Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 6/1/15.
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)
SHAMAN’S HARVEST – “Dirty Diana”
Usually, when a hard rock band covers a pop or dance song, they bring the intensity from the first note. Shaman’s Harvest is one of the more unique bands around, so it’s not surprising that they actually slowed the tempo of this Michael Jackson song down to incorporate a cool, bluesy vibe. Ultimately, the intensity is dialed up to allow frontman Nathan Hunt to deliver his signature, powerful, gritty, southern rock vocals. Shredding guitars and a driving rhythm are more likely to have you banging your head than moonwalking as you listen to one of the more inspired covers to come out in recent memory.
BUCKCHERRY – “Say Fuck It”
When I heard “Say Fuck It” for the first time on SiriusXM’s Octane, the song seemed familiar, but I had no idea why. Only when my daughter started singing along with some of the lyrics did I discover that the song was actually a cover version of Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (albeit with altered lyrics). It turns out that I had heard the original version once before when my daughter was playing her Kidz Bop CD. Clearly, Buckcherry’s version of the song will not be on any future Kidz Bop compilation. Frontman, Josh Todd delivers his customary raw vocals with piss and vinegar swagger, giving the song a significantly edgier feel than the original. Neither “Say Fuck It,” nor the EP that it was featured on (Fuck), ever got its just due, which is too bad. This ballsy cover smokes the original.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
AVIATOR SHADES – “Who Do You Think You Are”
Straight up rock n’ roll from Vancouver, featuring a tight sound that doesn’t forget that music should be fun and skilled without being excessively complex. To describe Aviator Shades as “uncomplicated” is a compliment, not a knock. The band’s online bio says “they understand Rock and Roll.” I think that’s an accurate claim.
SILVERSYDE – “Anthem”
At this point, it’s safe to say that the only thing preventing more Christian rock acts from joining the ranks of Skillet, Red and Thousand Foot Krutch as Active Rock mainstays is radio’s willingness to put them there. It certainly isn’t because of a lack of talented candidates. Fresh new talent in the niche continues to emerge, such as this female-fronted quartet from Dayton, Ohio. Energy abounds in this upbeat rocker highlighted by both the strong vocal performance and some subtle instrumental touches that suggest there’s more than “just another band” here. Silversyde is definitely a band to watch in both the Christian Rock niche and the broader Mainstream Rock market.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
ILIUM – “Orbiting A Sun Of Sadness”
Even the more reflective songs on Ilium’s new album break into a gallop. Welcoming new singer Lance King, this melodic power metal act from Australia now incorporates speed metal and some modern influences. Founder, Jason Hodges continues to write complex songs and provide some memorable guitar work.
RED CIRCUIT – “My Lonely Heaven”
It’s been five years since this progressive power metal act from Germany last released an album. The band members have kept busy with other projects during that stretch, but Haze of Nemesis marks a welcome return for the band. Frontman, Chity Somapala supplies some raw and gritty vocals and the music has a modern vibe. The lyrics will draw you in, as well…“searching for a god with immaculate eyes…”
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
SIGNUM REGIS – “Living Well”
“Living Well” – the lead track from Signum Regis’ latest release – is hard-driving, straight-forward heavy metal. These up-and-coming Slovakians have been together since 2008. Filip Koluš’ guitar work really stands out, even from an all-around great band.
CAIN’S OFFERING – “Antemortem”
Another concurrent group/project from Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius and his own Kotipelto). This Finnish power metal outfit has additional horsepower from Jani Liimatainen of Sonata Arctica on guitars. Intense and precise, it has Timo’s signature voice and inspirational theme with plenty of talent behind it. Formed in 2009, this is the band’s sophomore album, six years removed from their debut.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
FAREWELL 2 FEAR – “Diamonds” (2013)
Like Buckcherry’s altered lyric cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” blissful ignorance had me believing that “Diamonds” was an original song upon hearing it on SiriusXM’s Octane when it was released. Ultimately, I learned that it was actually a cover version of a Rihanna song. The original version has nearly 600 million page views on YouTube, but I wasn’t one of them until this week. Listening to the original for the sake of comparison, my feeling is very similar to the one that I have about Jimi Hendrix covering Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower.” The original greatly pales by comparison to the cover. Farewell 2 Fear made some noise with this track when they performed it live on The Howard Stern Show, but the band has not been heard from since then, and there isn’t much information about their current status available. Hopefully, we will hear more from the band in the near future.
ALIEN ANT FARM – “Smooth Criminal” (2005)
Covering an iconic song by an iconic artist is a daunting challenge, but one that Alien Ant Farm rose to (and then some). Not only did the band do an incredible job of making this song their own, but they also paid homage to Michael Jackson in the video. With all due respect to the original version, I’ll take Alien Ant Farm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal” any day of the week. They kept the bones of the original and beefed it up significantly, hitting every note with unabashed intensity. Watching the video while listening to this song is highly recommended!
MOLLO/MARTIN – “Wicked World” (2012)
The lead track from the third (and, so far, final) album released by the combined force of Italian guitarist / producer Dario Mollo and former Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin, this stands out as one of their best. One of the lengthy list of hard rock songs of the current decade that deserved more attention than it received.
FOZZY – “Dark Passenger” (2012)
Another one of those album tracks that lingers after an album begins to slip into an artist’s catalog. A slower, darker track than WWE Superstar, Chris Jericho, is usually associated with; the heavy guitars on display fit perfectly with the lyrical mood and content.
SAIDIAN – “The Jester” (2006)
Heavily influenced by EdGuy and Helloween, this now defunct band came under criticism at times for derivative work. Regardless, “The Jester” is an epic composition in the best tradition of power metal. Filled with frantic emotion, addictive riffs, and layered vocal harmonies, it’s a spectacle of showmanship with no apologies.
TOBY HITCHCOCK – “Just Say Goodbye” (2011)
Vocalist Toby Hitchcock (Pride of Lions) belts out pure ear candy on this tune about a failed relationship (from his 2011 solo album). With a compelling melody and an insanely catchy chorus, this is AOR at its most addictive.
LOST IN THOUGHT – “Blood Red Diamond” (2011)
Lost In Thought is another promising band that couldn’t manage to stay together. “Blood Red Diamond” showcases their powerful, melodic, progressive metal that was quality through and through. Unfortunately, Opus Arise was their only release. A second album was scuttled in 2013 when they officially called it quits. Stand-out vocals from Nate Loosemore. This one leaves you wanting more…
CYDONIA – “Legend In Time” (2001)
Cydonia brings power/thrash metal from Italy. Their style is all over the place, but enjoyably so. “Legend In Time” features a structured, heavy rhythm line, frantic, machine-gun double bass and melodic choruses mixed with power screams. Hide the glassware for some of these high notes from Dan Keying. Deftly kept in time by Mat Stancioiu. The band is apparently still together, but haven’t released anything since 2003.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…