One of my favorite releases of 2022 so far has come from the band Deaf Club. They have a ferocious and frantic energy that makes for some really killer heavy songs and a revitalization of sorts of what the “punk” genre should actually sound like. Recently, Deaf Club dropped a new EP called Bad Songs Forever. On this EP there is a track called “If You Eat A Rat, It Might Taste Good” that every time I hear it, I want to start a mosh pit. Deaf Club is the type of band that is carrying the flag at a time when society is on its last legs and a revolution is needed via music. Check out this killer track!
It was teased over the weekend and now it’s here… NEW MUSIC FROM THE MARS VOLTA! This is the band’s first new music to emerge online since their 2012 album “Noctourniquet.“ The song “Blacklight Shine” does seem to pick up where Noctourniquet left off. So for those of you wanting that follow up to Deloused, you’ll have to keep waiting. Either way, it’s nice to have The Mars Volta back who also just announced a 13 date Fall Tour this year as well.
The Mars Volta-Blacklight Shine:
The Mars Volta- Blacklight Shine (Official Video-Extended Version):
The Mars Volta 2022 Tour Dates:
09/23 Dallas, TX – The Factory in Deep Ellum 09/25 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle 09/27 Philadelphia, PA – The Metropolitan Opera House 09/29 New York, NY – Terminal 5 10/01 Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway 10/03 Washington, DC – The Anthem 10/05 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall 10/06 Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre 10/08 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom 10/11 Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom 10/14 Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre 10/18 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield 10/21 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
I’ll admit, it’s been a minute since I’ve been excited by a new Russian Circles song. After their album Memorial, I kind of fell off on them a bit. Perhaps I was looking for more evolution from them or something else. Either way, my time away has made for this new track they released today be on repeat since I heard it. This is the Russian Circles I remember and liked. Great riffs and rhythms power this pummeling track. The song the released is called “Conduit” and it’s from their upcoming album, Gnosis out August 19 via Sargent House. If this is the direction Russian Circles is going with on their new album, I can tell you right now, it’s about to get very loud and awesome!
Covert Stations are back with their second cover off their upcoming series of covers from songs of the 70’s and 80’s. This classic by The Cult is forever one of the best songs to come out of the 80’s. And to this day when it’s played on the radio or when The Cult plays it live, it is still an anthem. This version by Covert Stations keeps it close to the original with a bit of a “chuggier/slightly heavier” guitar crunch and the soaring vocals of Craig Cirinelli takes it to the other level a cover should go.
Back before the world went into total chaos and lockdown and then some, there was a time when things were still “normal.” In 2019, when Baroness released their absolutely wonderful album Gold & Grey, they did a small concert in this really tiny club for Kerrang Magazine. The end result was beyond memorable. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve watched this show. The set list is amazing, the performances are out of this world and the older material with this lineup sounds better than it’s ever sounded. This performance solidifies Baroness not only as a force to be reckoned with live but also shows that they truly know how to make a show and set list flow in such a way that you not only are captivated but a bit hypnotized as well. I can’t wait for the next Baroness album! I have a feeling it’s going to be something to really be excited about.
Baroness- Live in the K Pit:
Set List: 01) Morningstar 02) Seasons 03) March To The Sea 04) Borderlines 05) Can Oscura 06) A Horse Called Golgotha 07) Shock Me
When the news first broke that Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle/Ashes Divide was going to put out a solo album under his name, I became very intrigued. While reading about the making of the album, there was a quote of Billy’s that really stood out to me, “”This is me stepping back into my early teen self and making the record I would’ve made if I had the means and the knowledge when I first picked up a guitar — just in 2022.” I couldn’t love that statement more. I love that he went back to the well of what first really got his passion of music going and created an album that pays homage to those musical influences and inspirations but this record is one that can stand on it’s own during a resurgence of that sound.
What Normal Was is ten songs of goth tinged, dark pop, with melancholic tendencies and a sense of ambience that is both haunting and beautiful. Digging into his love for bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode and Siouxie and the Banshee’s, you can hear those bands in certain moments wheteher it’s a synth, vocal melody, bass line, guitar part or even a drum beat. But this isn’t a “copy” of those bands. Instead this is Billy making the album that he grew up wanting to make. I have a strange thing about wanting to go track by track as I feel like it gives the listener a preconceived notion but I do want to highlight a couple tracks. Opener “Selfish Heart” is one hell of a track to kick off the record. The vocal delivery on this song is superb. As the album continues tracks like “Free and Weightless,” “Ani,” “Beautiful Mistake,” “Poison Flowers,” and “Bring Honor Back Home” have all been standouts each time I listen. Closing song “Stars” is quite the contemplative track and one that gives the album an open ending to continue on this path at a later date.
What Normal Was is the type of album in 2022 that is not only needed but it’s a teaching tool for all these younger bands and “kids” who don’t quite understand how to make this type of music. The homage portion of the album and the desire to create something that you’ve always dreamed of makes this album work. It’s not just Billy stepping out of the shadow of Maynard and A Perfect Circle, this is Billy discovering who he is as a musician and songwriter. What Normal Was is a record that will grow on you after a few listens. There’s even a part of it that will make you want to seek out the bands and albums that helped to inspire this record. Personally, I can’t wait to hear what Billy Howerdel does next in his musical evolution.
I love when bands reunite for the right reasons. You can often tell when a band gets back together it’s for reasons that has nothing to really do with the music or passion. That’s not the case for Venice, California natives Cycotic Youth. After being away for almost 30 years, the legendary DogTown Thrash Punk Rockers are back with a new attitude and an album of songs that will absolutely pummel you. Since they announced their return, Cycotic Youth has been ripping up stages any chance they get, reminding everyone that not only are they back but they are taking no prisoners along the way. Their new album CYCO UP, which was produced and recorded by Terror’s Nick Jett, will be out in July. In the mean time, CY have released two banging singles/videos in “Cycofied” and new single “Cyco Up.” Both videos were directed and edited by the bands new guitarist Nick Garcia. These videos give you a little glimpse into the life of CY and where they come from. The lineup consists of OG members Jason Brown (vocals) and Mikey Beato (bass/vocals) is rounded out by Nick Garcia (guitar) and Billy Greenwood (drums) new comers but, not new to the DogTown scene. Cycotic Youth are back with one hell of a vengeance and I highly recommend you take the time to check them out!
A friend of mine recently got into Baroness and ever since he told me that, I went back down the rabbit hole of Baroness and found a slew of alternate versions, acoustic renditions and live versions of some of my favorite songs in the bands catalog. Baroness’s last album Gold and Grey features some of my now all time favorite Baroness songs as well as my favorite lineup of the band. One song in particular that always gets me when I have Gold and Grey on is “Tourniquet.” There is something so gripping about this song. It’s delicate, powerful and one hell of a well written song. Plus the addition of Gina Gleason to the band really has taken Baroness to a whole level of writing and performance. Check out this killer version the band did during the quarantine of “Tourniquet.” It’s quite fantastic!
Rob Dukes is one hell of a metal vocalist. His time spent in Exodus is highly regarded in my eyes. After his time in Exodus, Rob went on to form a new band, Generation Kill. Continuing the brutality he left off with, this new band is unrelenting and takes a no prisoners approach. Recently the band released their new album MK Ultra and it’s a pummeling record. Now, a new single/video has been released for the song “Evil Eye.” What a track! This song also features former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland. Speaking on the song and collaboration Rob Dukes said “In ’85, I dropped the needle onto an album called ‘Killing is my Business… and Business is Good‘ and heard a guitar tone I’d never heard before. Ever since, Chris Poland has been one of my favorite guitarists of all time. To collaborate with him on this song is one of the greatest honors in my musical career. The solos he did on this song are mind-blowing. The unique style and tone is so unmistakably Chris.” When you get the chance check out the whole album. It’s awesome and also features Gary Holt (Exodus) and John Joseph (Cro-Mags, Bloodlust). If you are looking for heavy, Generation Kill is it!
Generation Kill- Evil Eye (featuring Chris Poland):
The year is 1995 and an album is about to be released that changes the heavy metal game for the future. This landmark album would not only put the band on the map but it would go on to be one of the most influential and inspirational albums of the 90’s metal scene and beyond. I’m talking about Fear Factory and their undeniable masterpiece, Demanufacture. There is one story I love about the making of this album that I have to share. The album was recorded at Bearsville Studios in rural New York. Also in residence at the studio was New Jersey rockers, Bon Jovi who were in the studio recording their album These Days (which is actually a really good album in the Bon Jovi catalog and quite dark too). Anyways the story goes that Fear Factory were in the studio next door and one of Bon Jovi’s engineers asked them to turn the sound down, as it was bleeding into Bon Jovi’s drum mics, during Bon Jovi’s recording sessions. But that’s a whole other story for another time. What I want is to focus on the title track of the album. The concept for the album is about a man’s struggles against a machine-controlled government, with each song a chapter in his life. The first song on the album is the title track “Demanufacture” and as a tone setter, WOW. This song is blistering. The riffs are pummeling and the drums blast like Thor’s hammer. Then when you add Burton C. Bell’s vocals of clean singing to heavier vocals, you just can’t beat it. What a way to start off an album and a classic one at best. This song has gone on to live in infamy as one of the best title tracks but also as a track one!