MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 6/12/17
Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)
MR. BIG – “1992”
The world was a vastly different place in 1992. Although mainstream rock was still strong, any band with big hair got labeled a hair metal band. While many were aptly described, Mr. Big was not. They are an example of the proverbial baby being thrown out with the bath water as the popularity of grunge soared.
It would be easy for bands from that era to be bitter about a fate that was taken out of their hands, not by the fans, but by a record label. On Mr. Big’s nostalgic look back at the pinnacle of their career, there is no bitterness. If anything, the song is celebratory in nature, and shows gratitude to the people who really mattered…the fans. Sure, there is a reference to the record label’s shoddy treatment of the band, but they certainly would have been justified to really dig into the ridiculous mindset that the label exhibited…
“The record company said to us…‘thank you man,’ then they threw us right into the garbage can. But the good people listened and they pulled us through. I was #1 in 1992.”
The song about the band’s glory days when “To Be With You” went to #1. The record company was excited when they went to #1, but then tossed them away when they weren’t “cool” anymore. Even though the record company abandoned them, they remained grateful to the fans who stayed with them. The band reminisced about the great times, and celebrated that experience.
What makes Mr. Big something much more than a hair band is the substance behind their music, particularly the technical brilliance and chemistry showcased by guitarist Paul Gilbert and bass player Billy Sheehan. This duo could easily go off on a lengthy (but enjoyable) prog tangent if they so desired, but they use their virtuosity to tastefully enrich a melodic rock song that harkens back to the year that the song is about.
The technical aspects, the vocal melodies and the a cappella vocal harmony break are all enhanced by lyrics that are simultaneously nostalgic and inspirational. This song about a year that took place a quarter of a century ago is one of the best of 2017 so far.
ALL 41 – “After The Rain”
Choosing All 41 to feature in the same week as Mr. Big was purely coincidental, but there are some connections between the two. First of all, they are both on the premier label (in my opinion) for AOR. Secondly, both feature the drumming of Matt Starr. All 41 is another creation that came from the mind of Frontiers Music Srl’s President, Serafino Perugino. This supergroup also happens to be a passion project for the members: Starr, Terry Block (Giant, Strangeways) on vocals, Robert Berry (Three, Alliance) on bass, and Gary Pihl (Boston, Sammy Hagar, Alliance) on guitar.
Listening to “After The Rain” actually reminded me of another supergroup with a Boston connection from the ‘80s (Orion The Hunter). When I first saw the song title, I thought that it might be a cover of the title track from Nelson’s 1990 album, but this is something different. What is similar, though, is the sweet, feel-good vocal harmonies.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
MUNICIPAL WASTE – “Slime And Punishment”
This crossover thrash band from Virginia is back with their sixth full-length studio album, Slime and Punishment. At first listen, it is classic Municipal Waste, all thrash, sing-a-long choruses, heavy riffs and a thunderous rhythm section. Similar in sound and attitude to Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I., the band excels at writing shorter songs with an emphasis on heavy sounds. Municipal Waste has been around for 17 years, and have nailed the crossover thrash metal sound to a tee.
ROYAL THUNDER – “April Showers”
My preferences in music generally lean towards the super heavy and extreme; thrash, death, doom, and hardcore, but every once in a while I find a band outside my norm that impresses the hell out of me. One of these recent finds is the band Royal Thunder. Not a new band by any means (they have been around for at least a decade). They are set to release their third album, Wick. It’s hard rock with some elements of blues, progressive and stoner. Fronted by Miny Parsons, the band brings another dimension to the hard rock genre with ambiance and atmosphere. Parsons’ powerful voice cuts through the music as she sings with such wild passion. It’s impossible to not notice the emotion emanating from her soul. A great find for me. Looking forward to hearing their new album as digging deeper into their previous two albums as well.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
FOO FIGHTERS – “Run”
Dave Grohl and company return with the first single from their upcoming ninth studio album. This one eases in gently before the rhythm section kicks in, and it transforms into a heavier, edgier rocker. The video, directed by Grohl, sees the band members transformed into senior citizens leading a nursing home revolt.
ORDEN OGAN – “Gunman”
German power metal band Orden Ogan has just released their fifth studio album, Gunmen. The video for this title track shows the band members dressed appropriately for the western theme. As with the new Foo Fighters track, it’s a pairing of superior music with a fun, well-produced video.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com