BottleRock Napa Valley the annual music festival, wine, beer and gourmet food aficionado experience will host it’s 2016 edition over Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-29) this year. Heading up the lineup will be The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + the Machine, and Stevie Wonder, joined by The Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz, Ziggy Marley, Walk The Moon, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and many more. Festival passes went on sale today at the festival’s official website or EventBrite.
Three years following the release of their last album, Apocryphon (Razor & Tie),The Sword return with High Country (Razor & Tie). I always go into things wondering if we’re going to get another Warp Riders (Kemado)record as that was how I was first exposed to the band. So, no, this isn’t Warp Riders II, but it’s pretty rad.
‘Seriously Mysterious’ is my favorite song off of the new album and I lost count of just how many times I played it while working on this review. It stands out from the rest of the album, with the intro ‘Unicorn Farm’ being the only other thing that somewhat matches it. Although not as complex as some of the other songs on High Country, ‘Seriously Mysterious’ is extremely catchy and will make you move. It and its more sinister sounding counterpart, ‘Ghost Eye’, are likely to make an appearance alongside songs like Steve Miller Band’s ‘Abracadabra’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstitious’ on a few Halloween party play lists this year. If your play list looks like that, I better be invited.
Fuzz-filled and riff laden, ‘Buzzards’ is another favorite selection from the second half of High Country. It is just simply a great song with a hypnotic chorus that draws you right in. I might even argue that this would have made a great choice for a song to close out the record on a more energetic note. I’d also recommend it for any upcoming road trips you may have.
High Country is a solid record overall but, as you can see, the second half of the album is where it really comes alive for me. Songs are a little meatier, a little groovier, and really help round things out, even if they tip the scales a bit more in one direction.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will present KISS with the ASCAP Founders Award at their 32nd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 29, 2015 at The Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, CA. The event is invite only. The ASCAP Founders Award goes to ASCAP’s pioneering songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Sir Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.