Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 1/26/15.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.
Some of this week’s songs appear on the recently published Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.
This week’s Music Discovery Monday features a special, exclusive interview with legendary vocalist, Michael Sweet, who discusses two outstanding tracks off of Sweet & Lynch’s debut album (Only To Rise), which drops tomorrow.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
SWEET & LYNCH – “Dying Rose”
George Lynch lets it rip with his signature guitar sound from the opening note, and proceeds to add Dokken-esque riffs and tasteful fills around Michael Sweet’s huge melodies throughout the song. On “Dying Rose,” the inspired duo brings you back to the days when hard rock music left you feeling uplifted, while masterfully avoiding falling into the trap of sounding dated. For those who grew up on 80s metal, “Dying Rose” is a timeless classic. The current generation of hard rock music fans would be well served to listen to this track and then delve deep into the respective catalogs of both Sweet & Lynch. You can start your journey down below in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment.
In a recent interview with Michael Sweet, we discussed the writing process of “Dying Rose” and his penchant for crafting incredibly positive messages with his lyrics…
“George and I were going back in forth by phone while he was recording a demo session out in L.A. (I’m in Massachusetts). I said ‘give me something that’s got a Van Halen or old Dokken vibe a la ‘The Hunter.’ He sent me the guitar riff for ‘Dying Rose,’ and I was floored. I loved it, and thought that it was brilliant. I wrote a melody and the lyrics and arranged the song. After it was all pieced together, we had this great song that we both felt strongly about.
‘Dying Rose’ is a straight-ahead song with a mass appeal sound that should allow it to cross over into other genres, but also appeal to fans of hard rock and metal because it has an edge to it.
Lyrically, the song has a real positive message. I’m all about being positive and encouraging people. There is so much negativity in music and movies nowadays just for the sake of being negative, not to make a point. Personally, I’ve got enough negativity in my life and in this world, so I write (and always will) about positive things to try and inspire people, and that’s what the song is about…
Don’t give up! You’re not a dying rose. I’m not a dying rose, and I’m not fading away; I’m thriving.”
SWEET & LYNCH – “September”
On 9/11/14, the 13th anniversary of one of the most devastating days in U.S. history, we got our first taste of the pairing of these two hard rock legends. Musically, “September” is a classic hard rock anthem that blends the best of both worlds of Stryper and Dokken, but it is the lyrics that truly make the song special. Having experienced 9/11 in an up-close-and-personal way, I found this track to be extremely cathartic as I relived that tragic day once again. (see full Hard Rock Daddy review)
Michael Sweet shares the inspiration behind the writing of “September”…
“I remember getting ready to go work at the family business in Massachusetts on 9/11. My mother-in-law had the news on when the first plane had hit the tower, but no one was sure what was going on yet. As things progressed, and we realized what was happening, I sat there in disbelief. It felt so surreal, like I was dreaming. I was glued to the television as I watched the towers fall, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was something that you could never guess could happen in this world in our lifetime, but it did.
Most people were very positive about the song, but some people made some negative comments saying that we were trying to capitalize on that tragic, horrible event. I wanted to inspire people to remind themselves that we, as a nation, are really resilient, and because of that, we’re strong and can overcome and walk out of our darkest times. I don’t want to single out the U.S. because other countries are resilient as well, but it happened here.
‘September’ is an anthem to remind people of our resilience. We’ve pretty much seen the worst and we’ve gotten through it. We continue to get through it because of who we are as a nation, and when we come together (as we did on 9/11), we can accomplish anything.”
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
NONPOINT – “Misery”
Likely forthcoming as the second single from their 2014 release, The Return, this track feels like a strong choice for Nonpoint to continue the momentum built by “Breaking Skin.” Elias Soriano’s vocal delivery stands out here, along with solid choices made in production. “Misery” is the kind of song that will likely have audiences singing along with the lyrics…“you made an addict out of me!”
DEMON HUNTER – “The Heart Of A Graveyard”
Buoyed by support from SiriusXM’s Octane channel, this veteran Christian rock band found surprising crossover success in 2014 with their hit single, “The Last One Alive.” Lightning could strike twice if mainstream radio decides to give this track from Extremist a chance.
TOMMY HENRIKSEN – “Give ‘Em Hell”
Veteran musician and singer who is currently part of Alice Cooper’s live band (and co-produced the icon’s 2011 album). His history ranges from metal (Warlock) to punk (P.O.L.) while also working behind the scenes with dozens of artists ranging from Lou Reed to Lady Gaga to Halestorm. Fittingly, the first single from his recent solo album shows influences ranging from melodic rock to punk to pop, but when combined with his pedigree, there’s enough good happening here to be of interest to fans of rock in general. The lyrical claim…“I’ve got a rock n’ roll heart beating out of my chest” is hard-earned and honest.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
JORN LANDE & TROND HOLTER – “River Of Tears”
The concept album of the year, Dracula – Swing of Death, is set for U.S. release tomorrow. Vocalist Jorn Lande (Jorn, Masterplan, Allen Lande, Ark, The Snakes) and guitarist Trond Holter (Jorn, Wig Wam) team up to tell the tale of Vlad the Impaler, as he struggles with loneliness, desire, bloodthirst, and–ultimately–madness. “River of Tears” launches full force with pounding guitars and drums and then that perfect metal voice of Jorn Lande. He is accompanied by Lena Fløitmoen Børresen on a stunning chorus that brims over with harmonies. Add in an intense guitar solo, and these Norwegians leave nothing missing for fans of modern power metal with this nod to concept albums of the seventies.
After an 18 year absence, Ten, a project by singer/songwriter Gary Hughes and guitarist Vinny Burns, makes a welcome return with some well-crafted melodic hard rock. Extra guitars and a seven-man band give songs like catchy opener “Alone in the Dark Tonight” a rich, full sound.
AXEL RUDI PELL – “Hey Hey My My”
Guitarist Axel Rudi Pell and vocalist Johnny Gioeli do justice to Neil Young’s classic “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)” on their newest album, Into the Storm. They add enough metal to make it their own, while staying faithful enough to the original to retain its power and nostalgia. Gioeli’s powerful vocals really shine here.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ALESTORM – “Drink”
Scottish Metal band Alestorm gives us an excellent glory metal anthem here that just doesn’t mince words: “We are here to drink your beer, and steal your rum at a point of a gun…Your alcohol to us will fall, ‘cause we are here to drink your beer.” Formed in 2004 under the moniker Battleheart, this band switched names to be more in line with their unique “Pirate Metal” niche in the genre. Good musicianship throughout. Bring it to your next party!
TRIOSPHERE – “Steal Away The Light”
Driving power metal in “Steal Away The Light,” from Norway’s Triosphere. Ida Haukland’s vocals lead this intense, yet contemplative tune with some terrific, fast and articulate guitar work from Marius Silver Bergesen. Song intro spotlights new drummer Kenneth Tårneby. Triosphere has toured with many metal bands in Europe since forming 11 years ago, including W.A.S.P., Jorn, Kamelot and Sonata Arctica.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
STRYPER – “Free” (1986)
If you listen to the two new tracks from Sweet & Lynch above (which is highly recommended), after listening to “Free,” you will notice that Michael Sweet’s vocals are as outstanding today as they were nearly three decades ago. Like “Dying Rose,” “Free” is all about delivering an inspiring message of hope, and uplifting your spirit. The stage wear is more over the top, as was the hair back in 1986, but the one thing that has never changed with Sweet is the substance behind his passionately delivered lyrics.
LYNCH MOB – “No Bed Of Roses” (1990)
Formed on the heels of George Lynch’s departure from Dokken, he and drummer, Mick Brown, stayed together to record under the Lynch Mob moniker. While still true to the guitar sound that he made famous with Dokken, Lynch Mob explored an edgier sound with frontman, Oni Logan, at the helm. Huge hooks, powerful vocal harmonies and Lynch’s customary guitar wizardry made “No Bed Of Roses” a hard rock anthem for the ages. Although it didn’t achieve the success of some of the other singles from the band’s debut album (Wicked Sensation), by all rights, “No Bed Of Roses” should have been a huge hit.
WARLOCK – “Burning The Witches” (1984)
With the resurgence of prominent female vocalists in rock today, it is definitely worth revisiting some of the predecessors. If Rob Halford is “The Metal God,” then Doro Pesch is at least around the head of the table of Metal Divinity. This cut from their first album, released independently, holds up well for the genre and remains an audience favorite in live shows thirty years later.
BLACK MAJESTY – “Silent Company” (2005)
The title track from Black Majesty’s 2005 album is a layered, melodic masterpiece. This Australian power metal band rocks out with power and drive, yet the arrangement is complex and riddled with hooks. The stunning vocals of John Cavaliere are complemented every step of the way by heavy guitars, dense keyboards, and a pounding rhythm section that hits you hard and fast from the first note to the last, with the exception of some brief (yet bold) tempo changes that show off Black Majesty’s full power.
D-A-D – “We All Fall Down” (2011)
A short trip in the time machine back to 2011 with “We All Fall Down” from Danish hard rock band D-A-D. A cut from their Live Album DIC·NII·LAN·DAFT·ERD·ARK, this is a great, bluesy, melodic piece with plenty of emotion from Jesper Binzer (vocals) & company. The album was nominated for Danish Rock album of the year in 2012.
HELLOISE – “Children Of The Night” (2001)
Going back to 2001 with some Power Metal from the Netherlands with “Children of the Night” off of the album Fata Morgana by Helloise. Featuring Stan Verbraak (Vocals), Ernst van Ee and Ben Blauw, this powerful band has opened for Motörhead, Y & T, Def Leppard and Whitesnake since they formed back in 1985. This track has all the elements: terrific vocals from Verbraak, a punctuated, hard-driving rhythm kept in-time by van Ee, and great riffs and solo from Blauw.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…