Marshall of Rock Top 30 Albums of 2012

Marshall of Rock Top 30 Albums of 2012

Jan 1, 2013

In a year of great classic, hard rock and heavy metal, it was tough to eliminate many worthy releases from the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums of 2012, but after much deliberation, we have come up with what we think is a representation of quality rock for the year. See what you think:

30. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth

A fine return by the San Francisco bay area thrash giants. With guitar interaction between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, definitive vocals from Chuck Billy, bass from Greg Christian, and a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who last played drums for the band on their 1997 album 'Demonic,' Testament have delivered an album that stands up to all of their past releases. "Dark Roots of Earth' debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, which was the band's highest debut in their history.

29. ZZ Top - La Futura

The band's first new album in 9 years brings back some true Texas blues rock ZZ Top style. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard were itching to get this album out after production delays with Rick Rubin, so they four new tracks: 'I Gotsta Get Paid,' 'Chartreuse,' 'Consumption,' and 'Over You' in June of 2012 as an iTunes-only collection titled 'Texicali.' The band's 15th studio album is truly "the future" for ZZ Top. Good to have the boys back.

28. Aranda - Stop The World

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma band's second album 'Stop The World' yielded three charting tracks, 'One More Lie', 'Undone' and 'Satisfied.' Dameon Aranda, Gabe Aranda, Mike Walker and B Webb have created a sound that is original and lasting. I expect more from this band in the future, and look for them to become a mainstay on the rock charts.

27. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last Of A Dyin' Breed

Lynyrd Skynyrd is on top of their game once again with their latest release, which is full of solid tracks. The 12th studio album from the band and first with bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes), also features additional guitar from the great John 5. Great songs like 'Homegrown,' 'Good Teacher, 'Ready To Fly,' and the title track, make this release a must for fans of southern rock and all rock fans in general.

26. Jack White - Blunderbuss

The always innovative and original Jack White has delivered an album that may very be his best work yet. His debut solo album was written, recorded and produced entirely by White in 2011. I appreciate everything White stands for, as he is a true music historian, has a plan for not only his Third Man Records, but everything he does musically. When promo copies of the album were distributed to reviewers and radio stations, they were sent as vinyl records to prevent leaks. A leader in today's world of music.

25. Overkill - The Electric Age

Band leaders and original members Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) have crafted an epic return to glory with The 16th studio album from the New Jersey thrash legends. 'The Electric Age' lives up to the epic releases in the 80's from the band and has brought them back to prominence in the metal world. Overkill will be touring in early 2013 with Testament and Flotsam and Jetsam, bringing more exposure to this release that really deserves it.

24. Europe - Bag Of Bones

A great album from a band that sounds better than in their 80's heyday. Vocalist Joey Tempest has described Europe's 9th studio album as "a hardcore classic rock record with the blues knocking on the door," and I'd have to agree. The album debuted at #2 in their native Sweden, where they were recently named the #3 all time favorite band. 'Bag Of Bones' has not yet garnered the attention it deserves in the U.S., but hopefully that will change in 2013. Kevin Shirley produced, mixed and engineered this great album, and he must be my producer of the year, as he has at least two other albums on my Top 30.

23. KISS - Monster

The 20th and latest KISS studio album delivers musically, with the production from Paul Stanley and guitar work from Tommy Thayer as standouts. The band used old analog equipment instead of digital recording gear while recording 'Monster.' Gene Simmons said about the recording of 'Monster': "Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don't have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound." We are glad they did, as this is the best KISS album in years.

22. Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 1

Corey Taylor delivers with Part 1 of the two part House of Gold & Bones. Stone Sour can ride the line of serious hard rock to lyrically touching mid tempo tracks and pull it off like no other band can. Part II will be out in 2013, and I'm sure that one of rock's men of the year will keep his band innovative, original and relevant.

21. Dead Sara - Dead Sara

A compelling and engaging debut from the Los Angeles based band. Vocalist Emily Armstrong and her bandmates show on this album that they are a force that will be recognized in the world of rock and won't be ignored.

20. The Treatment - This Might Hurt

The U.K. boys remind me of a young Def Leppard, with some AC/DC and UFO thrown in. With great tracks like 'The Doctor,' 'Nothing To Lose But Our Mind', 'Shake The Mountain' and more, this album rocks from start to finish. Coming off some U.S. exposure as the openers on 'The Tour' with KISS and Motley Crue, these guys are ready and willing to take their career to the next level, and I think they will.

19. Soundgarden - King Animal

One of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, Soundgarden broke up back in 1997, but reunited in 2010, making concert festival and some TV appearances, as well as releasing a special 7" on Black Friday Record Store Day. 2011 brought the live album 'Live On I-5', and that all let up to the recording and release of their 6th studio album in 2012. The album is heavy, the album is fast, the album is true Soundgarden music.

18. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu

Guitar great Gary Clark Jr. has released independent albums and E.P.'s before, but 2012 brought Clark's major label album debut, and a stunning piece of work it is. Clark's music has elements of blues, rock, funk, soul and country, and he says he is even influenced by jazz and hip hop. Already playing clubs in his hometown of Austin, Texas as a kid, he met promoter Clifford Antone, proprietor of the Austin music club Antone's. Antone's was the launching pad for fellow Texans Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. That propelled him to eventually sharing the stage with music greats  B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top,  Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crow and more. He has performed at the White House, and just last month was a part of the Rolling Stones New Jersey shows. The album is a true showcase of his talent and includes a version of the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Third Stone From The Sun'. Gary Clark Jr. is just starting his amazing ride to greatness.

17. Tremonti - All I Was

The first solo album from the Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist, it is what he wanted it to be - a pure metal album! Crunchy tracks, awesome riffs, and outstanding vocals from Tremonti himself. A must for all metal fans.

16. Pop Evil - War Of Angels

These Michigan rockers were a touring machine in 2012, playing many of the cuts from their fantastic album 'War Of Angels'. With four singles released from the record: 'Last Man Standing,' 'Monster You Made,' 'Bosses Daughter,' and 'Purple,' the band maximized the album's potential after delays caused by record company issues with Universal had kept it from it from it's initial release date. The guys moved onto a new label (eOne Music), who have backed the band and album to the fullest and the band is now primed to move into the future with even more success.

15. The Black Keys - El Camino

Akron, Ohio's Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released their 7th studio album'El Camino' in December of 2011, and 2012 brought the brought massive sales and success for the release. They have etched out a dedicated and loyal following not only by their fans, but by critics, and it looks as though the Black Keys are going to be one of those bands that will be around in 10 to 15 years, as long as their material holds up. With #1 rock tracks 'Lonely Boy' and Gold On The Ceiling', as well as the top 5 cut 'Little Black Submarines,' it was hard to escape the band. 'El Camino' and 'Lonely Boy' were nominated in five categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards, where they are sure to win a few, if not all five they are nominated for.

14. Kill Devil Hill

Hard rock at it's best on the debut album from the band named after the small town of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Rex Brown, guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg, bring the rock heavy and modern on a release that deserved more acclaim and recognition in the world of hard rock and metal. The band are planning their second release and I'm sure we'll see growth and more exposure for this great new hard rock band!

13. Heart - Fanatic

Ann & Nancy Wilson returned in 2012 with not only a box set 'Strange Euphoria,' but a fantastic album on new material called 'Fanatic.' Great songs, great hooks, and above all great guitar and vocals from the first ladies of rock. They are now Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and are still putting out quality new music that will stand the test of time.

12. Halestorm - The Strange Case Of...

Halestorm put out an awesome album in 2012 that continued the growth and respect that the band have garnered from just about everyone in the hard rock world. Lzzy Hale is a dynamic frontwoman and musician, and will continue to lead Halestorm into the future as one of the great rock acts to be reckoned with.

11. Charm City Devils - SINS

Baltimore Maryland's own Charm City Devils released their 'SINS' album in January of 2012, and lead by singer/songwriter John Allen, the band crisscrossed the country, gaining new fans at every stop. Two singles have been released from the album so far, 'Man Of Constant Sorrow,' and the anthemic 'Unstoppable,' which is now a go to track at sports events nationwide. Hopefully Charm City Devils will release at least one more track from the album, as it is full of great tracks. I really like their brand of rock, and the fact that they are all about their fans. Congrats on a great 2012 to Charm City Devils!

10. Rush - Clockwork Angels

Rush returned with their highly anticipated album 'Clockwork Angels' in 2012, and it lived up to the expectations. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are the epitomy of rock musicianship and year after year. After initially releasing the album tracks 'Caravan'  and 'BU2B'  were to radio and for online digital purchase in June of 2010, and playing those tracks on the 'Time Machine' tour, the band finished up the album and have since released 'Headlong Flight' and 'The Wreckers' and subsequent singles. The album debuted at #1 in their home country of canada and at #2 in the U.S.

9. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

Springsteen released his 17th studio album in March of 2012, and it came at a time we needed it most. An idealistic and angry album, it addresses enonomic injustice, the lack of accountability he sees in government, the 'American Dream' and includes the late E Street band member Clarence Clemons with saxophone solos on 'Land of Hope and Dreams'  and backing saxophone rhythms on the title track, which was originally written about the then-pending demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey from the stadium's point of view. Bruce is still bringing the protest message that is sorely needed from more musicians and artists.

8. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight

An epic release from one of our generation's guitar virtuosos, it bleeds emotion and takes the listener on a fantastic musical journey. I really like Kevin Shirley's production work, who Bonamassa also worked with on the Black Country Communion album. A guitar masterpiece, that will be hard to top, but I know Joe will figure out how to do that.

7. Shinedown - Amaryllis

Shinedown had a lot to live up to after the success of their last album 'The Sound Of Madness' spawned 5 singles and spent an amazing 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200, but it looks like they are doing it. 'Amaryllis' was released in March of 2012 and to date has yielded the hit tracks 'Bully,' 'Unity,' and 'Enemies.' The band may go five deep on the album, and if so, look for the title track and/or 'Miracle' to be the next singles.  In November of 2012 vocalist Brent Smith announced that the band had already completed their next album, so we may get to hear that before the end of 2013. In February, Shinedown will get back on the road with Three days Grace and P.O.D. for one dynamic triple bill. It looks like 2013 is going to be just as successful as 2012 was for Jacksonville, Florida's Shinedown!

6. Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension!

After some delay in the release date (originally in May) for 'Music From Another Dimension!', it was released this past November and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. While I am not a fan of all the tunes on the band's 15th studio album, there is enough of the old-school feel of early Aerosmith with production by Jack Douglas to satisfy. Expect more touring and tracks to be released in 2013.

5. Black Country Communion - Afterglow

Black Country Communion continue to crank out great rock in minimal time. When Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian come together in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley, there is a magic that is undeniable. Already the band's third studio album since their inception in 2009, we can hope it isn't their last. Glenn Hughes has continually talked of touring behind the releases, but with Joe Bonamassa's extensive spring/summer solo touring schedule every year and his reluctance to sacrifice that for BCC. Let's hope that all works itself out, and we get more great material and some touring from this fantastic rock band!

4. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

Led Zeppelin releases a live album of their 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena in London as part of the Ahmed Ertegun tribute, you know it has to be on my list. I just wish Robert Plant would re-consider never playing more shows as Led Zeppelin. I know he can't hit all the high notes like he once could, but I don't care, I want to see him share the stage with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones again. I guess this release will have to do.

3. Rival Sons - Head Down

The Long Beach, California based rockers return with their second album 'Head Down,' which continues the modern retro rocking vibe of their 'Pressure and Time' album. Already two singles in, the band continually sells out shows in Europe and hopefully 2013 will bring the band the level of success they deserve in their own country. One of my favorites, I just can't get enough of their music or their vibe.

2. Slash - Apocalyptic Love

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have firmy etched out their place in the world of rock. I knew by the collaborations on Slash's previous solo album that featured Myles on two cuts, that when it was announced that the 'Apocalyptic Love' album would feature Kennedy and the band, that it would kick ass. Upon first listen of my #1 track of the year 'You're A Lie,' it was obvious that this release would be special. I'm looking forward to more releases from Slash and his great bandmates!

1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth

A triumphant return to glory for most of the original lineup of Van Halen, with David Lee Roth's animated vocals, the Van Halen brothers contributing blistering guitar and drum work, and Wolfgang Van Halen more than holding his own on bass. I was like many others who wasn't completely feeling the first single 'Tattoo', but ironically it is probably the weakest track on the album, but it did go to #1 on the mainstream and classic rock charts. Standout tracks like 'Stay Frosty,' You and Your Blues,' 'China Town,' 'Bullethead,' and more, the album is worthy of #1 for 2012 on the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums!!

Some albums that just missed my Top 30:
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
Linkin Park - Living Things
Lita Ford - Living Like a Runaway
Theory Of A Deadman - The Truth Is
L.A. Guns - Hollywood Forever
The Cult - Choice Of Weapon
Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull
Adler - Back From The Dead
Papa Roach - Time For Annihilation

Marshall of Rock Top 50 Tracks of 2012: 25 to 1

Marshall of Rock Top 50 Tracks of 2012: 25 to 1

Dec 31, 2012

Happy New Year! Here's to a kick ass 2013 to all of you! I continue with my countdown of my Top 50 tracks of 2012 with numbers 25 to 1. Thanks to all these great artists for all the music in 2012, and thanks to YOU for finding your way to Marshall of Rock in 2012. We all appreciate it!

25. Halestorm - Love Bites (So Do I) - Lzzy Hale and Halestorm have firmly established themselves as a major force in American rock. Lzzy is in my opinion, one of the most dynamic and relatable vocalists in rock! The band's latest album 'The Strange Case Of...' is full of kick ass potential radio tracks, and the band is really a tight unit, hitting their full stride. 2012 kicked ass for the band, and 2013 looks to be even bigger for them!

24. Gary Clark Jr. - Ain't Messin' Around - This Austin, Texas guitarist is primed to take his cult following mainstream and become known as the next guitar legend. Playing shows with the Rolling Stones this year, being featured on 'Austin City Limits', and being part of the upcoming 'Crossroads Guitar Festival' again in 2013 with Eric Clapton and every other guitar legend imaginable will only add to his legend. Funky, bluesy and rocking, Gary Clark Jr. will be a name that has the potential to go down in history!

23. Adelitas Way - Criticize - These Las Vegas rockers had hit track after hit track from thier 'Homeschool Valedictorian' album, but this one had to be my favorite. Adelitas Way are a band who have done it right, with quality musicianship and songwriting, and the emotion delivering a track that grabbed me from the first listen. This band will continue on an upward arc!

22. Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull - The second track on my Top 50 for 2012, 'Hats Off To The Bull' pulls no punches as it smacks you hard all the way through and never lets up. Chevelle had one hell of a 2012, and are primed to elevate their success in the future. What a kick ass track!

21. Rival Sons - Until The Sun Comes - The first entry into my Top 50 from Rival Sons, the Los Angeles based band that not many people realize are from L.A. 'Until The Sun Comes' is the second single from their second album 'Head Down' and continues the passionate retro rock vibe the band is already known for. 'Head Down' has already been released in Europe, and will soon be out in the U.S. Rival Sons have layed a solid base in the U.K. and Europe, and I know they are poised to duplicate that success in 2013 in the U.S., blowing away audiences and hopefully getting some radio airplay with their brand of rock.

20. Shinedown - Unity - The second Shinedown track on the Top 50, the vocals from Brent Smith on 'Unity' convey hope with an uplifing spirit. A great track from a great band!

19. The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling - Another band with their second track on my Top 50, this to me is the definitive Black Keys track of 2012. As much acclaim as Black Keys received in 2012, if they can continue on this level, they potentially could one day be one of the few current bands worthy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration.

18. Heart - Fanatic - Speaking of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, here is one of the latest inductees: Heart! Their latest album 'Fanatic' is quality from start to finish and leads off with this rocking title track. Ann & Nancy Wilson haven't lost anything vocally or musically over the years and this is proof. Looking forward to a 2013 of recognition for the great leaders of female rock! Heart rules!

17. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators - Standing In The Sun - The second single from the 'Apocalyptic Love' album from Slash and his band, it is probably my second favorite song from the album as well! Slash has always done it right and delivered musically in his post Guns N' Roses career, but with Myles Kennedy on vocals and the other superior musicians in his latest band, he really has outdone himself. It's good to know that this current band will be all getting together to do another album in the future!

16. Aerosmith - Lover Alot - The second Aero track from 'Music From Another Dimension', 'Lover Alot' harks back to the early days of Aerosmith. I really like the production on the track from Jack Douglas, it's raw and gritty and I dig it!

15. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight - My favorite Bonamassa track from his fantastic album with the same title. Joe continues to gain more and more fans every day, and for those that haven't been exposed to the emotion and feeling that Joe brings in his guitar playing and vocals, once you hear it, you will be hooked. Kevin Shirley's production work with Joe is a perfect combination.

14. Black Stone Cherry - Like I Roll - BSC have their second track in the Top 50 with 'Like I Roll.' Black Stone Cherry are true American Rock and Roll! Can't wait to see what's next for the band - they will be writing and getting ideas together for their next project in 2013.

13. Europe - Not Supposed To Sing The Blues - This isn't the 'Final Countdown' Europe you may remember. When I mentioned to others how great the new Europe is, they always mention 'Countown', but after hearing this fantastic track, their image of the band has changed. This was another of the tracks in 2012 that when I first heard it, it blew me away. I had to listen to it over and over. Joey Tempest is one of the most appreciative and humblest frontmen in rock, and the band deserves all the success it has received. Europe was recently named the #3 all time band in their native Sweden. The band played some shows in Europe in 2012, but hopefully 2013 will bring Europe to America for a tour. I want to see this track played live!

12. Black Country Communion - Confessor -  BCC do it old-school, cranking out albums in succession in minimal time and delivering every time. Their was some discord between band members this year, as Glenn Hughes really wanted to tour behind BCC's latest album 'Afterglow,' even mentioning that if that didn't happen, this could be the last release from the band. I hope not. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa is committed to his solo career, which I understand, but time must be made to play live with what in my opinion is one of the best band's in the last 10 years. This is Rock!

11. Kill Devil Hill - Strange - The supergroup featuring drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg (former Pissing Razors), bring hard rock back in a big way. Named after the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, a location renowned from pirating days, they sound like hard rock pirates, attacking their music in a way few new band's can. Kill Devil Hill's self-titled debut album was released this past May, and I really felt they didn't get the acclaim or recognition they deserved with it. It will happen with their second album, which hopefully we will hear in 2013.

10. The Rolling Stones - Doom and Gloom - One of the two new tracks from The Rolling Stones 'Grrr!' greatest hits release, 'Doom and Gloom' impacts immediately. It is completely relevant in both message and musically. I wish the Stones would put out an entire new album of material, as by all indications from this track it would be the right time for it. Great track from the musical legends!

9. Pop Evil - Bosses Daughter - The West Michigan rockers have had many ups and downs in their musical career, but they are definitely ending 2012 on a high note, rocking at a gig in Las Vegas where they are sure to play this track from the 'War Of Angels' album. Co-written with Mick Mars of Motley Crue, 'Bosses Daughter' is a high energy kick ass rocker with a video to go along with it. Not only is Mars featured prominently in the clip, so is Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and other amazing beauties. This is the kind of video we really don't see anymore. It reminded me of the old MTV Headbanger's Ball days, where eye candy was a prerequisite for every clip. Thanks for bringing it back Pop Evil!

8. Chickenfoot - Different Devil - A cut from the Chickenfoot III album that garned a majority of its airplay in 2012, 'Different Devil' has feeling and emotion lyrically and musically. If you think there's someone better: RUN AWAY...Into the arms of something new...YOU CAN STAY...If you think he'll treat you better than I do...Turn around babe...I'll be right here waiting for you. Chickenfoot will be on hiatis for 2013, with Chad Smith fully committed to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Satriani to solo gigs, but Sammy Hagar will be playing shows with the Wabos, and has talked of another possible project with bandmate and buddy Michael Anthony.

7. Foxy Shazam - I Like It - I went to 'The Church of Rock and Roll' and it was all good! This was another one of those 'first listen' cuts that you initially knew would do really well. These white boys obviously love big black asses, sing about it, and invite everyone else along for the party.

6. Redlight King - Comeback - An inspiring track with a message of redemption. Originally on the 'Avengers' soundtrack, this track is uplifting and gives hope, at least it did to me. I "Felt" this track this year. If you have had a bad 2012, don't worry in 2013 you too will make a 'Comeback.' Thanks Redlight King

5. Rival Sons - Face Of Light - The second Rival Sons track in my Top 50. 'Face Of Light' is from the Rival Sons album "Pressure In Time'. With a multitude of emotion, Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Michael Miley (drums) and Robin Everhart (bass), bring music that takes you to a different place. Listen to the track with eyes closed first, then watch the video second. I can't say how glad I am that Rival Sons are making music in 2012 and beyond.

4. Charm City Devils - Man Of Constant Sorrow - Baltimore, Maryland's own Charm City Devils get the #4 spot on my Top 50 with their remake of the American folk song originally recorded by Dick Burnett. The song's popularity was rekindled with the Soggy Bottom Boys version of it from the 'O' Brother Where Art Thou' motion picture. Charm City Devils decided to record a rocked up version of the song, made it the first single from their 'Sins' album, and let the ass kicking begin! I can't wait for the next album from these talented guys.

3. Van Halen - Stay Frosty - My favorite track from the 'A Different Kind Of Truth' album, 'Stay Frosty' sounds to me like it should have been blasting out of radios this summer. It's a fun jam with awesome guitar licks from Eddie and the party filled vocals from David Lee Roth. There are many great tracks on 'A Different Kind Of Truth', but this one lands at #3 for me.

2. Rival Sons - Keep On Swinging - The first single from the 'Head Down' album, and the third track from Rival Sons in my Top 50. Labeled a Los Angeles band, they actual originate from Long Beach, California. Rival Sons bring a dynamic retro rock vibe without sounding dated or nostalgic! This nearly made it to #1, but three cuts in my Top 50 shows how legitimate Rival Sons are to me. They should be to you too!

1. Slash - You're A Lie - My #1 track of the year goes to Rock and Roll and Hollywood Walk of Famer Slash. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are primed to take on the rest of this decade with fury and authority. When I first heard Myles Kennedy would be recording an entire album with Slash, I knew it would be great because of their previous collaborations. That continued with 'You're A Lie', one kick ass track from a legend of rock and his great band! Congrats Slash!!

Marshall of Rock interview: Chatchi Riot of Pop Evil

Marshall of Rock interview: Chatchi Riot of Pop Evil

Aug 27, 2012

Grand Rapid Michigan's own Pop Evil have shown that they are really road warriors that truly care about their fans. They are seemingly always on the road or working to further the reach of the great American Rock N' Roll that they deliver. The band is currently on the Trespass America tour in support of their latest album 'War Of Angels' with Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engine, Trivium and more. I had a chance to chat with Pop Evil drummer Chatchi Riot earlier this week while on the way to Oklahoma City.

 

Pop Evil are wrapping up the Trespass America Tour this week with the final show on the trek in Los Angeles, before heading out on headlining dates that will take them through September, followed by a Canadian tour through October with Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society that wraps up On Nov. 1st. Their busy touring year then wraps up on the Shiprocked Cruise on Nov. 27th with Godsmack, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Stone Cherry, P.O.D., Dead Sara, Sevendust, Filter, Lit, Gilby Clarke, In This Moment and more.

I first thanked Chatchi for the band bringing it back to how Rock N' Roll videos are supposed be made with their last single 'Boss's Daughter,' written with and featuring Mick Mars of Motley Crue and A LOT of eye candy, before getting the story on the lastest single (and 4th from 'War Of Angels') 'Purple.' We also touched on the band's past legal issues with their former label, who he can't believe he's met, the next album, their home state of Michigan and some football talk. Look out world, Pop Evil isn't going to stop until everybody know their name!

After our conversation, Chatchi (aka Josh Marunde) shared with me that he's a big 80's hair metal fan and let me know that a couple of videos from the band and the music of Slaughter were an important influence on him, as was the band's drummer Blas Elias. Blas is still drumming for Slaughter and is also playing in the Las Vegas production of Blue Man Group.

Special thanks to Bill Meis and Chris Iteen from eOne. Check out everything Pop Evil at: www.facebook.com/popevil and www.popevil.com

Pop Evil Tour Dates:
Aug. 31 - Impalla Ballroom - Marshalltown, IA
Sep. 1 - Taste of Madison - Madison, WI
Sep. 5 - Power Plan Live - Baltimore, MD
Sep. 7 - Rock Island Brewing Company - Rock Island, IL
Sep. 8 - Oktoberfest Grounds - La Crosse, WI (w/ Royal Bliss)
Sep. 13 - Station 7 - Laurel, DE
Sep. 14 - Fishbone Gill and Grille - Vienna, WV
Sep. 15 - Gold Crown - Harrisonburg, VA
Sep. 16 - Montgomery County Fairgrounds - Dayton, OH
Sep. 19 - Outland Ballroom - Springfield, MO
Sep. 20 - State Fair Of Oklahoma - Oklahoma City, OK
Sep. 22 - Buffalo Run Casino - Miami, OK
Sep. 28 - Dekalb County Free Fall Fair - Auburn, IN
Sep. 29 - The Machine Shop - Flint, MI
Oct. 14 - Monirae's - Pennellville, NY
Oct. 18 - Halifax Forum - Halifax, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 21 - Rapids Theater - Niagara Falls, NY (w/ Black Label Society)
Oct. 23 - Guelph Concert Theatre - Guelph, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 24 - Toronto, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 26 - The Community Auditorium - Thunder Bay, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 27 - Burton Cummings - Winnipeg, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 28 - Odeon - Saskatoon, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 30 - MacEwan Hall - Calgary, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Oct. 31 - Edmonton Event Centre - Edmonton, Canada (w/Black Label Society)
Nov. 3 - The Vogue Theatre - Vancouver, Canada (w/ Black Label Society)
Nov. 27 - Shiprocked - Ft. Lauderdale, FL


 

Rock Picks of the Week: Van Halen, Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown, Pop Evil, Sebastian Bach, Lenny Kravitz

Rock Picks of the Week: Van Halen, Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown, Pop Evil, Sebastian Bach, Lenny Kravitz

Jan 18, 2012

First up is the new Van Halen track 'Tattoo', which comes from the new album 'A Different Kind Of Truth'. The album will be released on February 8th, and although the reviews on this first single are mixed, how can I not put the new Van Halen in Rock Picks of the Week? Personally, 'Tattoo' seems to be Van Halen's attempt to maximize airplay with a radio friendly track that could be construed as being as mass appeal as possible. I would have preferred a more 'in your face.' kick ass track to introduce the album, but that obviously wasn't the consensus decision in the VH camp. Some online observations from those that have heard the entire album say that the rest of the album has some seriously rocking tracks, and I have got to think that is the case. I can't wait to hear the full album. Van Halen kick off their tour Feb. 18 in Louisville, KY at the KFC Yum! Center.


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Black Stone Cherry are back in the Rock Picks of the week for the third time with another track from one of the top rock albums of 2011, 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea.' 'In My Blood' could very well surpass the ascent of 'White Trash Millionaire' and 'Blame It On the Boom Boom' on the charts, as the track is already nearly Top 20 on the rock charts. It's another great track, from a great album and a fantastic American Rock Band!

Let's all request the song on our local rock radio stations and jack it up even more!


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Road Warriors BSC will be back on the road in the U.S. with Cavo starting Jan. 30 in Omaha, Nebraska. The guys will keep it going with a headlining trek in Europe starting in March. Keep kicking ass guys!

Shinedown are back with their new track 'Bully.' The anti-bullying anthem come from their upcoming album, 'Amaryllis,' to be released on March 27 from Atlantic Records. 'Amaryllis' sees Shinedown joining forces once more with producer Rob Cavallo (Kid Rock, Green Day), who previously collaborated with the band on 2008's hugely successful 'The Sound of Madness.' They recorded at Cavallo's Lightning Sound studios outside of Los Angeles as well as a pair of Hollywood landmarks, Ocean Way Recording and Capitol Studios.

"I've always seen Shinedown as its own entity – this living thing that's been growing and developing and evolving over the past 10 years," said frontman Brent Smith. "During the recording, the vision of what Shinedown is and where it's going became completely clear. Amaryllis is the manifestation of that vision, the centerpiece of what Shinedown is. It reflects on everything we've done and where we're heading. It's a message of empowerment, perseverance, and inspiration that I think speaks to fans that have been with us since the beginning as well as those who are just learning about who we are and what we're about. I can't wait for the world to hear it."

The song is already nearly Top 10 at rock radio. Shinedown kick off a tour of Germany and the U.K. on February 1st in Hamburg.


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Michigan rockers Pop Evil have released another kick ass track from their latest album 'War Of Angels.' The sexy 'Boss's Daughter' is hell on heels! The third single from 'War Of Angels' was co-wriiten with Mick Mars of Motley Crue. Leigh Kakaty (vocals),Tony Greve (guitar), Davey Grahs (guitar), Dylan Allison (drums) and Matt DiRito worked their asses off in 2011, and they will continue to keep the momentum going into 2012 with another great track and continuous touring. These guys deserve all the success they have gotten and continue to build on the Pop Evil brand. I am really liking what the band are bringing and want to see them live, as I haven't done so yet.

 

Pop Evil have released a deluxe version of 'War Of Angels' on iTunes with 4 tracks not on the original album and kick off yet another tour on January 19 in Ottawa, Illinois.


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The band have to be happy that Michigan Wolverine quarterback Denard Robinson is coming back to the big house for his senior year. They are huge Wolverine fans, and even wrote a song in tribute.


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Sebastian Bach is up next with 'Tunnelvision', the second track released from his great album 'Kicking & Screaming.' Seb wrapped up 2011 in fantastic fashion, opening up for Guns N' Roses on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. Bach will continue to be busy in 2012, starting with some gigs singing with the Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) Band at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on Friday Jan. 27th, Saturday the 28th & Sunday the 29th. There will be a live webcast at 8 and 10pm for the Jan. 28th concert at iridiumlive.net. Bach will continue his solo headlining dates on Feb. 2nd in Baltimore, Maryland.


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Lenny Kravitz has released "Push', the second single from his latest album 'Black And White America.' It's an inspirational song inspiring us to keep pushing, to find our place, find our way home.  


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Lenny has a big 2012 in store. Besides a U.S. tour coming up, he participated in Amnesty International's latest music project, 'Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.' Lenny recorded "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" for the collection, which will support Amnesty's life-saving human rights work. You can also see Lenny in the highly anticipated movie version of 'The Hunger Games' as Cinna on March 23rd. It promises to be one of the movies of the year. Lenny was great in 'Precious,' and he was recently featured in yet another hilarious 'Funny Or Die' video, 'Lenny Kravitz Is Angry.'  

Lenny kicks off his North American tour on Jan. 27th in Boston. Here's the dates:
Jan. 27 - Boston, MA - Wang Theatre
Jan. 28 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
Jan. 30 - Detroit, MI - Fillmore
Jan. 31 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater
Feb. 7 - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
Feb. 10 - Denver, CO - Buell Theatre
Feb. 12 - Phoenix, AZ; Comerica
Feb. 14 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
Feb. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Nokia Theatre
Feb. 19 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Las Vegas
Feb. 22 - Dallas, TX - Verizon Theatre
Feb. 23 - Biloxi, MS - Beau Rivage
Feb. 25 - Miami Beach, FL - Fillmore


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Rock Picks of the Week: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Staind, Anthrax, Kopek, Pop Evil

Rock Picks of the Week: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Staind, Anthrax, Kopek, Pop Evil

Jul 20, 2011

The Red Hot Chili Peppers new album, "I’m With You" will be released worldwide on August 30th, and the first single from the album, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" is the first rock pick of the week.

Vocalist Anthony Kiedis revealed the origins of the song itself — origins that began with an hour-long jam session and exactly one classic bass line.

“When I first heard ['Maggie'], I didn’t know it would be a single. [But] I knew that I loved the jam,” Kiedis explained. “My first recording of that, I don’t think it had many vocals on it. It was kind of mostly instrumental, about an hour long. Flea brought it in as a very specific exercise to write a classic bass line. He woke up, had his tea, sat down: ‘I’m going to write a classic bass line. You can’t stop me.’ Played his bass line until he felt it was cooked into a classic, brought it to us and said, ‘This is Classic Number One.’ On a good day, you just know if there’s music to wrestle with and get with, and it was one of those moments.”

So Kiedis sat down and listened to the track and was immediately struck by the propulsive groove Flea had laid down. And things just took off from there, with Klinghoffer adding a winging guitar line and drummer Chad Smith providing a loose, limber backbeat. But even if things were taking shape, Kiedis said he never thought “Maggie” would be anything more than a B-side. If that.

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The Chili Peps will begin their new World Tour in August 2011 and will tour right through until 2013 in support of the new album! The tour will kick off in August 9th in China, Hong Kong at AsiaWorld Arena, followed with the August 13th-14th – Japan, Osaka and Tokyo, Summer Sonic Festival. The band won't be touring the U.S. until 2012, but will perform at one show on August 24th at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles. The show is a benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization that facilitates basic music education, started by Flea. The primary focus is on the youth of the community but all are welcome and encouraged to participate. The Conservatory offers private music lessons at a reasonable cost and grants scholarships to children in need, providing free lessons and instruments. The study of music enriches the life of the student as well as the community and society. Flea and Anthony Kiedis are both on the board of directors for the school. Some of the tickets will be auctioned off beginning Thursday, July 21st at 10am through Friday at 3pm, while the remaining tickets will go on sale Saturday, July 23rd at 10am.

The Chili Peppers hired Mr. Brainwash, a protege of Banksy to help promote the new album, due out August 30th. tmz.com/red hot chili peppers street art

It's a great track that I get into more and more with each listen:


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"Not Again" is the new single from Massachusetts rockers Staind. The song comes off the band's seventh studio album and first full-length release in three years, "Staind", will arrive in stores and at all digital retailers on September 13. Produced by Johnny K, who's known for his work with 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, and Sevendust, not to mention his Grammy Award-nominated collaboration with Staind, 2008's "The Illusion Of Progress". The album was mixed by the legendary Chris Lord-Alge. The song rocks and sounds to me like it could potentially be one of the biggest tracks in Staind's career.

"Staind" track listing:

1. Not Again
2. Eyes Wide Open
3. Failing
4. Wannabe
5. Throw It All Away
6. Now
7. The Bottom
8. Take a Breath
9. Paper Wings
10. Something To Remind You

Staind recently parted ways with drummer Jon Wysocki after seventeen years of playing together. Drummer Will Hunt (Evanescence, Black Label Society, Tommy Lee) sat behind the kit for Staind for several shows in May.


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Anthrax's long-awaited new album, "Worship Music", will be released on September 13 through Megaforce Records. Anthrax have really exceeded expectations with this new album, and it should be a massive success for the band.

In a recent Twitter post, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian writes, "'Worship Music' is finished. I just listened to it LOUD in sequence. Our 10th studio record is fucking killer. Sept 13 my friends!"

"Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't", a brand new song from Anthrax marks the return of vocalist Joey Belladonna, whose last full-length studio work with the band was 1990's "Persistence of Time".

"Worship Music" is loaded with stand-out tracks. While "Judas Priest" is a nod to the huge influence that band has had on the members of Anthrax and metal heads everywhere. "I'm Alive" is beautiful and grand with a build that demands audience participation. "Crawl" is dark and moody, and filled with a lot of the emotion and stress the band was feeling when it was written. "Fight 'em 'til You Can't" is a song about killing zombies, and who doesn't love a good zombie song? It's the one new track that Anthrax has played live since they started touring with Belladonna a year ago, and has been getting tremendous audience response. The song "Earth on Hell" is classic Anthrax thrash. "The Devil You Know" is best-described as "an AC/DC groove filtered through an Anthrax lens," while "In The End" is epic-sounding and Anthrax's way of remembering the late Ronnie James Dio and Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott.

"Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" is a song about killing zombies, and is the one new track that Anthrax have played live since they Belladonna rejoined the line-up a year ago.

Renowned comic book artist Alex Ross, who has worked with Marvel Comics and DC Comics and is known for his "Marvels", "Kingdom Come", and "Astro City" illustrations, created the original painting for the cover. Ross also did the original artwork for Anthrax's "We've Come For You All" and "Music Of Mass Destruction" albums.

"Worship Music" track listing:
1. Worship (intro)
2. Earth On Hell
3. The Devil You Know
4. Fight 'Em Til You Can't
5. I’m Alive
6. Hymn 1
7. In The End
8. The Giant
9. Hymn 2
10. Judas Priest
11. Crawl
12. The Constant
13. Revolution Screams

Anthrax have two shows coming up (July 23 & 24) in Toronto and Montreal, before the Big 4 U.S. east coast show at Yankee Stadium in New York on September 14th. After that big, Big 4 show, Anthrax heads over to Japan with a few shows with Hellyeah.


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Up next is "Love Is Dead" from Kopek, the Irish trio that have a history that stretches back a decade. Drummer Shane Cooney and bassist Brad Kinsella grew up as next-door neighbors in Dublin, and through their shared love of classic and modern rock music, quickly decided that rock stardom was their ticket to bigger and better things. “We listened to all the old stuff, The Stones, Hendrix, The Doors, Zeppelin, amazing bands where you can hear the energy,” recalls Cooney.

The first singer who answered their ad in a local musician’s magazine turned out to be the golden voiced Daniel Jordan, and from there Kopek, average age 15, was born. In 2005 Kopek won the title of Best Live Act at the Global Battle Of The Bands – www.gbob.com – earned them $100,000, a world tour, and one assumes a hell of a lot of fun. One thing that was eluding the band, however, was a partnership that could help bring them to a worldwide music buying audience. In 2009 Dublin based record company Religion Music entered the picture and signed the band to a large multi-album deal. With guidance, help and production from Glenn Herlihy and mastermind mixer Tom Lord-Alge, White Collar Lies was born.

This is the follow up in the U.S. to "Cocaine Chest Pains", which ia another kick ass track and  also a rock pick on Marshall of Rock.

A great song with some great visuals and art work on the video models body. Really like Kopek's sound, attitude and aggressiveness. Kopek will be in Grand Junction, Colorado at the Rock Jam Festival on August 27


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Pop Evil's "Monster You Made", produced by Johnny K (who also produced the new Staind track in this week's rock picks), is the second single from the bands album "War Of Angels". The song is the second single of the much delayed album. The band had quite a bit of trouble with their label in getting the album released (on the eve of releasing their sophomore album, War Of Angels, Universal Records dropped the band).

Rather than let the band’s ill-fated label deal bring them down, the band kept on touring and promoting their album, even when they weren’t sure how it would be released. Then earlier this spring, eOne Music (formerly Koch Records), signed the band and agreed to release their album in July.

Pop Evil just kicked off a short tour with Black Stone Cherry. Here's the remaining dates:
July 20th in Greenville, SC @ The Handlebar
July 21st in Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
July 22nd in Jackson, MS @ Club Fire
July 23rd in Mountain Home, AR @ Vada Sheild Center
July 25th in Huntsville, AL @ Crossroads
July 26th in Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
July 27th in Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall


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