Saturday, September 23, 2017

CD Review: UFO Return With "The Salentino Cuts" & OTIS Aims For "The Sun"

Classic rock band UFO currently have one of their most steady line-ups of their entire 48 year career, having been together now for almost ten years. To celebrate that achievement, the band decided to record some of their favorite c0ver songs for their first every full covers album. The new release titled "The Salentino Cuts" will be released on September 29th on CD and limited edition vinyl.

The new 12-song album begins with the classic sixties sounding "Heartful Of Soul," originally by The Yeardbirds. The band continues with an energized, punk-like version of The Doors' "Break On Through (To The Other Side)," before trying their hand at an odd cover for UFO, Mad Season's "River Of Deceit." The music is almost identical to the original, while lead singer Phil Mogg's vocals gives the song a bluesy vibe. UFO sound renewed during John Mellencamp's "Paper In Fire," while guitarist Vinnie Moore takes over the lead with his solos on Montrose's "Rock Candy" and Robin Trower's "Too Rolling Stoned." They wrap up their new album with a return to the sixties with a hard rocking version of The Animals "It's My Life." UFO are currently on tour, just recently returning to the states for two months of shows. To find out more about their new album "The Salentino Cuts," please visit the band's Facbook page at facebook.com/UFOofficial.

If the loss of the Allman Brothers Band have left a hole in your blues heart, then I have the perfect remedy, shot of OTIS! This south Kentucky band recently released their sophomore album, "Eyes Of The Sun" and have been hailed by legendary blues guitarist Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top). Their new 11-song release begins with "Change," which will bring up memories of Duane Allman's sweet slide guitar work as the band motors through this high-powered rock gem. The album continues with the big blues guitar sound of "Eyes Of The Sun" as lead singer Boone Froggett belts out the vocals with shear force. OTIS also showcase their ZZ Top influence on the guitar-boogie shuffle of "Home," before the back-to-back six minute jams of "Shake You" and "Turn To Stone." They finish up their new album with the swampy acoustic blues instrumental "Relief In C" and the 7-minute, gospel-like blues of "Let Your Love Shine Down." To find out more about OTIS and their latest release "Eyes Of The Sun," please visit theotisband.com.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Concert Review: Katy Perry Makes The 2nd Stop Of Her "Witness: The Tour" At Mohegan Sun

Elite pop artist Katy Perry kicked off her brand new "Witness: The Tour" last Tuesday in Montreal, Canada to stellar reviews. Her first U.S. date on this 5-month tour was Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, CT and it went wonderfully, with only a couple of hitches. Walking into the arena, you were greeted by a huge eye-shaped video screen that stood from the ceiling to the stage floor and took up the entire width of the arena. Flowing from the eye was an extended catwalk in the shape of a tear that was used extensively during the evening's performance.
 
The night was broken up into five different acts, each grouped together with songs that carried a common theme. As the lights went out shortly after 8:30 p.m., The huge eye-shaped video screen came alive with a space-like introduction. Each of the night's five segments kicked off with a video introduction, plus each act had it's own set of outfits for Katy Perry and her dancers.
 
As the opening video's journey ended, the screen split in two to reveal Katy Perry on a giant metal star being lowered to the stage as she kicks off her show with one of her new songs, "Witness." The awards show-like production of her concert featured giant dice with dancers coming out of the holes during "Roulette" and even left shark (from her Superbowl halftime performance) made an appearance during "California Gurls."
 
The night became a little more improv and less scripted when she called her mother from the stage to see how she was doing. Her mom asked how Katy was doing, by using her nicknames, "feather" and "turtle" and Katy's mom also told her to try the sky drop (which actually appears at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino).
 
Katy Perry continued to rock the night away with the guitar frenzied monsters of "E.T." and the funky groove of "Bon Appetit," before being eaten by an enlarged venus fly trap. This being only the second show of her extensive tour, she hit some technical difficulties when the planet she was supposed to ride would not drop from the ceiling in order for her to get on. After a short wait, Katy Perry was able to climb aboard her planet which would bring her on a track throughout the arena as she sang one of her favorite songs acoustically, "Thinking Of You."
 
Dressed in a sliver, shimmery costume, Perry would perform one of her new ballads "Save As Draft" from a smaller stage located in the middle of the area, before a laser show signaled the intense drum roll of another one her new songs, "Power." The final act of the evening included a ride on Tron-like motorcycle during "Hey Hey Hey" and a giant basketball shoot-up between Katy Perry and a father from the audience (who made his daughter's day by getting Katy Perry to wish her a happy birthday) during her recent hit single "Swish Swish." She finished her set with a giant lion's head appearing from between the video screens during her performance of her big hit single "Roar." 
 
The encore would feature Katy Perry rising from under the stage at the end of the tear-shaped catwalk. She would appear in the palm of a giant inflatable hand in a perfectly fitting evening gown to perform her hit song "Firework" as every fan in the arena was singing along, almost drowning out the pop star. So even though the beginning of her tour was delayed and she overcame a couple glitches in her performance this evening, Katy Perry made the audience feel extra special that night for being a part of her dreamlike, spectacular concert. 
 
The evening's opening act featured pop singer, Noah Cyrus (daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus), as she performed a short 30 minute set that included a cover of Lady Gaga's "Million Reasons" and her brand new single, "Again." Her performance also featured a quick, 2-song acoustic set, which seemed to fit her country background.
 
Setlist: Witness, Roulette, Dark Horse, Chained To The Rhythm, Teenage Dream, Hot N Cold, Last Friday Night, California Gurls, I Kissed A Girl, Deja Vu, Tsunami, E.T., Bon Appetit, Thinking Of You, Save As Draft, Power, Hey Hey Hey, Part Of Me, Swish Swish, Road Encore: Firework

CD Review: Jazz Singer Diana Panton Revolves Her New Album Around The "Solstice/Equinox"

Award-winning jazz vocalist Diana Panton will be releasing her 8th studio album titled "Solstice/Equinox" on November 3rd. It revolves around the theme of the changing seasons and how they parallel with life and love. Her new 13-song release kicks of with the lighthearted "They Say It's Spring" as you can't help but get wrapped up in Diana's sweet vocals. She gently floats on by with "The Heather On The Hill," before picking the tempo up for the sweet swing of "Up Jumped Spring." Diana adds her own touch to "That Sunday, That Summer" as her backing band lays down the perfect foundation for her vocals. Her voice is just adorable during "Manhattan," before quickening the jazzy pace of the standard "September In The Rain." She finishes her new release with Diana performing a duet with trumpet player Guido Basso during the mostly acapella "'Tis Autumn" and closing with the beautiful piano ballad "By The Fireside." To find out more about Diana Panton and her latest release "Solstice/Equinox," please visit dianapanton.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From eOne Artists MyChildren MyBride, Through The Eyes Of The Dead & No Warning

eOne Music is preparing to roll out three new releases on Friday, October 13th from heavy metal newcomers MyChildren MyBride, Through The Eyes Of The Dead and No Warning. MyChildren MyBride features the core duo of Matthew Hasting and Robert Bloomfield and they are preparing to release their eOne Music/Good Fight Music debut, "Vicious World." The new 12-song release begins with the extreme/hardcore metal screams of "XeN0" as the music settles into a grinding metal groove. The album is also broken up into different acts, with the first one "Act 1, Elysium 77" delivering the hardcore assault with its thunderous rhythm and arena-sized chorus. They continue with a more electronic metal sound on the growling attack of "Thorns," before reaching the second act, "Act II, Sonar," which carries a more mainstream metal appeal. The album's other two acts feature the more atmospheric metal appeal of "Act III, Wither" and the dark, epic tones of "Act IV, The Laughing Coffin" as the duo spew lyrics like a heavy metal hip-hop artists. MyChildren MyBride finish up their new album with the electronic beats of "KevlAr" and the NuMetal attack of "Guardian XIII." To find out more about MyChildren MyBride and their latest release "Vicious World," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/mychildrenmybride.
 
Up next is the return of east coast death metal band Through The Eyes Of The Dead with their first album in seven years titled "Disomus." Their new 10-song release comes blasting out of the gate with the intense speed of "Hate The Living" as the growling vocals and evil guitar riffs make for the perfect setting for Friday the 13th. The tempo quickens even more on the attack of "Obitual" as Through The Eyes Of The Dead continue their death metal assault. The heavy metal guitar riffs in "Of Mortals, We Once Were" and the epic delivery of "The Binding Nightmare Hex" showcases the band's excellent heavy metal musicianship. They finish up their new album with the neck-breaking speed of "Teras" and the deep, dark growl of "Dismal." To find out more about Through The Eyes Of The Dead and their latest release "Disomus," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/tteotd.
 
Lastly we arrive at the latest release from Canadian hardcore punk band No Warning. Their new album titled "Torture Culture" features the band's return after nearly ten years away from the music industry. They have not lost a step as their new 12-song album kicks off with the raw, energized attack of "Headless." They continue with the chugging rhythm and intense vocals of "In The City" and "Beyond The Law" as No Warning pour their hearts into this new release. They display a more thrash metal sound with "Like A Rebel" and then slow down for the metal ballad "Sanctuary," before finishing their new album with the punk-like quickness of the title-song "Torture Culture." To find out more about No Warning and their latest release "Torture Culture," please visit facebook.com/nowarning666.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Rock Bands Hot Water Music, Makeout, Blindwish & Sons Of Texas

From Gainesville, FL comes the latest release titled "Light It Up" from the hard rock/punk band Hot Water Music. It was self-produced and released on September 15th through Rise Records and features the band's most complete work of their nearly 25-year career. The new 12-song release begins with the aggressive, hard-hitting song,"Complicated" as Hot Water Music deliver their music with a chip on their shoulder. They quicken their pace with the punk-like fury of the title-song, "Light It Up" and "Never Going Back" as the band continue to showcase their youthful side in their music. They continue their hard rock assault with the big guitar riffs of "Sympathizer" and "Bury Your Idols," before finishing up their new release with the passion of "High Class Catastrophe" and the sing-along chorus of "Take You Away." To find out more about Hot Water Music and their latest release "Light It Up," please visit hotwatermusic.com.

Another new release from Rise Records is the full-length debut album, "The Good Life" from American punk band Makeout. The band won a spot on the Vans Warped Tour and developed quite a following in their home state of Massachusetts. Their new 12-song album kicks off with the high-energy of "Childish" as their music was tailor-made for alternative rock radio. Their music is the perfect soundtrack for high schools with songs like "Crazy" and "Lisa." Makeout build up the intensity of the chorus on "You Can't Blame Me" and "Til We're Gone," before finishing their new album with the acoustic revenge punk ballad "Secrets" and the final "Blast Off" of punk energy. To find out more about Makeout and their latest release "The Good Life," please visit makeoutofficial.com.

On September 1st, we received the debut album from Dallas, TX alternative rock band Blindwish. Their new album titled "Good Excuses" features 1o-tracks of high-energy, beginning with the modern rock of "After Midnight," which combines elements of electronics with hard rock riffs and a youthful energy that will have you stand up and take notice of the rising new band. They continue to blast your ears with the intense rock approach of "Single Word" and the hard rock riffs of "Cold Shoulders." Blindwish take their foot off the gas for the acoustic ballad "Down," before returning to the hard rock of "They're Not Real" and guitar driven "Echo." To find out more about Blindwish and their latest release "Good Excuses," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/blindwishband.

Arriving on September 22nd is the sophomore release titled "Forged By Fortitude" by the Texas heavy metal band Sons Of Texas. Their new 11-song release comes bursting out of the gate with the hardcore metal attack of "Buy In To Sell Out" as the thunderous drum rolls will certainly get your blood pumping. They lock into a modern thrash groove for "Feed The Need," before diving "Down In The Trenches" with the song's big guitar riffs. They find the perfect recipe for hard rock radio success with "Cast In Stone" and showcase their planned attack on your ears with the frenzy of "Expedition To Perdition" and "Jaded Eyes." Sons Of Texas wrap up their new release with a return to their hardcore metal sound in the title song, "Forged By Fortitude" and the hard-edged country rock of "Slam With The Lights On." To find out more about the Sons Of Texas and their latest release "Forged By Fortitude," please visit sonsoftexasmusic.com.