Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 4/13/15.
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.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
TESLA – “So Divine”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Tesla, which will be commemorated with a tour supporting Def Leppard. In 1987, these two bands made history by touring arenas and playing “in the round.” Aside from a brief hiatus in the mid to late 90s, Tesla has steadily created their own brand of down-to-earth hard rock. And though they have a loyal following, their younger fans are mostly children of their fans from their early days. In large part, Music Discovery Monday is about exposing new artists, but there is another vastly underserved segment of hard rock artists who are still creating great music, but whose songs don’t get the attention that they deserve. Tesla’s “So Divine” is a perfect example of a band that is making music as relevant today as they did when they were young, hungry and new on the scene. If you’re a fan of Tesla’s music, this track is a no-brainer. If you are a younger hard rock music fan, “So Divine” will serve as a good introduction to what Tesla has to offer. An outstanding melody, a big hook and Jeff Keith’s signature raspy vocals make “So Divine” a timeless track that rivals their biggest hits.
SCORPIONS – “We Built this House”
As impressive as Tesla’s 30-year career is, they still have another 20 years to go until they reach the bar of longevity set by the Scorpions. Although they have had many more lineup changes than Tesla, Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine have been going strong since the 1960s, and Matthias Jabs since the 1970s. For the handful of bands that have reached the 50-year mark, their best material is usually pretty far behind them. The exception to the rule is the Scorpions. “We Built This House” is the band’s latest single, and one that you would definitely want to hear if you are lucky enough to catch them on what may (or may not) be their final tour. The fact that they are still writing high quality hard rock songs speaks volumes about their talent. They have never chased trends or wavered from their sound. Lyrically, “We Built This House” acknowledges the approach that they have taken in staying the course.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
FALL TO JUNE – “Delta Breakdown”
Newly arrived on the scene from Florida and providing one of the most interesting and impressive debuts in recent memory is Fall To June. Always great when a “new” band brings some energy, in this cases a blues-southern-funky drenched song that’s increasingly infectious on every listen. The band includes former members of Cold and NeRver, was recorded with attention from Brad Stewart (ex-Shinedown), produced by veteran Stan Martell (Fuel, Saliva), and will hit the road with Jasin Todd (ex-Shinedown) as a touring guitarist. New? Old? Who cares? This rocks!
EVERCLEAR – “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart”
Not a lot of introduction needed for a band that were 90s Alternative staples, but their first new single in nearly three years has a little more bite than I expected. Catchy, with respectable guitar work. I’ll take surprises where they come.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
LEGION – “Animal Inside”
Legion returns with their seventh album, Animal Inside, and it’s another real treat for the melodic rock listener. With Phil Vincent on vocals and Vince O’Regan on guitar, they really deliver the hooks on the title track, with some nice bluesy undertones. Highly recommended for fans of Dokken and Whitesnake!
LEAH – “Arcadia”
A Gregorian opening on “Arcadia” yields quickly to a driving rhythm section, and then to the beautiful, often operatic, vocals of Leah McHenry. Her symphonic rock band (hailing from Canada) performs orchestrated, atmospheric pieces with Celtic influences and touches of progressive metal.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ALPHA TIGER – “Identity”
Hailing from Saxony, and once known as Satin Black, Alpha Tiger brings us the impassioned title track from their fourth album, Identity. Great hooks and Heiko Dietrich’s tremendous range drive it home.
VEXILLUM – “Over The Clouds”
Join the rally cry and raise your ale with Italy’s Vexillum and their folk/glory metal “Over the Clouds” off their album, Unum. Dario Vallesi has got a lot of Bruce Dickinson in him. Chris Bay from Freedom Call makes a guest appearance.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
In true Hard Rock Time Machine fashion, my picks this week were both included on a mix tape (cassette) that I made for my wife (then girlfriend). A lot has changed since then, and younger HRD readers may have to Google “mix tape” to understand the reference. This week’s picks are dedicated to my better half…
STEELHEART – “I’ll Never Let You Go” (1990)
The 80s are widely known as the “hair metal days,” but one of the greatest power ballads of the time period was actually released in 1990 (pre-Nirvana). Although Steelheart never achieved the success that they deserved, they did have one huge hit with “I’ll Never Let You Go.” Croatian frontman, Miljenko Matijevic, left jaws dropping with the ungodly notes that he was able to hit in the chorus. If this band had come out 5-10 years earlier, there is no telling how big they may have become. If you have an appreciation for incredible vocals and melodic power ballads, this is a must-listen!
MR. BIG – “To Be With You” (1991)
Many bands of the 80s and early 90s had memorable debut albums, but failed to recapture the magic when the “sophomore slump” kicked in. This is not the case at all for Mr. Big. The band enjoyed their most success with their sophomore album, Lean Into It. “To Be With You” is the song that put the band on the map, although the individual members were highly acclaimed for their musicianship before the release. With a tremendous groove, soulful vocals and melodic harmonies, “To Be With You” is a song that has stood the test of time to this day (nearly 25 years later).
ERIC CLAPTON – “Forever Man” (1985)
The lead single from Behind The Sun eventually became a #1 Rock track for the iconic Clapton, but it was a song that wasn’t originally intended to be on the album. As the story goes, the record label said that there weren’t enough singles amongst the initial track listing so they commissioned three additional songs by an outside writer. The rest (as they say) was history. This was the top rock song in the U.S. on the week of my 18thbirthday.
NAZARETH – “Love Hurts” (1975)
Written by the legendary Boudleaux Bryant (“Rocky Top”, “Bye Bye Love”), this cut from Hair Of The Dog was so strong that it was recorded repeatedly both before and after it was a hit for these Scottish rockers. The Everly Brothers included it on their 1960 album but never released it as a single. Roy Orbison had a hit in Australia with it in 1961. A version featuring Emmylou Harris appeared on the posthumously released Gram Parsons album in 1973, and in the same year that Nazareth made it a U.S. rock hit, it became a U.K. hit for Jim Capaldi (ex-Traffic). Since then, Cher has recorded it twice and Rod Stewart once. And to think, it was released 40 years ago this month … when I was a tender lad of just 8 years old.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE – “Burden Of Truth” (2006)
Zachary Stevens used to sing with Savatage (including on my all-time favorite Savatage album – Wake of Magellan). He brought the genius of that album – the layered writing and stirring harmonies – to his new band, Circle II Circle, only with a more progressive edge. Their 2006 album, Burden of Truth, is a concept album that parallels the theme of Dan Brown’s bestselling The DaVinci Code, which was made into a movie that same year.
SYMPHONY X – “Egypt” (2000)
Symphony X delivers clean and complex pieces on the cutting edge of progressive metal. Their epic 2000 release “Egypt” is nothing short of a masterpiece, with driving guitars by Michael Romeo, playful keyboards by Michael Pinnella and perfect basslines by Mike Lepond. Jason Rullo’s drums keep the beat with character, and Russel Allen’s vocals always find the right pitch and power to tell the story. The middle eastern tones that they explore transport the listener far away, to the endless sands where the story takes place.
RACER X – “Snakebite” (2011)
Truly wicked shredding from the great Paul Gilbert at the heart of this ass-kicking tune off their 2011 album, Technical Difficulties.
DIO – “Fever Dreams” (2000)
The concept album Magica was a low-flyer. Buried within the album was this gem. Classic Dio through-and-through with Jimmy Bain, Craig Goldy and Simon Wright behind him. RJD was working on expanding Magica to a trilogy when he passed away in 2010.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…
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