Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/16/15.
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 (and entertaining) interview with Shaun Soho, frontman of up-and-comers, Crash Midnight.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
CRASH MIDNIGHT – “151”
You won’t find many (if any) hard rock bands today that cite artists like Hanoi Rocks, the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop as influences, but Crash Midnight is not like most bands. Describing themselves as “a collision of classic 70s festival rock with a punk swagger,” the band has burst onto the scene with “151” – a party rocker with an infectious groove that has quickly become a fan favorite. In a day and age where most modern hard rock acts fit comfortably into the Active Rock category, Crash Midnight dares to be different in a refreshing way. Like Guns N’ Roses and fellow Bostonians, Aerosmith, this is a band with plenty of swagger and a sound that is tailor-made for the stage. If radio programmers are smart, they will jump on “151” when it hits radio on 2/24/15!
In a recent interview with frontman, Shaun Soho, we discussed the inspiration behind “151”…
“When we were first starting out, there were 5-6 guys crammed into this little apartment in Kenmore Square (right by Fenway Park). We didn’t have a lot of money; we were just scraping by, trying to make something of Crash Midnight.
We would always have big parties at our house, and no matter what, we would always scrape up enough money for booze. 151 gave us the biggest bang for our buck. For about $23, we were able to get everybody ripped! We used to mix it with Dr. Pepper, which made it look and taste like jet fuel, which is actually in the lyrics of the song.
The writing of the song wasn’t intentional; we were just screwing around. We would sit around listening to all sorts of classic rock stuff by some of our influences and heroes. When Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Night Train’ came on, we were all fairly well lit already, so we started spoofing lyrics about 151 over the song, and we thought that it was hilarious.
For weeks and weeks after that, people would be asking us to play ‘that 151 song’ at parties. We kept playing it, and then people would start shouting it out at concerts, which makes sense because all the people that came to the parties were the people that came to the shows, so it was just one extended party.
Since people kept requesting it, we decided that we had to really work something out so that it didn’t just become ‘Night Train’ part 2. We sat back, ripped it apart, and ended up making it into its own song. Since both songs are in the same key, they do step on each other’s toes a bit though.
It’s funny how stuff works in this industry. People tell you that the song that you never intended to be a hit will be your biggest one. We didn’t even intend ‘151’ to be a song, much less a hit, but it’s about to go to radio on February 24th as our first single!”
FRAMING HANLEY – “Twisted Halos”
Framing Hanley deservedly got a ton of mileage from “Criminal” – the first single off of their latest album, The Sum Of Who We Are, so it’s hard to understand why “Twisted Halos” didn’t get the same kind of attention at radio. The song features the same smooth vocal delivery of Kenneth Nixon, great vocal harmonies and crunching guitars. If anything, “Twisted Halos” is even a bit edgier than “Criminal,” (especially the guitars). The seamless transitions and breaks show just how tight the band is together. Somehow, radio missed on track, but based on early indications, they seem ready to embrace Framing Hanley’s latest single, “Collide,” which is likely to enter the Active Rock radio Top 50 this week.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD – “Day Of The Dead”
Rap-rock, party-rock, whatever genre label you prefer, it’s hard to deny the impact and popularity of Los Angeles outfit Hollywood Undead, after sales of more than two million combined units for their first three albums. Because of that, it is a little surprising that radio didn’t pay more attention when the title track from their upcoming album was revealed in late 2014. With the release of the album now only a month or so away, the track could still generate more widespread interest (and deservedly so), within the niche.
WOVENWAR – “Death To Rights”
Born from the wreckage of As I Lay Dying, Wovenwar debuted in late 2014 with a positive reception for their debut single, “All Rise.” The follow-up track takes a similar approach with a blistering instrumental opening that gives way to more accessible vocals. It’s a powerful combination, with vocalist Shane Blay again proving himself to be a solid choice to deliver the words that go with the music. Familiar, yet new, this is a band that seems like a legitimate force to be reckoned with.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
NIGHTWISH – “Elan”
Finland’s premiere symphonic metal band, Nightwish, returns with new lead singer Floor Jansen (After Forever, Re-Vamp). A classically trained soprano, Jansen has the pipes to deliver on the demanding songs of her predecessors, as well as the new material coming out March 31. The first single, “Elan,” highlights her talent over the backdrop of a Celtic melody and inviting lyrics that keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen tells us were inspired by Walt Whitman.
VEGA – “Wherever We Are”
British melodic rockers, Vega, combine the 80s stadium rock of bands like Def Leppard with their own modern vibe. They hit it out of the park with “Wherever We Are,” from their third and latest album, with high-range vocals by Nick Workman and a monster chorus that stays with you long after the song is over.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
MR. BIG – “Gotta Love The Ride”
Hard-n-heavy right out of the gate, Mr. Big shows that they’ve still got it with “Gotta Love the Ride.” Paul Gilbert’s guitar shreds throughout this great new tune, changing pace and ripping through his usual great solo, and Eric Martin’s ageless vocals seem effortless. Sheehan and Torpy’s rhythm/percussion is unmistakable. The band’s signature sound is intact after all these years. Looking forward to hearing this one when I see them in concert!
SHYLMAGOGHNAR – “I Am The Abyss”
Atmospheric Progressive Metal Instrumental from the Netherlands: Shylamagoghnar’s “I Am The Abyss” is an awesome, epic overture with all of the music performed by the two members in the band (Nimblkorg and Skirge). Don’t bother with pronunciations, but do go on the powerful journey with them through dark and light.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
TESLA – “Song And Emotion” (1991)
It is commonly believed that this raw, emotional song was written as a tribute to Steve Clark, one of Def Leppard’s original guitarists who died from an overdose of prescription pills and alcohol just before his 31st birthday. While Clark’s death ultimately factored into the song, the it was already a work in progress. Click here to watch the band discuss the inspiration for this incredibly raw and moving song that features the signature raspy vocals of Jeff Keith and Frank Hannon’s powerful (Clark-esque) guitar playing. A timeless classic that is as poignant and memorable today as it was back in 1991.
DEF LEPPARD – “Rock Brigade” (1980)
To the average hard rock fan, Def Leppard is an extremely polished arena rock band defined by their saccharine vocal harmonies. However, long before the passing of the aforementioned Steve Clark or the tragic accident that cost drummer, Rick Allen, his left arm, Def Leppard broke onto the scene with a dirty, unpolished garage band sound. The lead track off of the band’s 1980 debut album, On Through The Night, “Rock Brigade” is a gritty melodic rocker that opens with dirty guitars and the crash of a China cymbal. The vocals are considerably more raw than what most people envision when Def Leppard comes to mind (but in a good way). One of the few Def Lep songs that is actually enhanced by the crackling sound of a needle on vinyl.
MERCY DRIVE – “Burn In My Light” (2006)
For all the issues that rock seems to have breaking into the mainstream in recent years, one avenue that has been successful is through professional wrestling. Based out of central Florida, Mercy Drive may not be a household name on rock radio, but their sound is instantly familiar to fans of the WWE as the intro music for superstar Randy Orton. Publishing issues prevented the track from appearing on their debut album, and within a year of its release, Mercy Drive disbanded. In late 2014, the band announced that several members were currently working on material for a new album.
SHAMAN’S HARVEST – “Broken Dreams” (2010)
While 2014 saw this Missouri band score both chart and critical success with “Dangerous” (a worthy follow-up to their 2009 hit, “Dragonfly”), they are recognizable to fans of the WWE universe as the sound that brought several superstars to the ring in recent years. This song was the entrance music for superstar Drew McIntyre during his most successful run. It’s a soulful, southern rock flavored tune that fits well in between their successes on the rock radio charts.
DOGPOUND – “Glass Jar” (2007)
Heavy, but full of hooks, “Glass Jar” pounds out the story of a man plotting his escape from a life gone wrong. With great riffs and a driving bass, it’s melodic metal from Sweden that strikes all the right notes, both musically and lyrically.
MESSIAH’S KISS – “Thunder Of The Night” (2007)
The power metal clichés abound, but who cares? This song is epic! Screaming riffs and snarling, soaring vocals cascade into a glorious chorus on this offering from the German band’s third album.
STRYPER – “Two Time Woman” (1990)
Stryper’s Against the Law release came and went in stealth-mode. “Two Time Woman” is my favorite off of the album, and top 5 from them all-time. Their signature is all over this bright and heavy metal track, and the content is a refreshing change of pace from the usual Christian Metal lyrics. It’s almost refreshingly “dirty” for their image. This is Sweet, Sweet, Gaines and Oz Fox at their best!
OZZY OSBOURNE & RANDY RHODES – “You Looking At Me Looking At You” (1981/2002)
Gotta dig deep into Ozzy’s tracks for “You Looking At Me Looking At You” – a great one off of Blizzard of Ozz. You won’t find it in the original release, only as a bonus track in the 2002 version. Even stacked up against the greats on this album, you’ll wonder why they didn’t just add song #10 in the first place. Randy’s solo is off the charts, and this feelgood track is a great change of pace from the darker subject matter of this legendary album.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…