Gorphanage – Swank

Employing the well known Spinal Tap approach of going up to eleven, Lake County’s Gorphanage takes the template used on 2015’s self-released May Cause Birth Defects and push everything bar the silly song titles that little bit further with latest independent release Swank. The sludgy riffs are sludgier, the groove riffs are groovier, the insanely fast parts – although less frequent – are faster, there are more TV and movie excerpts than even Rob Zombie would feel comfortable with, and the production is another improvement on the debut, somehow managing to sound even filthier. Continue reading

Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 2 – Live in Clark NJ

Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

We arrived at Day Two of the Food Truck and Rock Carnival a bit tired, but amped up for a full day of bands. With more time to explore the fest this day, we checked out the awesome fair food in the main concert area such as corn dogs and deep-fried Oreo’s as well as some of more interesting choices on the Food Truck side too.

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Doing a reverse of yesterday, we took in the bands first, followed by some Carnie fun, and then more bands. Up and coming New Zealand rockers Like A Storm were the first band we saw and they were insanely good. With several rock hits at satellite radio, they had their own fans in the house. They seemed to make a lot of new converts too with a fiery show. Crobot was next on the other main stage. If you have never seen them, they are a fierce piece of psych rock explosiveness! They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their over the top antics.

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

 

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

After I headed back stage to conduct some band interviews we headed back out the now full festival grounds. It was really impressive to see this for a first time fest. Especially after the performance of the next band I caught: Anthrax. The band has been touring like crazy leading up to their new album For All Kings (Megaforce) due this winter. The band had a short set so they dispensed with the pleasantries and commenced the ass kicking. In addition to their typical hits, they played the rarely ever heard live ‘Lone Justice’ as a tribute to Eddie Trunk. The band was on fire too, especially drummer Charlie Benante and singer Joey Belladonna.

 

Nighttime fell on the fest and lights from the stages and the carnival lit up the sky and you just felt everyone’s collective energy was high. Following the model of some European fests the two areas in front of the main stages was cut into a big “Y” shape with an enormous VIP area. This also helped security with crowd control, but at the same time made it a chore to see both stages easily. This was the only weakness of the weekend to me. At the same time the two stages also created an awesome VIP Cabana area between them, that for the came with tons of amenities including private wait staff services, a private viewing area of the stage, a private VIP meet and greet sesh, free beers and up close access to the bands and the main stages other fans did not have. The fan in me was a little bit jelly and some of the patrons I talked to were over the moon about the experience.

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

The perfect band to bring in the spirit of rock revivalism to the darkened skies was Clutch who happened to be up next. They played a lot of songs from their new album ‘Psychic Warfare’ (Weathermaker Music) and no one complained. Neil Fallon gesticulated wildly all over the stage, tending to his flock. The band was tight as hell and just jammed it out for an hour straight. Late in the set brought the hits fans wanted to hear like ‘Spacegrass’ and ‘The Mob Goes Wild’.

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Tucked away in the far corner of the fest, the carnival area was the last stage, and by all accounts had been decently attended all day with locals and some bands paying tribute to rock and metal heroes. Two of the most prominent tribute bands in the nation closed the stage each night: RATM2, he Rage Against the Machine Tribute and Schism, the première Tool tribute band. I managed to catch some of Schism’s set, and having been a Tool-o-phile from back n the day and seeing the band as many times as I have, they are the real deal. If you have never seen the enigmatic gods of art rock, Schism is a fair stand in both sonically and visually. Next year this stage ought to be closer to the main stages.

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack and Stone Temple Pilots closed the main stages respectively on this night with a lots of bravado from each. STP featuring Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) for one of the last times, played all the songs that made them of the première alt rock bands of the 90s. Chester is spot on vocally, and a star in every way imaginable. Fans have commented that his copying Scott Weiland is unflattering to the band and off-putting, and I have to say it isn’t necessary at all. Chester can hang with anyone vocally and to me was a great fit with STP, end of story. 

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack opened up with a montage film that recapped their last few years touring and intercut shots of iconic Boston sports people such as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, members of the Boston Bruins and David Ortiz. Curious choices in New Jersey, the land of many Jets and Yankees fans, but oh well. The band came out fired up and played all their big radio friendly tracks. They were a worthy closer on this night. Drummer Shannon Larkin always stands out a lot to me. He is one of the most talented drummers you will ever see live worth watching. Sully Erna flipped back and forth between playing guitar and running around with a wireless microphone, and seemed to really relish performing for such an enthusiastic crowd.

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

I made it a point each day to hang a lot at the Birch Hill Stage towards the end of each day. It seemed that a lot of industry types were gathering there, and it was awesome to see my brethren from the world of music journalism and publicity. Plus the beer garden was right there. The final bands trifecta of LA Guns, Lita Ford, and Slaughter was a great way to cap off the weekend. LA Guns was solid, Lita was excellent, but Slaughter was downright special. After all these years it’s a amazing how little Slaughter has changed. They were a thing to behold, especial Mark Slaughter’s stratospheric singing voice. Of course they closed the weekend with ‘Fly To The Angels’ and ‘Up All Night’ performed to a crowd feeling a mix of jubilation and satisfaction that comes from a having a great time. I held my BFF tight and raised up those horns one last time for the night. Food Truck and Rock Carnival, do us a solid and comeback next year twice as baddass!

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

 

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DAY 1 OF THE FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY KEITH CHACHKES

 

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Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 1 – Live in Clark, NJ

Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

Throngs of people descended on Southern New Jersey for the first annual Food Truck and Rock Carnival to enjoy the sites, tastes and sounds that they had to offer. Although New Jersey may not be the first place you think of for a destination music festival, to paraphrase a line from the movie Dogma: never underestimate the staggering appeal of “The Garden State”. In the post Hurricane Sandy reality for residents here, including many of the vendors I spoke with, it was great is spend some time and money down here and support this community.

 

The lay of the land was on the vast side: with two main stages, plus several smaller stages, one hosting a lot of glam rock notables and another with local bands and tribute acts. One entire area was scoped out for the free carnival full of rides, traditional attractions, wrestling matches, notable entertainment personalities speaking, music industry lecturers, comedy shows, merch and a bunch of amazing food trucks. The rides and games were non-stop Some had the typical fair food while others were unique and were like catnip to the foodie souls. Although it was impossible to try them all as the formed a perimeter around the entire carnival area, we did sample a few. Among the best were my personal favorites Fork in The Road, followed by The Angry Crab, Amanda Banana, Dark Side of The Moo, Empanada Guy, Nooch’s Mac Truck, and So Jersey.

Then there was the music. Day 1 featured a bevy of cool bands from across the rock and metal world. Early day entrants from the rock world such as Bad Case For Big Mouth, Fit For Rivals, Otherwise and rising superstars Pop Evil were greeted to a large early crowd and enthusiastic fans. Their recent new album Up (eOne) they are supporting, and the bands high-profile tours and car commercials are starting to bear fruit that can be seen in their sizzling live performances.

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Sevendust, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Skid Row continues to plow ahead with new singer Tony Harnell. They played a set heavy on the hits, and sounded refreshed. It’s been a minute since I heard this many people screaming along to ’18 And Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, and ‘Youth Gone Wild’. The world needs more of this on a regular basis. Puddle Of Mudd has been road tripping themselves ls a lot of late at similar festivals. Choppy at times as a live band, they leaned on their hits like ‘Blurry’ and their closer ‘She Hates Me’. Next Sevendust was bringing the crowd to their feet in praise for their about to be released (out now), album Kill The Flaw (7Bros) They played some heavy hits and one deep cut, ‘Shine’, that had me and other fans besides ourselves. This band always brings live.

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Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

As the warm up to the headliners, Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society played a crushing set of heavy tracks. Wylde of course is the main attraction for shred nerds, Ozzy fanatics, MC crew types. Not only was the band tight, and he played his customary extended guitar solo in the set. Highlights for me included ‘The Beginning… At Last’, ‘Funeral Bell’, ‘Bleed For Me’, ‘Suicide Messiah’, and ‘Stillborn’.

KX

Eddie Trunk of That Metal Show introduces King’s X, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

In between bands all day I tried to catch some of the talent at the Birch Hill Stage, named for the old Birch Hill Nightclub, the stuff of Jersey legend and special venue to me. Among the acts we caught some or all of were Gilby Clarke (Gun ‘N Roses), Faster Pussycat, Stephen Percy of Ratt fame and King’s X. We saw all of their set and it was terrific. Hanging out with fans and singing every word in the set from the crowd was LaJon of Sevendust, who also gave the band a shout out earlier in the day too.

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Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

 

3DG-15

Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Back to the main stage, it has been a big year for Three Days Grace and Ghost Cult has been there for a lot of it. Playing the fest in a run of headline dates, the band leaned heavily on their greatest hits and their new album Human (RCA). Lead singer Matt Walst has won over most of the hold out fans who wanted Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia) back and he is a great replacement for Adam.

Slash closed out night one with his mates Miles Kennedy And The Conspirators and just blazed through a set of his own material and of course, a lot of GNR stuff too. It felt like an epic happening, as Slash is a one of a kind showman, beloved blues jammer and icon. Myles and crew are total pros and deliver song after song all night. It was a fine end to a long day of fun.

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FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL DAY 2 COVERAGE

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY OJC PICS/OMAR CORDYhttp://www.twitter.com/Ojayy666

Extreme, Tom Keifer, Sebastian Bach, Dokken, etc Confirmed For Cathouse Live

Cathouse Live

Riki Rachtman’s World Famous Cathouse will return to Southern California for one night as Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (recently known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) in Irvine, CA. Riki Rachtman created the original rock dance club that dominated the Hollywood scene from 1986-1993. The lineup confirmed for this evening include:

All-Star Jam
Extreme
Tom Keifer (Cinderella)
Sebastian Bach
Dokken
Faster Pussycat
Stephen Pearcy (the voice of RATT)
Saigon Kick
Gilby Clarke
Dangerous Toys
L.A. Guns
Junkyard
Trixter
Autograph
Black ‘N Blue
Tracii Guns
Enuff Z’ Nuff
BulletBoys
Bang Tango
Jetboy
Pretty Boy Floyd
Tuff
Little Caesar

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The Decline of Western Civilization Series Deluxe Box Set Out on June 30th

decline of the western civilization the metal years

The Decline of Western Civilization will be receiving a deluxe box set on June 30, 2015 from “Shout!” Factory, supervised by director and series creator Penelope Spheeris. The four disc set will be available in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats, and will include Spheeris’ The Decline Of Western Civilization (1980), The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) and The Decline Of Western Civilization Part III (1998), a 40-page book containing an essay written by rock historian Domenic Priore (Riot On Sunset Strip: Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Last Stand In Hollywood), rare stills, and bonus features, including extended interviews, a commentary recorded by Dave Grohl in February 2015, and more. The set is available on Amazon.com and ShoutFactory.com.

The second in Spheeris’ music documentary trilogy, The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) takes a fast-paced look at the outrageous heavy metal scene of the late ’80s. Set in Los Angeles, the film explores fascinating portraits of struggling musicians, fans and star-struck groupies. Featuring Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Motorhead, and performances by Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzy Borden, London, Odin and Seduce, this raucous and uproarious chapter also chronicles the lonely naiveté of the striving bands, and the endless flow of alcohol and drugs.

Legendary moments from the film include Ozzy Osbourne’s straight talk about the pitfalls of the industry while he struggles to pour orange juice into a glass, an outspoken Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. lounges in a pool and pours bottles of vodka on his head, a comparison of outlandish groupie stories, and London setting a soviet flag on fire, all contrasted by a down-to-earth Lemmy offering some sage insight into the decadent rock lifestyle.

Spheeris credits her daughter, Anna Fox, for not only encouraging her to get the movies out there for the fans, but also for doing most of the incredibly complex expanse of work that was required. For this, she is eternally grateful to Anna.
Special features:
* New 2K scan of each film supervised by director Penelope Spheeris
* Commentary by Dave Grohl
* Tawn Mastrey of KNAC interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Never-before-seen original footage, performances and interviews
* Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Theatrical trailers
* 40-page booklet featuring rare stills and text by Domenic Priore

the decline box_638

Monsters of Rock Cruise 2015 Confirms Lineup

monster of rock cruise 2015

The Monsters of Rock Cruise will be setting sail for the Bahamas this April 18-22 2015 aboard the MSC Divina, the four-day-and-night cruise celebrating the original legendary Castle Donington music festival held in England in 1980, will showcase Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music icons, including artists on the original festival bill.

This year’s cruise itinerary is kicked off by a two-night pre-party event at Miami’s Magic City Casino on April 15, featuring performances by Queensryche and Lillian Axe, and April 17, featuring performances by Stryper, Tyketto, Gabbie Rae and a special surprise guest artist.

The official line-up for the 2015 Monsters of Rock Cruise is as follows:

Tesla
Europe
Night Ranger
Tom Keifer of Cinderella
Extreme
KIX
Queensryche
Krokus
The Winery Dogs
Stryper
Lita Ford
Black Star Riders
Y&T
Zebra
Black ’N Blue
Faster Pussycat
Honeymoon Suite
Tyketto
Keel
John Corabi
Kip Winger
Michael Sweet
Richie Kotzen
Mike Tramp
Joel Hoekstra
Derek St. Holmes
Ron Keel
Leatherwolf
Babylon AD
Bang Tango
Heavens Edge
Frank Hannon Band
Lillian Axe
Rhino Bucket
Pamela Moore
Gabbie Rae
Atomic Punks
AJ’s Bravehearts

In addition, Eddie Trunk, host of VH1’s That Metal Show and “The Trunk Nation” on Sirius XM, is returning this year as Master of Ceremony. Eddie will be assisted by an all-star lineup of personalities including Luc Carl from XM’s Hair Nation, Nikki Blakk from 107.7 FM’s “The Bone,” Keith Roth, host on Sirius XM’s Hair Nation/Boneyard, Don Jamieson, comedian, co-host of VH1’s That Metal Show; Craig Gass, comedian/actor from Howard Stern’s channel on Sirius XM and DJ Will, music supervisor of VH1’s “That Metal Show,” In addition, this year’s cruise will feature a “Monster” version of the world famous Cathouse nightclub, complete with original proprietors Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat and Riki Rachtman of MTV’s Headbangers Ball.

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