Many words have been used to describe Devin Townsend over the years. Oddball. Eccentric. Quirky. Canadian. To name but a few. Since exploding into the confused consciousness of metal fans around the world on Steve Vai‘s ‘Down Deep Into the Pain’ video in 1993, Townsend has gone on to create a musical legacy so uniquely unconventional that his career almost defies description. Continue reading
After the first trailer for the PG recut of the holiday-themed version of Deadpool 2 saw Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) and Fred Savage (The Princess Bride, The Wonder Years) slam Nickelback by comparing the Fox made Marvel superhero movies to the Beatles, if they were produced by the successful Canadian rock band. Now the tides have turned. In the new trailer ahead of tomorrow’s release of Once Upon A Deadpool, after the slam that Savage served in the first trailer is uttered, he piles on by calling them “overproduced, formulaic ear garbage.” Deadpool defends the band. Proving to be a Nickelback stan, Deadpool defends them discussing all of their record sales and accolades as facts to why they are beyond reproach. Reynolds slyly makes a few references to their Canadian roots he and the band both share. Then after he and Fred reconcile, and they both sing the smash hit “How You Remind Me”, headbanging gleefully. Check out the new trailer below and the rash of accomplishments Mr. Pool shares about the best-selling band ever from Roadrunner Records.Continue reading
In a series of tweets, Devin Townsend revealed he is nearing completion of his new album, Empath, due this spring via InsideOut Music. In addition to frequent collaborator Anneke Van Giersbergen (Vuur), Devy is working with Chad Kroger of Nickelback, Che Dorval, Mike Keneally, and others. He discussed the arduous process of making this album and how relieved he is that it is nearing completion. He also commented that the theme of the album is “anti-suicide”. Continue reading
Melding differing types of rock and metal together are American metalheads Sons of Texas. Formed in 2013 from, as their name suggests, the lone star state SOT are vocalist Mark Morales, drummer Mike Villareal, bassist Nick Villareal, and on guitar Jon Olivarez and Jes De Hoyos. Their new album Forged by Fortitude, coming two years after their début Baptized in the Rio Grande (both Razor & Tie/Spinefarm), is a continuation of their radio-friendly hybrid of rock and metal. Continue reading
It may be all too easy to scoff at bands that come from that America specialty of post-grunge hard rock acts following the likes of Nickelback, bands often cited as lowest common denominator rock and metal. What this does overlook is the genuine talent that does come through in this style, and at the very least that they do sometimes bring some great songs (even Nickelback have some anthems, don’t deny it). Relative unknowns in the UK and Europe, Pop Evil are big news in their native USA and are beginning to make some waves across the Atlantic (a pretty well received Download Festival main stage slot is a good start), and with good reason.
Pop Evil have always been a little bit different from the crowd they find themselves in, with a bit of an exploratory streak beyond their peers, whilst not proving wildly unpredictable or hard to follow. On this, their 4th effort Up (eOne Music) proceedings are immediate and huge from the start but also have an underlying sense of atmosphere, almost veering on eerie and morose at times.
Opening with lead single ‘Footsteps’ is a statement of intent, displaying the album’s new found positivity in comparison to its predecessor’s gloomy tone, as its instant chorus and metallic crunch embed themselves firmly into your head. Not that it lapses after this as throughout, each song proves strong, if not as memorable as others. Even the obligatory ballad ‘If Only For Now’ has a darker feel opposed to the sugar coating that many would do. Leigh Kakaty’s vocals prove heartfelt and genuine and certainly match the band’s colossal, if somewhat unoriginal, sound.
This kind of stadium ready contemporary rock is certainly not for everyone’s taste and it very rarely sets the world alight in the sense of reinvention or necessity, and whilst Up doesn’t entirely buck this trend it certainly further evidences Pop Evil’s prowess and their edge above many of their peers. With a greater sense of atmosphere than many similar bands and an ear for a good tune, these guys have proven themselves as one of the strongest in their field. Big things await.
Nickelbacktoday announced the cancellation of al remaining date of their current US tour. The dates were for the ongoing second leg for the No Fixed Address North American Tour due to front man Chad Kroger’s diagnosis of an operable cyst on his voice box. Kroger will undergo surgery in three weeks, which includes weeks of vocal rest as part of his doctor ordered recovery plan. Initially only a handful of shows were canceled, with the band hoping to salvage the tour. Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase. For more information please visit http://www.livenation.com/ and http://www.nickelback.com/.
Kroger released a statement about the tour cancellation:
“I am sorry I have to interrupt the party this summer and I am definitely not thrilled with the prospect of being silent for many weeks to come when I could be out there playing for our fans. I am relying on my doctor and his team to help get my voice back in good form as quickly as possible.”
Kroeger’s medical team anticipates a full recovery and the No Fixed Address tour will resume with their previously scheduled European run, in Helsinki, Finland on September 30th. The band is hoping to return to North America on tour in 2016.
Nickelback tour dates – all canceled
Jun 19: Sleep Country Amphitheater – Portland, OR
Jun 20: The Gorge – George, WA
Jun 23: Sleep Train Amphitheatre – Wheat land, CA
Jun 24: Shoreline Amphitheatre -Mountain View, CA
Jun 26: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA
Jun 27: Sleep Train Amphitheatre – San Diego, CA
Jun 30: Isleta Amphitheater- Albuquerque, NM
Jul01: Chin Pavilion – Phoenix, Ariz AK
Jul03: Mandalay Bay Events Center – Las Vegas, NV
Jul05: USANA Amphitheatre Salt Lake City, UT
Jul07: Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO
Jul10: First Midwest Bank Amphitheater Tinley Park, IL
Jul11: Klipsch Music Center Indianapolis, IN
Jul14: Wells Fargo Arena Des Moines, IA
Jul29: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St Louis, MO
Jul31: Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
Aug 01: DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI
Aug 04: Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Aug 07: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Darien Lake, NY
Aug 08: Hershey Park Pavilion Hershey, PA
Aug 11: Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY
Aug 12: First Niagara Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
Aug 14: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY
Aug 15 : Mohegan Arena Uncasville, CT
Aug 18: Xfinity Center Mansfield, MA
Aug 19: Waterfront Park Bangor, ME
Aug 21: PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ
Aug 22: Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ
Aug 25: Jiffy Lube Live Bristow, VA
Aug 26: Farm Bureau Live Virginia Beach, VA
Aug 28: PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC
Aug 29: Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood , Atlanta, GA
Rock radio legendLou Brutus will be hosting Rock Fest in Cadott, WI on July 16-19, 2015. The four day event will feature over 50 bands including Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Nickelback, All That Remains, Pop Evil, and others.
Brutus is frequently onstage to host some of the biggest festivals in music including Knotfest (San Bernardino, CA), where this past October, he also hosted its worldwide webcast. He’s also acted as stage host for Rock on The Range, Rockstar Uproar, Rockstar Mayhem, Sonic Boom, Band Camp and countless other concerts and festivals. He has traveled the globe for three decades covering many of the biggest music events in history including Live Aid, Live 8, Live Earth, and The Wall at the Berlin Wall.
He is best known for his eighteen plus years of national syndication hosting hardDrive and hardDriveXL, heard on over 100 radio stations in the United States and Europe, as well as his work on other national radio platforms. He’s done local shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, and Providence.
Brutus has also hosted radio specials and/or created radio channels for Metallica, Slipknot, Stone Sour, Rush, Disturbed, Theory of A Deadman, Smashing Pumpkins, and numerous others.
Canadian rockers Monster Truck will be supporting Nickelback on their No Fixed Address tour in November 2015, and dates have been announced.
MONSTER TRUCK are currently hard at work on a new album, their follow-up to the blistering 12-track disc Furiosity. Holed up in their studio in Toronto with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Danko Jones) at the helm again, the band are hopeful for a Summer 2015 release, though no details are confirmed yet.
Guitarist Jeremy Widerman comments,
“What a peculiar and exciting experience it is to be simultaneously working on our new record and preparing for another trek across UK/Europe. We couldn’t possibly more excited to share the big stage with Nickelback and make our third trip overseas!”
Nov 13: Motorpoint Arena – SHEFFIELD
Nov 14: Hydro Arena – GLASGOW SSE
Nov 16: Radio Arena – NEWCASTLE Metro
Nov 17: Arena – MANCHESTER
Nov 19: Echo Arena – LIVERPOOL
Nov 21: Genting Arena – BIRMINGHAM
Nov 22: Capital FM Arena – NOTTINGHAM
Nov 24: Wembley Arena – LONDON
If we were to be perfectly honest, Nickelback have a lot to answer for (most of which the less said about the better), but biggest of all is the rise of the post grunge/alternative hard rock acts that USA seems to be able to churn out like a conveyor belt. Yes there the few worthwhile and genuine bands that came as a result (Alter Bridge being the best example) but are outnumbered vastly by the hordes of soulless, cookie cutter acts devoid of originality, deviation and substance. Step forward Las Vegas’ own Otherwise.
Latest album Peace At All Costs (Century Media) is yet another exercise in ticking all the boxes in the Fisher Price book of rock clichés. The typical harder tracks sit side by side with the obligatory softer, near acoustic ballads whilst lyrically it conveys the all too familiar matter of over compensating, alpha male vs forced emotional sentimentality.
Far from being the worst band in this arena of rock music however; with the occasional strong riff, especially the opening one in ‘For The Fallen Ones’ which has an Alter Bridge metallic vibe to it. Otherwise Peace… is a completely forgettable example of a modern day hard rock album with no imagination and even less heart and feel.
As ascents go, that of Black Stone Cherryto a major rock band has been a quiet and seemingly almost sudden one. Without huge amounts of press from some circles, these Southern rockers have steadily risen to recently announcing UK arena shows including the prestigious Wembley Arena; and achieving high (for a rock album) UK album charting on this, only their fourth album.
Often unfairly lumped with (likely for ease and laziness) with the over sanitised, lacking in substance hordes of post grunge arena rock Nickelback clones, Black Stone Cherry have always had a greater affinity with the grittier, classic periods of rock. Magic Mountain (Roadrunner) is evidence of this, harking back to their debut album with greater focus on faster paced, beefier songs and cutting hugely cutting down on the overly sugary ballads. The likes of ‘Bad Luck And Hard Love’ and lead single ‘Me And Mary Jane’ show that these still young lads are amongst the elite for writing good old fashioned rock songs that will have you tapping your feet away.
Production wise this has clarity and sheen without being completely sterilised, and still with a little dirt under its nails like the old greats they clearly hold in high esteem. It still has some hiccups along the way however; mostly losing momentum when the pace slows. ‘Runaway’ is nothing but the obligatory ballad whilst the over sentimental ‘Hollywood In Kentucky’ should prove too cringe worthy for most.
Black Stone Cherry were hardly going to venture into avant-garde territory, but Magic Mountain just shows what these guys are good at, and that is making music which is the perfect companion to the sunny festival season as you roar along with a pint in hand.
7 / 10