Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 9/21/15.
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.
This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Devil City Angels lead vocalist, Brandon Gibbs, who shares the interesting and entertaining inspiration behind the band’s single, “Boneyard.”
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
DEVIL CITY ANGELS – “Boneyard”
The ‘80s brought us some of the greatest hard rock in the history of the genre. Many of the acts still perform to this day, and there is always a chance that those who broke up will reunite at some point in the future. A growing trend in recent years is the formation of “supergroups” featuring ‘80s rock stars. Devil City Angels fall into that category, but they have a sound that is so organic that you feel like this is a band with the potential to shed the “supergroup” label and just be looked at as a band on the rise.
This hard rock outfit features all-stars Tracii Guns, Rikki Rockett and Rudy Sarzo (who recently replaced Eric Brittingham). What sets Devil City Angels apart from other “supergroups” is the freshness that lesser-known frontman/guitarist Brandon Gibbs brings to the table, giving the band a current sound that is built on a foundation of hard rock from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
“Boneyard” gives a taste of what Devil City Angels has to offer, and if you’re a fan of straight forward, melodic rock and roll, you’re in for a treat. From the riffs to the pounding rhythm to Gibbs’ vocals (which sound like a modern-day Paul Rodgers), all of the pieces of this rock and roll puzzle fit together perfectly.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Devil City Angels frontman Brandon Gibbs discussed the band’s latest single, “Boneyard”…
“Boneyard started out as a Gibbs Brothers song called ‘Lost In You,’ which a song that my twin brother (Brent) and I wrote. We used the ‘Lost In You’ template, the chords and the kind of bouncy beat. Although the template was written before, we changed it to make it very much a Devil City Angels song. Tracii (Guns) had a lot to do with that riff, and it kind of touched back on the original song and transformed it to a new one.
This was the very last song that we did on the record. The music was done, and I had the lyrics for ‘Lost In You’ from my past ready to go, but it just didn’t work, and I was kind of pulling my hair out. I just didn’t hear anything else besides ‘Lost In You’ when trying to write new lyrics.
After Rikki (Rockett) came back to the studio from an extended lunch break, he suggested that we write about a prison worker who has an affair with an inmate, and kind of create our own little movie. After asking him where in the hell he came up with that idea, I said that we can have the guy take her to the boneyard (you can use your imagination about what that means) [laughs].
Honest to God, we were having a blast creating what Rikki and I call ‘head movies.’ This time we actually captured one on tape. So, the story behind the song is that we have a problem; we’re demented; something’s not right with us. How we came up with the song is disturbing.” [laughs]
SEBASTIAN BACH – “All My Friends Are Dead”
The opening of the video of “All My Friends Are Dead” reads…“Dedicated to the Lives and Memories of My Friends…Rock In Peace.” A number of Sebastian Bach’s departed friends are listed (most notably Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus of GWAR and Jeff Hanneman of Slayer). The loss of friends is only part of the inspiration for the song. The title came to Bach when he was amused after seeing the phrase on a t-shirt. In true Bach fashion, the gregarious singer was also inspired by the living, a somewhat ironic twist for a song titled “All My Friends Are Dead.” The reference is about the death of relationships, not people.
Sebastian Bach is a lot of things, but depressing isn’t one of them, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this song is actually melodic and upbeat. One of the lines in the song that really stands out is…“too late to turn back time again,” because that is exactly what Bach achieved with this song (and the rest of his 2014 release – Give ‘Em Hell). The notes that he hits in the middle of the song will make you think that you’ve taken a time machine back to the Slave To The Grind days. But alas, time marches on, and the rock and roll world continues to lose key members (see the special tribute in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment below for details).
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
THE ANSWER – “Red”
From Northern Ireland comes a band that leaves me wondering why they don’t seem to have managed to break all the way through in North America. Likely “new” to most music fans, the band was hailed as a “best new band” as far back as 2005, and even that was 4-5 years after their formation. They opened for AC/DC during the Black Ice tour, and they’ve had songs featured in several video games. It seems as though all of the elements for a breakthrough – including, of course, solid music – have been there, and yet here I am feeling as though I’m probably introducing them to some readers/listeners for the first time. I really don’t understand the music business some days.
A MIRROR HOLLOW – “Animal”
Not trace of glam in this one, despite the band’s Hollywood hometown. A good mix of harsh vocals and melody makes the song a user-friendly introduction to this five-piece band.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
CATS IN SPACE – “Mr. Heartache”
Big vocal harmonies animate the sound of this new UK melodic rock band, with strong Queen and E.L.O. influences. They are calling it “Power Pop Rock.” Six musicians work aggressively to deliver a wall of sound with bigtime hooks and a ‘70s vibe. This first single features a guest appearance by Andy Scott (of ‘70s glam rock band The Sweet), contributing on guitars and vocals. The album is due out October 2nd.
UNIFIED PAST – “Erasure Principle”
They’ve been on the music scene for 30 years and put out six albums, but you might not know them. You’ll want to, though, if you love melodic progressive rock. Hailing from Syracuse, New York, Unified Past writes some complex pieces, catchy enough to enjoy on the first listen, but needing some extra spins to truly appreciate all of the subtleties. Their newest album, Shifting The Equilibrium, was released just last week.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ANUBIS GATE – “Hear My Call”
“Hear My Call” grabs you right away with an excellent, hypnotic rhythm and eerie vocal harmonics before weaving a tale of desperation (not unlike Metallica’s “One”) about a man going through the anguish of being lost and hopelessly crying out. Listen for the fantastic classical acoustic work, a prelude to a deft, wailing guitar jam apropos of the tale (Kim Olsen and Michael Bodin). Anubis Gate formed in 2004 and hails from Denmark. This is their 5th full-length album.
VICTORIUS – “Silent Symphony”
Victorius, from Saxony, Germany, brings us a spirited epic named for a popular oxymoron. The band breaks away from their typical speed/power metal to give “Silent Symphony” a full, large-scale sound with passion and grace. This the last track on their most recent album, Dreamchaser.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
This past week, the rock and roll world said goodbye to guitarist Gary Richrath who passed away at the age of 65. Although he was underrated, he was still appreciated by many, as evidenced by the outpouring of emotions by fans on social media. The songs chosen for Hard Rock Music Time Machine this week both showcase his outstanding guitar work with REO Speedwagon. RIP Gary…
REO SPEEDWAGON – “Ridin’ The Storm Out” (Live) (1981)
It isn’t often that the live version of a song becomes preferable to the studio version. “Ridin’ The Storm Out” is one of the exceptions to the rule, due in large part to the guitar playing of Gary Richrath, and of course, the rise of MTV.
“Ridin’ The Storm Out” is the title track of REO Speedwagon’s third studio album (which came out in 1973). On the heels of the popularity of the live version of this song, the album peaked on the Billboard 200 chart in 1981.
The tasteful accents that Richrath uses early on in the song offer a glimpse of what’s to come at around the 2:00-minute mark, and again at around 3:30. Like Slash would do years later on his Gibson Les Paul, Richrath made the guitar sing with his solos.
On a personal note, I’ve played this song from time-to-time when dealing with the “storms” that need to be weathered in life.
REO SPEEDWAGON – “Roll With The Changes” (1978)
The beauty of Gary Richrath’s playing shines through once again on “Roll With The Changes.” With an ability to make the guitar sing, he added nice accents throughout the song without overpowering it. Perhaps what made him the most unique was being able to know when to pull back and let the song breathe and when to let it rip to add a burst of energy. Aside from his writing and guitar playing, Richrath’s backing vocals helped contribute to REO’s distinct style.
There was a temptation to include “Take It On The Run” (along with “Ridin’ The Storm Out”) because it was written by Richrath. It is also the band’s biggest hit from their most impactful album (Hi Infidelity). “Roll With The Changes” was chosen because it showcases more of Richrath’s guitar playing. Like “Ridin’ The Storm Out,” this is a song that hits home in a very personal way, and has been cathartic when dealing with the inevitable changes that are part of life.
NOTE: Although Gary Richrath left REO Speedwagon in 1989, his loss hit his former bandmate, Kevin Cronin, very hard. Here are the thoughts that he shared on social media…
“Hi friends, kc here. My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today. I feel so sad. Gary was both a unique guitarist and songwriter, and the embodiment of the tough guy with a heart of gold. I learned most of what I know about being in a rock band from Gary Richrath. The entire REO Family mourns his death and shares in the grief of his family, friends, and fans. These words do not come close to expressing the depth of emotions I am feeling at this time…kc”
Click here to read Kevin Cronin’s interview with Billboard after Gary Richrath’s passing.
CHARM CITY DEVILS – “Blame” (2012)
This Baltimore outfit has several radio hits to their credit, but there are other gems in their catalog that aren’t as well known outside of their core fanbase. I’d put this track into that category. It’s a song that could have made for a good single had they gone one song deeper into their sophomore album.
BLIND GUARDIAN – “Mordred’s Song” (1995)
From this German power metal band’s definitive album, Imaginations From The Other Side, came this song of suffering and betrayal. With intricate guitar work and vocals that drip with pain, it tells its tale from the perspective of the villain: here, the patricidal son of King Arthur. Don’t miss Andre Olbrich’s blazing guitar solo!
BAI BANG – “Die For You” (2011)
Swedish glam metal band Bai Bang have a knack for producing ear candy, and they don’t disappoint on this ballad of devotion. From their 2011 album Living The Dream, it will fill your head with melodic bliss.
STARBREAKER – “Turn It Off” (2005)
Sage advice from the unstoppable Tony Harnell and Starbreaker. This side project (which began 10 years ago while with TNT) features Magnus Karlsson – of Primal Fear, Jonni Lightfoot & John Macaluso). A new Starbreaker album is said to be coming some time next year.
TRIUMPH – “Time Goes By” (1984)
An all-time favorite from 1984, “Time Goes By” is a deep cut from a terrific album that finally went gold in 2003. Rik Emmett and company (Gil Moore, Mike Levine) are at their best on this one…from the vocals and lyrics to the driving rhythm and solos.