Sunday, January 22, 2017

Volbeat: Globalization of Hard Rock 2.0

I've known of this band for a few years and I am surprised it has taken me this long to talk about them.  I have dug the sound Volbeat has put out for the past few years but I guess what got my attention was the story behind the band. That prompted me to write my blog about the band.

I first heard the band back in 08 with their release of the track Sad Man's Tongue and thought the sound was good.  In 2010, was their Album release Beyond Hell/Above Heaven and the band became a hit.

The band is very guitar rift driven.  They use a lot of the same driving rhythm on their tracks.  There is a lot about the mythology of the American Old West.  That's okay but when you find out where Volbeat comes from their obsession with the Old West takes on a wholly different feel.  Doing my research into the band I found out that they are Danish.  Once again, it is a  small world we live in that a Heavy Metal band from Denmark would write such authentic songs about the American Old West.

Their latest release was Seal the Deal and Let's Boogie.  The album keeps the same driving beat and great vocals of their past releases.  I enjoyed it but preferred the 2010 Beyond Hell/Above Heaven release.  Maybe the 2010 release had more tracks that I have heard for the past 7 years and really love so those might be the only reasons I prefer that release.

I would recommend several tracks for the band to get a feel for their sound, The Mirror and the Ripper, A Warriors Call, The Hangman's Body Count, Lola Montez, and my favorite release Still Counting.

A great modern Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band with a cool back story, Volbeat should be listened to.

Till next time, listen to the best  - your ears deserve it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Halestorm 3 take on Covers

I discovered Halestorm many years ago, actually 11 years ago with their first self titled release.  The song I Get Off got me hooked.  It has been great to see the band grow and become a mainstream of Modern Hard Rock, especially since the band is fronted by one Lizzy Hale.

I have talked about Women in rock and the strong foothold they have taken in the 21st Century.  One of the leading bands in the new wave has been Halestorm.  The band writes strong songs with driving guitar work and insightful lyrics.  I highly recommend any of their releases, but this review is about the latest of three EPs of cover work.

Starting in 2011 with the release of Reanimate Halestorm their first of their cover EP's.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that one of the great things about Modern Hard Rock and Metal is the respect they show to the bands from the 80's and 90's with covers.  The other thing that the Reanimate EPs and others in the Modern Hard rock community have done is cover current Pop songs.  The first EP has a astounding cover of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga and the current has a unique take on Heathens by 21 Pilots.  I have to say the stand out track for the three EPs is the cover of Pat Benatar's Hell is For Children.  Lizzy does justice in tribute to a female pioneer of Hard Rock.

The band shows their range by covering all periods of music; giving tribute while keeping the bands own flavor at the same time.  I only have one of sort of criticism, I wish they did the full cover of Still of the Night by Whitesnake. Lizzy sounds great on it but I want the full orchestra on all that Whitesnake had.  Other than that very minor critique of the EPs I wholeheartedly recommend you give them a listen.

Til next time,  listen to the best - your ears deserve it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Native Howl's Trash Grass

Thank you Joe Proctor for adding a link to this band on your Face Book page.  I am always looking for different blends of sounds and the latest EP release from The Native Howl fits the bill very well.

The Native Howl are 4 very talented musicians from Detroit who blend folk, rock, alternative and with the newest release Bluegrass to form a fun unique sound.  The band is still relatively young, only formed in 2013,with only three EPs/Albums released.

Intrigued by the Thunder Head track, the first release from Trash Grass, I decided to dig deeper and listen to the rest of the three albums the band has done.  I mostly liked what I heard from the first two releases and Love the newest Trash Grass.  The first two releases are mainly a Folk Rock, Alternative sound, which have never been my favorite.  I respect the musicians and can hear the quality of what they are doing but just not my cup of coffee.

Now with Trash Grass the music speaks to me.  The first track Thunder Head sounds like if you gave a top Bluegrass Group at hit of Speed and then recorded the results, which are Awesome.  Doomed from the Start is a fun track about how useless existence is the lyrics cleverly go over all the different ways Mankind can be doomed. Follow Me is a released track from an early release.  Finally, with Hurricane, the EP comes to its howling end.

A pleasant find and a fun blending of two styles of music that don't normally blend give Trash Grass a listen.

Til next time, listen to the best- your ears deserve it.