Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/9/15.
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 Steve Campkin, drummer of Slam Cartel.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
SLAM CARTEL – “Hypnotised”
Every once in a while, you come across a band that grabs your attention from the first note. London rockers, Slam Cartel, fit into that category. The band has been through their share of trials and tribulations, but have persevered to put out their appropriately titled debut album, Handful Of Dreams. “Hypnotised” begins with a Tool-like bass line and transitions into powerful guitar chords before pulling back to a verse with a “hypnotizing” cool vibe, and vocals that are reminiscent of Jon Bon Jovi. As the song builds towards the chorus, it takes a surprisingly heavy turn much like Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates.” The band’s ability to seamlessly transition from Tool to Bon Jovi to Pantera influences makes for a fascinating, “hypnotic” musical journey that should leave you more than a little intrigued.
In a recent interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Slam Cartel drummer, Steve Campkin, shared the writing process behind “Hypnotised” and the meaning of the lyrics…
“The original riff, the bass line that introduces the song, was something Marc (Neudeck) played by accident. I opened up a recording program on my laptop, recorded it, put some chords over it, and it grew from there.
Our guitarist Terry (Warville) and producer George (De Angelis) played about with some dynamics. We worked with Gary (Moffat) on the vocals, and finally Damo (Fawsett) put his unique guitar over it. It was a real team effort that changed so much while we worked on it. The keyboards were George’s idea – just make the whole thing epic!
I tried to get a John Bonham ‘When The Levee Breaks’ feel on the drums – not the beat, just the groove.
I think the bass line inspired the lyrics; it’s hypnotic on its own. For me, the song is about someone struggling against the perceived ‘norm’ and the constant bombardment of bullshit from the mainstream media. Sometimes it’s tempting to just give in, watch X-Factor, listen to pop music, eat junk food, get drunk and hate whoever is being demonized in the Daily Mail this week, whether it’s Russell Brand or single mums. Big Brother is real, and it’s not easy standing up against him.
The chorus is the higher self, the free will, the part of you that knows the truth, saying…
‘I can turn you upside down and inside out, and take you to places that we are too scared to talk about’
The idea is that the whole system is rigged. Our politicians are bought and owned. That the media controls the news and, thereby, your thoughts, is scary. It’s obvious, but people willfully ignore it because it’s monolithic, and what on earth can we do about it?
It’s like that character in the Matrix that wants to be plugged back in, because reality is just too much.
Slam Cartel has been through some tough times recently, but we’ve evolved, changed and survived, and this is us saying so, and that we’re still here and still keeping it real!”
RIGHTEOUS VENDETTA – “Take Over”
“Take Over” is a powerfully intense, anthemic rocker that features an aggressive rhythm, heavy guitars and the impassioned vocals of frontman, Ryan Hayes. You might not expect such an angst-ridden sounding song to come from a Christian rock band, but Righteous Vendetta proves that rage and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. If you want to get your blood pumping and your head banging, crank this one up to 11!
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
U.D.O. – “Decadent”
Maybe age really isn’t anything but a number. At 62, Udo Dirkschneider certainly suggests that’s it not a handicap for one of heavy metal’s signature voices, as he delivers on the title track from the just-released new album. It’s not an all-time classic, but it’s a more than respectable way to launch the band’s fifteenth studio album.
ACCEPT – “Stampede”
2014 brought Blind Rage – the fourteenth album from Accept, and the third with current vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick). While not quite the 2012 Stalingrad masterpiece, this track proves that the band has remained relevant in the heavy metal world despite lineup changes and the occasional hiatus.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BLOODBOUND – “Nightmares From The Grave”
Bloodbound pounds out power metal brimming over with harmonies on this release from their latest album, Stormborn. What sets it apart is the eerie chorus of children’s voices that beautifully, if disturbingly, complements the rest of the piece. The band has gone through major lineup changes and sound changes on their way to this sixth album, but they never seem to disappoint.
ANGELS OR KINGS – “Any Other Girl”
With a flourish of keyboards, Angels or Kings lets you know that you are in for an 80’s treat with “Any Other Girl.” Having regrouped a few years ago, this band out of Manchester, England now adds the raspy vocals of Baz Jackson to their sound. With big hooks and an infectious chorus, this is one catchy melodic rock anthem.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
REVOLUTION SAINTS – “Turn Back Time”
Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich join forces to become Revolution Saints. “Turn Back Time” is great melodic, hard rock from the eponymous album of these three veterans. Killer guitar from Alrdich leads the way as Blades and Castronovo crank out inspiring vocals while setting the energetic pace on the bass and percussion.
VEGA – “Stereo Messiah”
Melodic metal from the UK’s Vega. Nick Workman’s vocals and Marcus Thruston’s guitars highlight this title track from their 2014 album. “Stereo Messiah” is a driving and energetic track that will stick with you after the song finishes. Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) was a guest collaborator on the album.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
OUR LADY PEACE – “Starseed” (1994)
Hard rock definitely hit a lull in the 90s. Most of the bands that launched during those transitional years were not built to last. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and Our Lady Peace is living proof. Although vocalist/guitarist, Raine Maida, is the lone remaining original member, the band still continues on to this day – more than two decades after their launch. From the band’s debut album, Naveed, “Starseed” is the song that first garnered these Canadian rockers attention in the U.S., and helped to build a lasting foundation.
THE NIXONS – “Wire” (1995)
Unlike Our Lady Peace, The Nixons did not have the lasting career that you would have expected based on their major label debut album, Foma. Although the band didn’t achieve the longevity as a unit that the success of Foma would have foreshadowed, the individual members have gone on to have meaningful music careers, most notably drummer, John Humphrey (Seether). “Sister” was the track that became the biggest hit off of the album (and the band’s career for that matter), but “Wire” was the track that left the most lasting impression.
GODSMACK – “No Rest For The Wicked” (2006)
One of the things that seems to happen pretty easily with music is the rapid passage of time, which probably accounts for my surprise when realizing that Godsmack’s album (IV) represents the midpoint of the band’s career to date. This album cut is vintage Sully Erna and Godsmack indeed – a representative waypoint in the evolution of the band.
SEETHER – “Fur Cue” (2011)
The last song recorded for Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray, I always think of “Fur Cue” as the “should have been a single” track. Edgier than some of the better known material from the album (as the play on words title suggests), the song provides some of the “pissed-off” feeling that the band does quite well.
KORITNI – “Tornado Dreaming I & II” (2007)
The brilliant “Tornado Dreaming” appears as two separate tracks on Koritni’s 2007 album, Game of Fools. The first part is more reflective, the second more purposeful. Here they are properly combined for an uninterrupted romp bursting with guitars and driving rhythms. This metal band out of France channels AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, but hits upon their own intense sound, and truly deserves to be better known!
KISKE/SOMERVILLE – “Silence” (2010)
A few years ago, two of metal’s greatest voices came together on this eponymous album. Michael Kiske is most famous for his years with power metal pioneers Helloween, but twenty years later, he still hits every note and boasts added depth, and Amanda Somerville moves fluidly between opera and rock. Together they are spectacular! They drafted an all-star cast for the instruments as well, including the great Magnus Karlsson on guitar and keyboards and Matt Sinner on bass. “Silence” was the album’s biggest ballad, and everyone shines on it.
MAGNITUDE 9 – “Facing The Unknown” (2004)
Magnitude 9 is a prog metal band from the U.S. that was around in the late 90s to early 2000s. “Facing the Unknown” is off their last album back in 2004, Decoding the Soul. Listen for some Queensryche & Geoff Tate influence on this track, especially when Corey Brown hits the high notes. Great, lively pace and some fast and terrific guitar work from Rob Johnson. Current status is unknown (hopefully they’re not gone for good). Honorable mention to “Lies Within the Truth” and “Thorn” from the same album.
PAGAN’S MIND – “Walk Away In Silence” (2011)
What a great lead-in to “Walk Away in Silence” from Norwegian Prog-Metal band, Pagan’s Mind, off their Heaven’s Ecstasy album. This one takes off and doesn’t look back. Big voice from Nils Rue (hide the glassware when he hits the high note of the song). Driving and heavy right to the end. The band’s DNA has been part of Firewind (Stian Kristoffersen – Drums), Eidolon (Rue) and Jorn (Jørn-Viggo Lofstad – guitars).
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…