Album Review: Small Town Titans’ “The Ride”

Small Town Titans will be releasing their new album “The Ride” on Friday (November 13) and I was recently given the opportunity to listen to it early.

The effort blasts right out of the gate with the straight up rocker “Rufflin’ Feathers.” The track is chock-full of masterful guitar work combined with crushing drums and powerful vocals. Things only continue to get better as “The Man” completely hooks you, before one of the album’s highlights, “Behind The Moon,” hits you with a dose of soul.

“Behind The Moon” is followed by the catchy “Let Me Breathe,” the rocky “Universal Limits,” and the slow jam “9 To 5.” The latter, which serves as another album highlight, kind of gives off a country vibe, before things pick up again on the band’s grungy cover of Marcy Playground’s “Sex And Candy.”

As fans move towards the end of the record, they are greeted with the heavy as hell “When It All Comes Down,” which is sure to be a crowd pleaser when it’s safe for bands to play live again, and the infectious “Junkie For You (Hey Mama).” Those songs pave way for the title track, which closes the album by taking the listener on an epic, eight-minute journey.

All in all, “The Ride” is a killer hard rock record that has the potential to take the band to new heights.

Album Review: Magnolia Bayou’s “Strange Place”

Mississippi’s Magnolia Bayou will be releasing their new album “Strange Place” on September 24 and it is a must have for any rock fan.

The effort kicks off with “Dig Deep,” a rockin’ track that lets you know right from the beginning that the group have something special going on. The music has a southern fried 70’s vibe complete with the kind of soulful vocals and bluesy guitar work that you can’t help but move to. This trend extends throughout the record as fans are treated with killer songs like “Sugarspell,” “From The Other Side,” and “Thieves.”

The infectious music isn’t the only thing that keeps you hooked either. The storytelling within the songs is amazing as well. This is especially true on tracks like “Sleepin’ In The Dog House,” which deals with a man screwing up and getting kicked out while the dog gets to sleep in his bed, and “The Robber,” which deals with a man confronting a home invader.

Aside from the original music, the album also features some exceptional covers including the band’s takes on Eddie James “Son” House’s “Preachin’ Blues” and Leon Everette’s “Hurricane.” The latter is so good that it actually stands out as one of the effort’s highlights alongside the aforementioned “The Robber,” the catchy “Tupelo” and the slow jam “Sweet Magnolia.”

All in all, “Strange Place” is a rock masterpiece that has the potential to take Magnolia Bayou to new heights.

Album Review: Static-X’s “Project Regeneration Vol. 1”

Static-X are officially back with their new album “Project Regeneration Vol. 1.” The effort features songs that Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda tracked with unreleased vocal recordings from the late Wayne Static and it is a must have for fans new and old.

The record opens with an intro track, titled “Regeneration,” which contains a simple message: “the unexpected thing tragedy gives us is the opportunity to rebuild.” This captures the essence of the record, which took tragedy (Wayne’s death) and used it to rebuild the band to honor the frontman and bring kick-ass music to the people.

After the intro, things really heat up with “Hollow (Project Regeneration).” The heavy track gives fans the kind of ”evil disco” that they have come to love from the group. This trend continues as the song gives way to “Worth Dyin For.”

“Worth Dyin For” is then followed by one of the record’s highlights, “Terminator Oscillator,” which blasts the listener with a dose of dancy, electronic-infused metal. The infectious nature of the song progresses as fans are presented with the groovin’ “All These Years” and the vicious “Accelerate.”

As one moves deeper through the album, they will continue to find gems such as “Bring You Down (Project Regeneration)” and “My Destruction.” The latter just makes you want to move and it helps pave the way for the catchy “Something Of My Own (Project Regeneration)” and the ferocious “Otsego Placebo,” which happens to be another standout on the album.

Towards the end of the record, “Follow” breaks in with one last bit of aggression, before things get a little slower with “Dead Souls.” That song ultimately brings everything together by closing the album with a shot of emotion.

All in all, “Project Regeneration Vol. 1” is a killer album that will keep you hooked the whole way through. Make sure to check out the effort when it’s officially released on Friday (July 10) and keep an eye out for news on “Project Regeneration Vol. 2.”

EP Review: Blacktop Mojo’s “Static”

On the heels of their awesome album “Under The Sun,” Blacktop Mojo are back with more killer music in the form of a four-track EP titled “Static.” The effort, which will be released on May 29, kicks off with “The End,” an emotional track that offers the listener a sense of catharsis. This trend continues as “Watch Me Drown” and “Leave It Alone” break in with the kind of soulfulness one would expect from the band. “Leave It Alone,” which stands out as one of the highlights of the EP, is especially soul-stirring. That song leads into the closing track “Signals Gone,” which wraps everything up with one last display of blusey rock with honest lyrics. All in all, “Static” is another great collection of music from a band that never disappoints.

Album Review: Hollywood Undead’s “New Empire, Vol. 1”

Hollywood Undead never disappoint and their new album “New Empire, Vol. 1” is no exception. The effort combines elements of rock, rap, metal, and electronic music to create killer songs that are sure to satisfy longtime fans.

The record opens with the hard-hitting track “Time Bomb,” which pumps the listener up right from the start. It then continues to reel you in with dope songs like “Heart Of A Champion” and “Already Dead.”

As you move deeper into the album, you continue to find gems such as the extremely catchy “Empire” and the hip-hop/EDM influenced “Killin It.” Those tracks give way to one of the effort’s highlights, “Enemy,” which will definitely be a crowd pleaser during the band’s live shows.

Towards the end of the record, there are more surprises as fans are treated with some cool collaborative tracks including the infectious “Upside Down,” which features Kellin Quinn (Sleeping with Sirens), and the rockin’ “Second Chances,” which features Benji Madden (Good Charlotte). Those songs lead up to the closer, “Nightmare,” which wraps everything up with an emotional dose of hip-hop.

All in all, “New Empire, Vol. 1” is a genre bending piece of art that will keep the listener entertained the whole way through. Make sure to check out the album when it’s released on Friday (February 14) and keep an eye out for news on “New Empire, Vol. 2.”

EP Review: Another Day Dawns’ “Stranger”

Another Day Dawns will be releasing their new EP “Stranger” on Friday (January 31) and I was recently given the opportunity to listen to it early. The effort hooks the listener right from the start with “Beautiful Suicide.” The hard rocking track is a powerful opener that proves the band aren’t messing around. This trend continues on “Am I,” which maintains the hard rock sound while also adding a bit of a different flair to the mix. The track, which also has a killer guitar solo, gives way to “Taste Of Heaven.” That song isn’t as heavy as the previous two, but it has a lot of soul that carries over to the ballad “Never Okay.” This track is the slowest one on the release, but it is filled with solid vocals and lyrics that have the power to evoke an emotional response. This doesn’t last too long though, because the calmness is quickly interrupted by the aggressive “Forget Me Not.” This track veers further into the metal territory and it serves as a perfect closer. All in all, “Stranger” is a hard-hitting EP that is a must have for any hard rock fan.

Album Review: Blacktop Mojo’s “Under The Sun”

Blacktop Mojo’s new album “Under The Sun” will be released on Friday (September 13) and I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to listen to it early.

The effort busts right out of the gate with “Lay It On Me,” a hard rocking track that lets the listener know that the band are not messing around. Between the powerful, soulful vocals, the masterful riffing, and the killer drum work, you’re hooked right from the start. This trend continues as “Set It Free” breaks in before transitioning into the catchy “Come Get Your Coat.”

As you continue to move through the record, you really don’t want it to end, because every song is as killer as the last. Each one has it’s own flair and it doesn’t really matter if you’re listening to a bluesy number like “It Won’t Last” or a hard-hitting track like “All Mine Now,” because you’re in for a treat either way.

This is true all the way up to the end when the infectious title track kicks in. The song is a perfect closer that offers everything that fans have come to love from the group. In fact, it’s so infectious that the listener will inevitably press play once again at its conclusion.

All in all, “Under The Sun” is an incredible piece of art that has the potential to take Blacktop Mojo to new heights in the rock world.

EP Review: Kiss Kiss Bang’s “Hearts On Fire”

Kiss Kiss Bang recently released their EP “Hearts On Fire” and it is a must have for any hard rock fan. The effort consists of six southern tinged tracks rooted in the same vein as classic rock bands of the 70’s. It takes killer guitar riffs and mixes them with grooving bass lines, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals that work to solidify the fact that rock isn’t dead. Some highlights from the EP include “When It Rains,” “She’s Bad,” and the group’s cover of Bryan Adams’ “Run To You.” All in all, the effort showcases a band that is firing on all cylinders and it would definitely be a great addition to anyone’s music collection.

Album Review: Awake At Last’s “The Change”

Awake At Last will release their debut full-length album “The Change” on June 21 and I was recently given the opportunity to listen to it early.

Musically, the effort takes hard rock and mixes it with catchy pop-like elements that hook you from the start. For instance, tracks like “Unobtainable” and “More Than Animals” are able to maintain a heavier side, while also providing an almost dancey vibe that makes you want to move and sing along.

Lyrically, the album works to inspire feelings of hope and encouragement. The title track, which features Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills), is a perfect example of this, because it gives the listener the sense that they can be “The Change” that can better their lives or even the world. The same can be said about songs like “Bigger Picture,” which tells fans to “be the flame that brings a light to a world so dark,” and “Fallen Stars,” which closes the record by saying “We’re stronger together.”

All in all, “The Change” is a solid hard rock album full of pop sensibilities and meaningful lyrics that will keep you captivated the whole way through.

EP Review: Joyous Wolf’s “Place In Time”

Joyous Wolf recently released their new EP “Place In Time” and it is definitely a must have for any rock fan.

The group waste no time by launching into the energetic track “Had Enough.” The song sets the tone for the record while showcasing the band’s impeccable musicianship and soulful vocals. This trend only continues as the straight up rockers “Quiet Heart” and “Said Too Much” blast through the speakers.

In fact, “Said Too Much” is actually one of the highlights of the EP. It’s a little heavier and has the kind of masterful guitar work that makes you want to listen to it again and again. The same can be said about the effort’s title track, which contains all the band’s strongest elements mixed with catchy lyrics.

However, things start to change a bit when “Feel The Low” comes in. It’s much slower than the other tracks on the EP, but it proves the band aren’t afraid to shake things up by throwing in a ballad that’s pumped full of emotion. The softness doesn’t last too long though, because the group return to their hard rockin’ form with “Mother Rebel.”

Everything eventually culminates in the closing track “Undesired,” which is arguably the best song on the EP. It is just pure, unadulterated rock n’ roll that truly captures the essence of the band.

All in all, “Place In Time” is an amazing EP that only further cements the fact that rock music is alive and well.