In only four and a half years, Cleveland-based Deadiron has solidified into a band that sounds like a group with a lot more time under its belt. The heavy metal outfit features a sound that is very heavy but still with plenty of melody in its musical approach. The current lineup of the band consists of Alexander Van Ness – Vocals, Tyler J. Harvey – Lead Guitar, CJ Langmack – Rhythm Guitar, J Bennett – Bass Guitar and Tom Walling – Drums. The band’s melodic metal sound is so solid that they even managed to grab the attention of Cleveland heavy metal label Auburn Records who put out the band’s 2015 release entitled Into the Fray.
When talking about their current single, "The Mission Field," I compared The Payroll Union’s musical stance to that of The Band’s breaking with the expectations and fashion of the day and mining a wholly different seam. Whereas the latter were happy to inhabit that older world, the former are more interested in describing it, the difference between historical re-enactors and academics, I guess. I say this because although they may look the part, their musical tools seem rooted in the present even if their subject is the riotous times of early 19th Century Philadelphia and it’s reactionaries, brawlers, preachers and rabble-rousers.
Austin, Texas-based Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle is a band that is headed by JK Grover on Guitar and Vocals. The rest of the band currently consists of Greg Birmingham on Bass and Mike Prosser on Drums and Percussion. Together, their sound merges the style of the Blues with the energy of Rock And Roll. The band’s Blues-Rock would fit alongside artists like Stevie ray Vaughn, ZZ Top and other artists that take the Blues to the next level by adding that Rock feel to it. Having already released a CD entitled Bone to Pick in 2008; Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle are back in 2015 with a new four-song self-titled release.
The four-song self-titled release from Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle begins with the track “Let Me Come Home”. The lyrics of the song find the singer trying to come to grips with being thrown out of the house after a fight. The sadness in the lyrics brings the Blues to life. The music of the track begins with a very strong drum and bass beat. When the guitar from JK Grover adds to the mix, the song really comes together. The resulting track feels a lot more upbeat than the lyrics would suggest, but that just makes the song that much more enjoyable to listen to. The song and its lyrics will easily have the listener joining in as the band sings the refrain to the song. For having such a depressing concept as being thrown out of the house, “Let Me Come Home” is a rather fun way to begin the band’s new release.
Heavy Glow is a hard rock band that features a rock trio foundation. Headed by Cleveland-born Jared Mullins, the band makes use of musical influences such as Queens of the Stone Age, Cream, and several other bands that contain a very heavy feel to their music. Currently, the band is promoting their newest release entitled Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine. Although the lineup for the band has changed since the band released their most recent album, the band’s lineup on the album consisted of Jared Mullins on vocals and guitars, Joe Brooks on bass and St. Judas on drums.
Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine begins with the track “45 Shakedown”. Right from the very beginning, the track finds the band creating music that fits with the rest of the band’s previous energetic library of music. With the heavy feel of the bass from Joe Brooks on the track, there is no getting around the fact that the band lives up to their moniker as Heavy Glow definitely has a heavy approach to their music. Along with the heaviness from the bass, the track features a very groovy musical approach from the guitar of Jared Mullins. The track brings to mind a combination of something from Canned Heat with the Blues flavor to the track and the power of the trio setting from the band Cream.
It may be just part of my inquisitive nature but I have always found myself drawn towards bands with interesting names or albums and releases with striking cover art. Some while ago I was trawling through Bandcamp and stumbled upon a superb alternative rock band called Dead Shed Jokers who are based in South Wales, UK. Yes their name caught my attention along with the cover art of their Peculiar Pastimes EP which is still available on Bandcamp as a pay what you want download.
Peculiar Pastimes is the title of the album which gripped me from just a few seconds after hitting the play button, ‘Peculiar Pastimes’ is the first of six tracks as well as being the only studio track. The other five tracks are superb live recordings from the BRFM vaults. They are from a live session recorded in late May 2013.
No More Kings is a Los Angeles-based rock outfit. The duo consists of Pete Mitchell on vocals and Neil DeGraide on almost everything else with a little help from some friends to help solidify the band’s sound. The duo formed while they were still in high school and they started writing songs around certain themes. When listening to an album from No More Kings, the band will cover concepts like zombies, karate and other ideas that will bring about a certain amount of nostalgia for the listener.
Having already released their self-titled album in 2007 plus And the Flying Boombox in 2009, No More Kings has returned in 2014 with their newest collection of songs. Having already released most of these tracks under the album title of 1973, No More Kings took the majority of the songs, added two unreleased tracks to the tracks from the previous version of the album that made the cut and created the new release called III.
Singer/guitarist Scott Rath and drummer Seth Pappas are two musicians that have very similar histories as far as their time in the music industry is concerned. After years of playing behind some of the biggest names in the business, both musicians figured they should create their own music. After finding each other, the two created the band Skunky Rooster. With the help of several other musicians to help flesh out the band’s sound (especially on bass), an album was created. That album is entitled Buskers’ Blusterade.
Black Hearted Riders are a fantastic new band who have an EP titled Northern Lights which should be set for release in the summer of 2015. This is a stunning set of four songs each of which has a strong hint of a ‘western music soundtrack’ about them. The synthesis of this with an extensively atmospheric rock sound creates a magnificently sweepingly scintillating soundscape.
Pittsburgh-based musician Bill Toms has been making a name for himself for a few years now. Once he went solo after spending a few years as guitarist with the band Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, Toms created several albums with his own band called Hard Rain. Recently, Bill Toms and Hard Rain celebrated the release of their newest album, 2015’s Deep in the Shadows.
Deep in the Shadows from Bill Toms begins with a slow pace to the music as “I’ve Got No Use (For What You’re Selling Me)” finds Bill and Hard Rain creating a Soul music track with plenty of feeling. The song is the perfect tune to start off the newest release from Toms as the tune features the entire band, including the newly-added Soulville Horns. While the song includes the familiar Bill Toms sound that was present on the previous album of Memphis, it also features a feeling that will remind listeners of something that might have been on the radio back in the sixties. With the different musical flavors to it, the music of the track definitely has a timeless feel to it.
There are many ways in which the internet has changed the shape of the music industry. Small bands and artists are able to self promote through social media and websites. It is also possible for anybody to download the appropriate software to create a music studio on a suitable pc. The list goes on and is almost limitless. Another facet of this is that music enthusiasts like myself can easily set up a website or a social media page and publish articles or blogs online in order to help promote or undermine anything that they so wish to. I am sure that you are fully aware of all of this, the point which I am leading to is crowd funding. This allows fans to pre order albums before their production in order to help cover the costs involved enabling many artists to record, produce and release material which would not have been financially feasible without any crowd funding.
A shining example of this is the double album Flowers and Dirt which was released by Irish Blues Rock Psychedelic Shredmeister/ Glam Punk Sleaze Rock Frontman Bernie Tormé in September 2014.