Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/23/15.
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 the legendary Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) about his latest project, Revolution Saints.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
REVOLUTION SAINTS – “Turn Back Time”
“Turn Back Time” is the first single off of the eponymous debut album (which drops tomorrow) from supergroup, Revolution Saints. Featuring Steve Perry-esque vocals, the song captures the classic Journey sound. This is (drummer) Deen Castronovo’s first album as the featured lead singer, but you would never know it by hearing his spectacular range. It’s hard to imagine Castronovo finding a better complementary singer than Jack Blades, who trades vocals in Night Ranger and has done so in the past with Damn Yankees and his collaboration with Shaw/Blades. Along with former Whitesnake guitarist, Doug Alrich, Castronovo and Blades are a power trio to be reckoned with, and if not for their commitment to other projects, there is no telling what heights Revolution Saints would reach. With this track, they have definitely “turned back time” to a bygone era (in a good way).
REVOLUTION SAINTS – “Back On My Trail”
When it comes to releasing singles, Frontiers Records doesn’t waste any time. “Back On My Trail” – the third single off of the band’s forthcoming debut album – gives another taste of what this power trio has to offer. While “Turn Back Time” had a distinctive Journey sensibility, “Back On My Trail” brings each member’s influence to the forefront and blends them together perfectly. With an edgier, high-intensity sound, “Back On My Trail” grabs your attention from the first note, and then continues to impress throughout with Alrich’s outstanding guitar work, and a powerful, driving rhythm by Blades and Castronovo. Equally impressive is the vocal harmonies by a band that is in its infancy, yet sounds like they have been playing together for decades. If you are a fan of bands like Journey, Night Ranger and Whitesnake, you will absolutely love this track (and the entire album for that matter).
In a recent conversation with Hard Rock Daddy, Jack Blades shared a great story about the writing and recording process of “Turn Back Time”…
“I co-wrote ‘Turn Back Time’ with our producer, Alessandro Del Vecchio (who wrote most of the album). Musically, the song was done, but I wrote the lyrics because it’s been years since I had to sing anything that I didn’t write, and ‘Turn Back Time’ was written to be a duet with Deen and me.
Deen and I went to the studio Portland, OR together to sing the song. Since the song was set up to to be a duet already, we just decided that Deen would start the verse and I then would come in half way through the verse.
When we first started recording, Deen was coming in kind of low for his range, and then when I came in, Deen said ‘That’s a lead singer…that’s the way it should be done!’ He got really excited as he normally does because he’s a very excitable guy. That gave him the green light for the second verse to do the same thing as me, and take it off to another place.
At the end of the song, Deen was kind of scatting, and I was thinking that I can’t harmonize to that because he’s just going off singing all of this great stuff. Alessandro was looking at me, and I just told him to roll the tape. He asked if we should talk about it, and I told him to just hit record because what Deen did was fresh in my mind. He did that on one take, and I was like ‘holy shit!’
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and then it hit me to just answer Deen with my own ad libs. Deen and Alessandro were in the other room, and when I finished, they said…’that’s it…it’s done!” I asked what I did, and they said that they didn’t know, but we’ll play it back so that you can hear it. Everything was done in one take. I walked out and said…’I am not going to fuck that up! That’s the way that it is, and that’s the way that it’s going to stay!’
We were all looking at each other saying…’now that’s the way to make a record!’ The lesson in this is that Deen has this natural instinct to sing this great stuff from being around Journey, and when someone does that around me, it leads me into doing the same thing. It just blossomed into what happened at the end, and I’m just really, really proud of it (as you can tell).”
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – “Take It Back”
British blues-rock band fronted by a Glasgow-born singer. It’s not entirely everyone’s idea of hard rock, and I’ll admit to struggling to figure out exactly what to think of them since they first crossed my radar last year. The conclusion that I’ve reached thus far is that they’re quite good at what they do, with a singer that stands out from the crowd (in a good way) by a pretty solid margin. There’s something to be said for being damned good at what you do — no matter what you’re doing — and they’re more than deserving of a listen so that you can draw your own conclusion.
THE TREATMENT – “Running With The Dogs”
Straight-up rock n’ roll from this English band proves that keeping it relatively simple can be exceptionally effective. The title track from their second album is a great introduction for the uninitiated, with an AC/DC vibe, but enough additional elements to avoid any accusations of copying the legends. Matt Jones’ vocals, the band’s harmony choruses, and another round of spot-on production makes this a song (and a band) that any lover of hard rock needs to not only know, but know well.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
ORDEN OGAN – “F.E.V.E.R.”
Crisp piano keys punctuate the intro to “F.E.V.E.R.” before yielding to wild guitars and epic vocals. This power metal band out of Germany returns strong in 2015 with Ravenhead, their fifth studio album, packed with the heavy, well-crafted music, that at times shows elements of folk metal as well as progressive metal.
NIGHTINGALE – “Forevermore”
Dan Swano sets aside the death metal vocals that he’s famous for elsewhere, to belt out smoother melodies with his progressive rock outfit, Nightingale. “Forevermore” highlights those vocal talents, together with the expert musicianship of his bandmates, in a tightly written song packed with yearning and amazing, ambiguous lyrics.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
HARMONY – “In Search Of”
Harmony is what this track from the Swedish metal outfit with the same name is all about. “In Search of” (from Theatre of Redemption) leads off with driving, heavy rhythm lines (Enbert and Dafras), and quality voices – the band members can all sing – (led by Daniel Heiman). Standout guitars licks (Markus Sigfridsson), keyboards (John Svensson) and of course the vocal harmonies all impress on “In Search Of.”
PERIPHERY – “Heavy Heart”
Periphery’s “Heavy Heart” is a dark track about fighting against the intense weight of troubles. Appropriately heavy and relentless throughout, the music is grave and complex. Spencer Sotelo’s vocals have an intensity that rises above of the heaviness – a fitting passion for the song.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
NIGHT RANGER – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” (1982)
The younger generation of hard rock music fans may think of “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” as a song from the Rock Band video game, but the “MTV Generation” will remember this as the song that introduced us to one of the most prolific bands to emerge from the 80s. Over three decades later, the band continues to have a meaningful presence in the hard rock music genre. “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” is a quintessential 80s hard rock song that has stood the test of time to this day.
WHITESNAKE – “Forevermore” (2011)
Night Ranger had their fair share of videos on MTV, but the most iconic hard rock video of 80s definitely belongs to Whitesnake with “Here I Go Again.” Back in 1987 when it was released, no one could have ever predicted that MTV would turn their backs on the genre, and then videos in general. While that time period is arguably the pinnacle of Whitesnake’s career, it doesn’t mean that they lost any relevance to a legion of fans who still admire them to this day. The band is getting ready to release their first studio album in four years in the near future. “Forevermore” – the title track off of the band’s 2011 release – is a classic, bluesy power ballad that starts off with David Coverdale’s signature soulful vocals before kicking into high gear with a mystical, Zeppelin-esque sound. The impressive, bluesy shredding guitar work on this song is proof-positive that Dee Snider was way off the mark when he inexplicably blasted Doug Aldrich for his contributions to Whitesnake (see full story). Although Aldrich has left the band to pursue projects like Revolution Saints (see above), he certainly left his mark with Whitesnake, particularly on this highly underrated track.
SCORPIONS – “We’ll Burn The Sky” (1977)
With the release of a brand new album this month, it seems only fitting to take a look back into the catalog of these German icons. Originally appearing on Taken By Force, this song would reappear on the band’s first live album, Tokyo Tapes. It’s from a time of transition for the group – the first album with Herman Rarebell on drums and the last album with Uli Jon Roth on lead guitar. Roth is credited as co-writer on the song, along with Monika Dannemann, who reportedly wrote the lyrics originally as a poem to her ex-boyfriend, Jimi Hendrix. Despite the changes that would come, the sound is one that the group would develop as a signature…vocally a ballad, but with instrumental elements that were uncompromisingly hard rock.
SLASH f. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS – “Shots Fired” (2013)
One of the downsides of the rotating cycle of Alter Bridge and Slash albums is that their proximity to each other almost precludes going deeper than two singles from either. That may account for why this track isn’t one of the better known from the past few years. It’s easily my favorite track to date from their collaborative efforts, instead of gushing any further about it I’ll just stop here and let you listen in peace.
CIRCUS MAXIMUS – “Zero” (2007)
Circus Maximus, a progressive metal band out of Norway, scored a huge power ballad back in 2007 with “Zero.” Technically brilliant and utterly haunting, it will absolutely crush you….in a good way! The mood is dark; the build-up is glorious, and there’s a guitar solo that mustn’t be missed! Highly recommended, especially for fans of early Dream Theater.
ZENO – “Shades Of Blue” (2006)
The great Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) has an equally great, if less famous brother, Zeno. In “Shades of Blue”, Zeno demonstrates his prowess beyond any doubt, playing every instrument on the album brilliantly! The only limelight he shares is with Martin Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart), who provides the amazing vocals to round out a masterful song from a masterful album.
HALESTORM – “Tell Me Where It Hurts” (2009)
Great tune from Lzzy and company. “Tell Me Where It Hurts” is a bonus track from Halestorm’s 2009 debut album. The chorus of this black n blue tune will stick with you as Hale shows off her range and style. This track helped Halestorm to establish themselves amidst the numerous acts out there.
REDEMPTION – “What Will You Say” (2009)
Prog Metal band Redemption shows off a wide array of talent on “What Will You Say” from Snowfall on Judgement Day. Great changes of pace throughout this track about remembrance. Standout vocals (Ray Alder) and percussion (Chris Quirarte). Give the rest of the album a listen, too.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…