Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/2/15.
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 an exclusive interview with Jes De Hoyos, lead guitarist of Sons Of Texas.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
SONS OF TEXAS – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”
For the moment, Sons Of Texas is still a bit below the radar, but I don’t expect that to last much longer. The band’s first single – “Baptized In The Rio Grande” (the title track from their forthcoming debut album) – is an instant attention-grabber. Hailing from McAllen, TX, this local all-star lineup was solidified in 2013, although their seasoned sound would lead you to believe that they have been together for much longer. With an intense rhythm, shredding guitars and soulful vocals, the huge sound of these up-and-comers is just another example of everything being bigger in Texas. (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).
Hard Rock Daddy is proud to have been the first one to interview the band (aside from local radio). During my conversation with Jes De Hoyos, he shared the inspiration behind “Baptized In The Rio Grande”…
“The song is gospel from the south, no doubt, but it’s got nothing to do with religion. We come from a place way down at the southern tip of Texas called the Rio Grande Valley. It’s not exactly known as a hotbed for rock/metal music. There are some highly talented musicians and acts that are from here, but you don’t come here to get discovered. We were told by a lot of people that we had to move to a place like Austin or L.A. if we wanted to make it in music. The mentality that we had is that it shouldn’t matter where you’re from, you should be able to expose yourself to the world no matter where you live. Ultimately, the song is really an homage to where we’re from.”
The full interview with Jes De Hoyos will be featured in the near future on Hard Rock Daddy, in addition to a lot more coverage on Sons Of Texas. Stay tuned!
TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION – “Monster In Me”
As mentioned above, everything is bigger in Texas, and no better example exists in hard rock than THC frontman, Big Dad Ritch. He describes the band’s sound as “Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top had a child, and Pantera ended up raising it.” One listen to “Monster In Me,” and you will see that this is one cool kid. Featuring a gritty groove tailor-made for exotic dancers to showcase their moves, “Monster In Me” is a great introduction to these rockers from Denison, TX. (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
LEVEL 10 – “Cry No More”
Sometimes the names might explain things best: Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), Matt Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner, Voodoo Circle), Roland Grapow (Helloween), plus more members of Primal Fear and Voodoo Circle. Definitely on the heavier side of melodic, this is a song that deserves exponentially more attention in mainstream rock circles than it’s likely to receive from an album that will likely find its way onto a number of “Best Of” lists when 2015 comes to a close.
WITHIN TEMPTATION – “Covered By Roses”
Symphonic metal frontrunners, Within Temptation, enjoyed perhaps their biggest year ever in the U.S. with increased sales and increased airplay. There’s more to the album Hydra than the hit single “What About Us,” which generated the most attention. While not every song on the album is likely to suit the tastes of every hard rock fan, this particular track brings together Sharon den Adel’s remarkable vocal ability with a musical sound that brings to mind some of the Scorpions more melodic work.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
ECLIPSE – “Stand On Your Feet”
Eclipse will return in late February with their newest album, Armageddonize, and if the first single is any indication, it’s going to be another hard-hitting melodic rocker with driving beats and heavy hooks. “Stand On Your Feet” showcases the powerful vocals of Erik Martensson, and the killer guitar of Magnus Henriksson. This band out of Sweden got everything right on their 2012 album, Bleed and Scream, and they’re off to a strong start on this one.
WHITE WIDDOW – “Caught In The Crossfire”
Australian rockers White Widdow deliver the goods with “Caught in the Crossfire,” from their second album released near the end of 2014. It features prominent keyboards and heavy harmonies with an 80s vibe that compares favorably to bands like Night Ranger and Giuffria.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ANTHEM – “Love Of Hell”
Anthem are Japanese metal veterans who have been around since the 80s. Former members include greats like Graham Bonnet and Don Airey. “Love of Hell” is great melodic metal that hits you from the opening chords. The sound is a throwback to heavy metal from 20 years ago, but still sounds fresh and new. Yukio Morikawa, who is back for a repeat tour, delivers solid and impassioned vocals.
ELECTRO NOMICON – “Do You Remember”
Great emotion and power in this song of remembrance from Electro Nomicon’s Unleashing the Shadows. Terrific rhythm line gives way to fantastic vocals from Diego Valdez – who, very fittingly, is reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio. This band is cut from the same cloth with heavy, driving, rhythmic metal. Juan Jose Fornes delivers great guitar licks throughout, with some really good, fast fretwork on the brief solo. Check out the rest of the album as well.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
ZAKK WYLDE – “What You’re Look’n For” (1996)
In between the launch of Black Label Society and Pride & Glory (Zakk Wylde’s first post-Ozzy project), Wylde released a solo record entitled Book Of Shadows. This incredibly underrated album is much more about Wylde’s distinct, soulful, southern style vocals than his guitar playing. While the whole album is brilliant, “What You’re Look’n For” is a standout track that combines powerfully emotive southern rock vocals with a musical style that is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Hey, Hey What Can I Do.”
CHRIS CORNELL – “Sunshower” (1988)
Featured on the soundtrack of 1988 film, Great Expectations – and included as a bonus track on the Japanese release of Chris Cornell’s first solo album, Euphoria Morning – “Sunshower” is a departure from Cornell’s signature Soundgarden sound. “Sunshower” offers a more subdued, soulful side of Cornell, although there are moments when he uses his power to provide a nice accent to the song and capture the emotion of the lyrics.
TERRORHAWKS – “You Can’t Take This” (2012)
It’s a little hard for me to believe that it’s been nearly three years since I first stumbled across this unsigned band from New Zealand that made such a good first impression. Then again, it’s probably harder to believe that when their debut album releases later this year, it’ll be a band from New Zealand (by way of Sweden) where the two original members relocated, adding three European bandmates in the process. Having top-notch assistance in the studio is a plus for the forthcoming album, but it’s the high quality and enthusiasm of this initial indie release that has me most looking forward to hearing more.
THE SLAM – “Tears In The Rain” (2011)
It’s not everyday that most of us run across a Serbian-based band with a Canadian-raised singer, but that’s the unpredictable nature of rock n’ roll; you never known where the good stuff will come from. The production quality of “Tears In The Rain” immediately jumped out at me as among the best I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band (or from most signed bands for that matter). Add in the standout voice of Serge Simic, and you end up with one of the most promising songs and bands in recent years that didn’t really crack the mainstream consciousness.
ILIUM – “Fragmented Glory” (2009)
“Fragmented Glory” is a great piece of power metal that will get your adrenaline pumping. From Australian band Ilium, this battle song boasts shades of Helloween and Iron Maiden. Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan), who almost sang for Deep Purple in the early 90’s, provides the vocals.
AIRTIME – “Liberty” (2007)
Airtime was a terrific project from Rik Emmett (Triumph) and Mike Shotten (Von Groove) that gave us back some of the sound that we loved and missed from Triumph over the years. However, this not simply some repackaging. You get the familiarity of melodic, edgy, inspiring arrangements with great complexity that includes hard-driving overtures and classical interludes. “Liberty” is a mature, polished anthem that features great musicianship and vocals.
BRAZEN ABBOT – “Godforsaken” (2005)
Nikolo Kotzev organized Brazen Abbot in the early 2000s. Progressive, power heavy metal that’s got some excellent DNA: Tony Harnell, Joe Lynn Turner, Goran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen), Erik Martensson (Eclipse). “Godforsaken,” off of the My Resurrection album, is as powerful and rebellious as the title suggests. Tony Harnell belts out the vocals as only he can with perfect tone and power. Definitely check out the rest of the album as well.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…
Gerard Gray says
Thanks for all this great music.
Thanks for the positive feedback, Gerard.