic) did little to dampen the enthusiasm with which Halestorm continued to be met, as the behemoth rolled on, gathering even more supporters. The album topped the rock charts both sides of the pond, and Halestorm jumped higher up festival bills, embarking on raucously received live tours of increasing profile. Continue reading
It has been ten years since The Sound of Madness well and truly smashed Shinedown through the glass ceiling into the higher echelons of mainstream, modern Rock. A perfect storm of energetic heavy, alternative Rock riffing with a distinctive edge and a series of absolutely huge songs, all headed up by a top tier vocalist, Brent Smith, whose earnest lyrics and distinctive delivery helped set the band apart. Amaryllis kept things ticking over, adding more anthems to the live set, as the band headed into Threat To Survival (all Atlantic) on a high, and ready to diversify.
It’s very easy in the current musical climate to play it safe in order to succeed at a higher level. The hard part is trying to be original in a world of clones and bring some new flavors. Tougher still when you choose to step into the spotlight for the first time by yourself on a bigger stage, as the stakes are higher. As the saying goes “pressure makes diamonds”. Jen Ledger, drummer for Skillet, stepping out on her own for a solo led band was inevitable given her talent. If namesake band and self-titled EP (Hear it Loud) are any indication, the frontwoman role is one she can own for a long time.
Full of smooth, fun anthemic rock and pop tracks, Ledger has a lot in common with a lot of modern artists, not too far stylistically from In This Moment, New Years Day, Joy Williams, Paramore and others. This might be Jen’s solo debut, but all of the tracks are tight, and fully-fledged. It’s just good songs that Jen co-wrote with her bandmate Korey Cooper (Skillet) and Grammy award winning producer and writer Seth Mosely. The tracks definitely had Jen’s imprint all over them, especially her powerful, self-assured vocals.
Feed Her To The Sharks are the newest face to come out of the growing Australian heavy music scene, spending this past summer on the Rockstar Mayhem Energy Drink Festival across North America on the Victory Records side stage, promoting their latest release Fortitude.
With a band name like Feed Her To The Sharks, it does give off an Australian vibe to it in an odd way. Band guitarist Kim Choo talked about his home country of Australia and playing partial tour guide about their growing heavy music scene.
“It’s been a while since a core band from Melbourne has actually toured internationally. I think the last one that I can remember might be The Red Shore or someone like that,” he said.
“There’s some awesome music from Australia. We’re just lucky to be friends with a lot of the guys. The Thy Art Is Murder guys have been helping us out a lot on our tour in Europe with them and now at Mayhem. There must be something in the water down there but we love playing heavy music down there. It shows with all of the awesome bands that are coming out.”
Their first taste of playing a festival came in 2013 when they took part on Warped Tour Australia. “We played with some awesome bands – Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction,” he said.
“It was so hot that day. I know some of these Mayhem dates are going to be really hot. Everyone had red faces and sunburnt. Warped Tour was a really great show. We were the first band on in the morning and there were people lining up to get in. They were stoked. It was a good show.”
While a slew of Australian bands have found their way onto the world stage recently, Choo shared one band who he felt could be one of the next good finds there. “There’s a cool band that’s local from our hometown called Atlantic. They’re sort of like metalcore sort of stuff – a pretty fresh approach so check them out if you get a chance. We had them on an album launch show back at home. They’re super hard workers. It’s awesome hanging out with them. They’re really cool dudes.”
Lastly, Choo made a suggestion for those looking for shark related activities to do in Australia. Being that sharks have been found around Australia, Feed Her To The Sharks would be the people who would know where to find the real thing.
“If you go down to Adelaide, there’s a place called Port Lincoln and you can go shark cage diving with the Great Whites in there. It’s mental. If you ever get to visit, do so.”
If truth be known, I’d never really given Halestorm much of a chance. They were one of those bands that I’d not really consciously listened to. I had, probably subconsciously, decided that they were not for me, that they were lightweight blah blah blah: you get the idea. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. I was wrong about Halestorm and I don’t mind who knows. Into The Wild Life (Atlantic) is a boisterous, effervescent and terrific record of pounding rock songs that will have you grinning from ear to ear and punching the air in infectious delight.
This is the first Halestorm material in the best part of three years but, if you’re a long-term fan, you’ll definitely believe it’s been worth the wait. Into The Wild Life is, simply put, a cracking bunch of songs delivered with energy and gusto.
The pounding heart of Halestorm is unquestionably their lead singer and protagonist Lzzy Hale. On Into The Wild Life she turns in a performance that you need to file under “cracking”, such is her power, brio and wit. Whether she is ruminating on the joys of break up sex (on lead off album track ‘Apocalyptic’), multiple personalities (‘Mz Hyde’) or the valediction of ‘Dear Daughter’ it’s abundantly clear why this woman has become such an inspiration for rock fans across the planet.
The real reason why Into The Wild Life works is that it’s absolutely packed full of tunes. There’s an admirable lack of bombast on ‘Scream’ which makes it all the more effective, a decent pinch of Foo Fighters inspired rockolla on ‘Mayhem’, more Joan Jett than you can stick in a blackheart on ‘Gonna Get Mine’ and a chorus catchier than a winter cold on ‘Amen’.
There used to be a lazy, condescending school of rock journalism that looked at “female fronted rock bands” as if they were some kind of zoo exhibit. With the release of Into The Wild Life, Lizzy Hale hasn’t just rightly condemned this nonsense to the dustbin, she’s ground it to dust. Her delivery across the entire album is gritty, powerful and, at times, role model emancipating. Ably supported by fearsomely tight performances from Joe Hottinger on guitars and Arje Hale and Josh Smith delivering a pounding back line, Into The Wild Life suggests that Halestorm’s breakthrough to the big league has arrived, and how. Into The Wild Life is one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable records of the year.
Pretty darn fabulous.