Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 12/15/14.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from 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 the first time around.
All of the songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be heard on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section.
This week, Music Discovery Monday features a special interview with American Angel’s Rocco Fury, as he discusses the meaning behind one of the best hard rock Christmas songs ever written.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
ROYAL BLISS – “I Just Want You (For Christmas)”
Uplifting, festive, original hard rock Christmas songs are few and far between. Kudos to Royal Bliss for capturing the spirit of the season with a heartfelt, romantic song that takes an interesting twist on wanting someone’s “presence” more than their “presents.” One of the more underrated bands in the genre today, Royal Bliss has an uncanny way of painting mental pictures as they bring their heartfelt lyrics to life with incredible melodies. “I Just Want You (For Christmas)” is one of those songs that you’ll look forward to hearing each year to get you into the spirit of the season.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
MOTORHEAD – “Lost Woman Blues”
There’s something to be said for the experience that recording 21 albums brings. There’s also something to be said for still having your skills after 21 albums and a year of health problems. There’s something downright reassuring about this track from Aftershock, a fine bit of work from Lemmy & Company.
THE NEW BLACK – “Count Me In”
German rockers, The New Black, hit their stride with their third album, weaving straight-up traditional rock and contemporary elements that make them one of the more ready-for-prime-time outfits on the scene today. Several strong cuts to choose from, but this one is more active-rock influenced than the others. Definitely a band that ought to be attracting more attention in the U.S.
THE ALMOST – “I’m Down”
Originally a side project for Underoath founding member, Aaron Gillespie, this Florida-based Christian rock unit is establishing themselves as a top-notch band in their own right. While they remain lyrically true to their beliefs and delivering a positive message, this song will resonate with all audiences. And, in case you wonder while watching the video, yes, that’s MMA star Vitor Belfort as the protagonist, and UFC fighter Cezar Ferreira as his nemesis.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
WOLFPAKK – “A Matter of Time”
Mark Sweeney and Michael Voss, two big names in melodic metal circles, got together in 2011 with a whole lot of other big names in melodic metal for their eponymous album Wolfpakk. They have followed it up with Cry Wolf, another collaborative effort where big names shine. “A Matter of Time” features the dueling vocals of Sweeney and Johny Gioeli (Axel Rudi Pell, Hardline). The piece opens with a ticking clock and quickly launches into glorious guitars and expert drumming by Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Ozzy).
CHRIS NORMAN – “I’m Gone”
Chris Norman’s musical career has spanned six decades. Known best for his success with British rockers, Smokie, the singer/songwriter gets back to his roots with his latest solo album, There and Back (hence the name). On it, he scores a real toe-tapper with the bluesy rock piece, “I’m Gone.”
PRIMAL FEAR – “One Night in December”
Shooting for an epic piece of classic power metal for their latest release, Delivering the Black, Primal Fear absolutely nails it with “One Night in December.” Ralf Scheepers sings Rob Halstead proud and the whole band delivers at every level, just as the album name promises. This is going to be one powerful piece to hear in concert.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
VANDEN PLAS – “Soul Alliance”
German Prog metal band, Vanden Plas, has an epic winner in “Soul Alliance,” off of their album, Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld (Path 1). This track is very dynamic and gets incredibly intense, with periods of calm where terrific, haunting piano notes echo in between the rush of the driving and screaming guitars.
RED CIRCUIT – “My Lonely Heaven”
German prog metal with a good, heavy strut as the backbone of the song. Chity Somapala (ex-Firewind) shows off his unique raspiness amidst smooth-flowing chorus harmonies that showcase his vocal talent throughout a broad range.
SILENT CALL – “Alive”
Led by the powerful, high-range vocals of Andi Kravljaca, this Swedish power metal band can be compared fellow Swedes – Eclipse. Intense, driving and melodic, this band puts it all together well.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
AMERICAN ANGEL – “Best Part Of Christmas” (1992)
Aside from metal cover versions of classic Christmas songs, there isn’t much under the tree for hard rock music fans. In 1992, with grunge all the rage, perhaps the greatest original Christmas song recorded by a melodic hard rock band was released. For the past 22 years, “Best Part Of Christmas,” by American Angel (a vastly underrated Brooklyn band), has been the song that I look forward to hearing most as the season begins. It has everything that you want in both a power ballad and Christmas song. If more songs like this existed, hard rock fans would actually look forward to hearing Christmas music!
When asked about the inspiration for writing “Best Part Of Christmas” during a recent conversation with frontman, Rocco Fury, he replied…
“One day, when we were finishing our debut record, I was laying on my waterbed with my dog, and playing my acoustic guitar. Christmas was coming, and I started thinking about the meaning behind it. There is a feeling of melancholy that hits around that time of the year because of all of the build-up that takes place. You work hard to find and buy the right gifts for kids and take care in wrapping them, and in a matter of minutes, everything is over.
I related Christmas to an ending, and the sadness that comes at the end of each year, and it started to bother me. I felt like people should know that the best part of Christmas is having everything in your life that makes you feel good stay there for another year, to have a continuance if you know what I mean. It’s about having a legacy, and being happy with that legacy, and feeling good about your family.
The song just fell right out of me as I started to think about kids, fireplaces and warm sweaters. It may seem corny, but when you get down to it, it’s really not corny at all. To me, Christmas is about sharing memories with the people that you care about.”
BILLY SQUIER – “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” (1981)
If ever there was a song that defines “hard rock music time machine,” this 1981 Christmas song by Billy Squier would definitely be it. MTV had just launched on August 1st of that year, and they actually played music. For the younger readers of Hard Rock Daddy, this probably seems shocking! Perhaps just as strange for those too young to have experienced 80s hard rock firsthand, “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” was the “B-side” of Squier’s hit song, “My Kinda Lover.” As great as the song is, the video recorded in the MTV studios is even better!
LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “Christmas Time Again” (2000)
The title track off of Skynyrd’s Christmas album diverges from the band’s signature sound, while staying true to their southern rock roots. Johnny Van Zandt’s soulful delivery is perfectly complemented by the female vocals on the track. “Christmas Time Again” fuses southern rock with blues to capture the spirit of the season in a very cool way.
BRUCE KULICK (f. JOHN CORABI) – “It’s Just My Life” (2003)
Having worked together in The Union, it was only natural that Bruce Kulick (ex-Kiss) turned to vocal gunslinger John Corabi to appear on his second solo album, Transformer. The soulful work of the duo produced a standout track that holds up well amongst the subsequent work of former Kiss members.
DAVID READMAN – “Prisoner of Shame” (2007)
David Readman is best known as the vocalist for Pink Cream 69, and he’s sung with many other great bands as well. What a solo album he gave us in 2007! Packed with killer material, one of its best offerings is “Prisoner of Shame.” Too driving to ever be melancholy, it will grab you from its opening notes and just not let go.
BOREALIS – “Watch the World Collapse” (2011)
Canada produces some fine progressive power metal courtesy of Borealis. They crafted a stirring ballad with “Watch The World Collapse” from their 2011 album, Fall From Grace. It’s a semi-acoustic piece where poignant plucking is offset by driving riffs, and it really works.
THE DARKNESS – “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us” (2012)
The Darkness is all about good times and not taking yourself too seriously. Their tunes always put you in a good mood, and this one is no exception. Good, ol’ rock-n-roll.
TNT – “Heaven’s Gone” (1997)
One of my favorites from TNT is also one of the band’s darker pieces. Tony Harnell shows quite a bit of his awesome range – going from sweet to sinister – topped off with one of his signature highs. Terrifically wicked tune!
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…