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.

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.

Album Review: Dead Girls Corp’s “Bloody Noses And Hand Grenades”

Dead Girls Corp released their new album “Bloody Noses And Hand Grenades” last month and it is definitely a fun listen for fans of gothic, industrial, and new wave music.

The group kick things off with “Dead Girl.” The song does a good job of setting the tone for the album, but things really start to pick up on the second track, “From The Bottom.” This is a heavy, electronic infused song that can really pump you up. It is definitely one of the highlights of the record.

Things stay just as killer when “X’s No O’s” attacks the listener with heavy riffage, before “Alleys of Death” hits them with a 90s industrial vibe that is sort of reminiscent of Marilyn Manson. As that song ends, the band continue to rock on the industrial post-punk anthem “Ask For It.”

Things start to change a bit on the band’s cover of Billy Idol’s “Flesh For Fantasy,” which sees them further exploring their electronic elements. This trend continues as the intro to “You Can’t Change” comes in, before it turns into another post-punk track that has a similar sound to earlier songs on the album.

Once “You Can’t Change” ends, another one of the album’s highlights, “Promise Me,” gets its time to shine. This one is an electronic ballad that really showcases the more emotional side of the band. It gives listeners a chance to feel before the record rocks them again with the catchy track “V Day.” That song is followed by the modern rock sounding “Just the Same” and the heavy/angry sounding “Dynamite.”

The effort finally comes to end with “Worth.” It’s a fitting conclusion that seems to combine a number of various musical elements from the album into one more headbang worthy track.

All in all, “Bloody Noses And Hand Grenades” is full on gothic, industrial, new wave madness that will keep listeners grooving the whole way through.

Album Review: Iron Age Mystics’ “Pride Before The Fall”

Iron Age Mystics have been releasing their debut album “Pride Before The Fall” in four separate parts and each section is full of rockin’ tunes that carry a message. The record is a political statement about the pressing issues of today and that’s why you really have to pay attention to the lyrics. The highlight of part one is “Save It For The Revolution,” a bluesy track that takes on the current flawed system. The highlight of part two is “Down Deep,” a catchy song that focuses on people who try to make a humanitarian difference in the world. The highlight of part three is “Big, Bad Motherfucker,” another political anthem that even has a quote from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The highlight of part four is “You’ve Got The Power,” a groovy track that let’s people know that everyone has the power to evoke change. All in all, “Pride Before The Fall” is a political protest album with solid musicianship. If you like music that tries to make statement, this one is definitely for you.

Album Review: Chout’s “Dogwater”

Last month, various websites were running stories about a band called Chout and their singer Brendan Maier, who sounds almost exactly like the late great Layne Staley (Alice In Chains). I have since received a copy of the band’s 2018 album “Dogwater” and it is a must have for fans of grunge music.

The effort kicks off with “Seasons,” a hard-hitting track that really showcases Maier’s powerful vocals right from the get-go. It is a song that sounds like it came straight out of the 90s and it really sets the tone for the rest of the effort.

As one moves further through the record, they will continue to find amazing tracks such as “All Has Been Done.” That song finds the group maintaining the Alice In Chains vibe, while also mixing a bit of their own style into the music.

The band really reaches their peak on the song “Thin Ice.” This is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and it is something you can’t help but blast and headbang to.

“Thin Ice” is followed by the closing track “To Lose.” It is a perfect way to end the album, because it has everything thing that made it great to begin with, Staley inspired vocals backed by solid musicianship.

All in all, “Dogwater” is an amazing album that proves rock music is continuing to thrive in modern times.

Album Review: Lullwater’s “Voodoo”

Lullwater released their new album “Voodoo” earlier this month and it is a must have for any rock fan.

The effort busts right of the gate with the hard-hitting “Curtain Call.” This track showcases masterful riffing, pounding drums, chugging bass, and soulful vocals that give the listener an idea of what to expect from the next 10 songs, grungy hard rock with a southern tinge.

This trend continues on “Dark Divided,” a killer track with an awesome guitar solo. It is just something you have to listen to with your speakers at full volume.

As one moves towards the middle of the album, they will find more solid tracks such as “Similar Skin,” which is an extremely catchy song that you can’t help but singing along to and “This Life,” which features a sick drum intro mixed with roaring guitars. In fact those are some of the highlights of the effort.

Other highlights from the album include “Buzzards” and “Fight Of Your Life.” “Buzzards” is a rockin’ track that kind of has a dancey vibe mixed with aggressive vocals. Once it ends, “Fight Of Your Life” comes in to expand upon the band’s sound with the addition of horns, while also showcasing some heartfelt lyrics.

Everything culminates in the lengthy closing track “Suffer Not.” It clocks in at 10 minutes and 15 seconds and is probably the most different song on the album, but it is still just as great as the rest. The addition of violin makes this one especially cool.

All in all, “Voodoo” is an amazing album that proves Lullwater will be force to be reckoned with in the rock world.

Album Review: Aftermath’s “There Is Something Wrong”

Aftermath’s new album “There is Something Wrong” will be released on Friday (February 15) and I was given an opportunity to listen to it early. The effort is their first since 1994’s “Eyes Of Tomorrow” and it really packs a punch.

Musically, the group mixes elements of their crossover thrash roots with elements of the technical/progressive style that one may find on “Eyes Of Tomorrow.” For instance, a song like “Smash, Reset, Control” will appease those looking for a classic sounding crossover track, while a song like “Gaslight” will appease those looking for a bit more technicality.

Lyrically, the album deals with the concept of control and power. It urges people to take a look at what’s wrong with the world and try to find out the truth about who is really pulling the strings. One lyric from the song “FFF (FalseFlagFlying)” really sums this up: “Know your enemy.” The band are essentially saying world governments are set up as a way to brainwash people, while the real enemies hide behind the scenes. This is why people need to wake up and fight before things grow even worse than they are now. The only problem is, this can seem impossible due to the way the system is rigged. As the track “Diethanasia” says: “Doctors destroy health,” “Government destroys freedom,” and “Media kills information.”

Basically, the album is a full on thrash attack that definitely has an agenda. In the end, it’s up to the listener to decide what they want to believe, but that fits the concept perfectly, because thinking for one’s self is important in these fucked up times.