Music Discovery Monday – 6/20/16
Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.
This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Joey “Chicago” Walser of Devour The Day, who discusses the inspiration behind the title track of the band’s latest album, S.O.A.R.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
DEVOUR THE DAY – “S.O.A.R.”
Once upon a time, acronym songs weren’t necessarily as direct or creative as some of the modern versions of this approach. Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “S.A.T.O.” are examples of the more cryptic approach. Like the recent Papa Roach hit, “F.E.A.R.” (which stands for Face Everything And Rise), Devour The Day’s “S.O.A.R.” is both creative and inspirational. The acronym stands for “suffer, overcome and recover.”
By incorporating the powerful acronym and the traditional use of the word “soar,” Devour The Day has taken this concept to another level. The song is, at times, moody and subdued, at other times, angst-ridden. From the melodic elements to the tortured growls used for emphasis, the title track of the band’s latest album works on a variety of levels.
In an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Devour The Day’s Joey “Chicago” Walser discussed the meaning and inspiration behind “S.O.A.R.”…
“I was sitting outside of my house after coming back from a meeting about the record. We had been working on the album for quite a while by normal standards. We were so excited because Razor & Tie was giving us the opportunity to work with the producer that we wanted, but it also created a sort of deadline. After the meeting, we realized that there wasn’t one particular song that kind of wrapped up the entire idea of the record, and we weren’t even really sure what to call it at that point.
So, I was sitting outside my house early in the morning, and I just started thinking about the things that meant the most to me, and were a source of inspiration. In that moment, I just thought about the freedom of a bird soaring. I felt that if I were ever to have wings and be above everything, that I would never come down. I would work my butt off to never have to go back to the ground again. That helped to inspire the opening lyrics… ‘when I get up, I’m not coming down.’ I felt that it was just such a great way to kind of encompass all of the ideas…spirituality, the way that I felt about the business and the way that I felt about life. In that, there was this acronym that just made so much sense…suffer, overcome and recover. That idea, to me, kind of runs parallel with Devour The Day.
Pretty immediately, I think that I called Blake and told him that I knew that it would be the title track. He came over and he had already put together some really incredible digital movements. just laid the chord progression within the instrumentation that he was working on, and it fit perfectly. It was crafted as if we had created two sides of a song separately. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record, and I get pretty hyped when I’m talking about it because I feel that it’s not just part of my musical life. That is very much the way that I’ve had to come up…blue collar family, and the way that I’ve lived as an adult.
I’ve often felt like the world was after me. I also thought that there were two reactions that I could have had…either let the weight crush me and give in to the things that were happening, or I was going to recover. It was so inspiring for not only what I thought would be for the fans, but also for myself. Anytime that happens, I think that it’s the greatest artwork because it everybody can relate to it.”
HELLYEAH – “I Don’t Care Anymore”
Dimebag Darrell is back (so to speak). From Hellyeah’s latest album, Undeniable, the band has released a balls-to-the-wall cover of the Phil Collins classic, “I Don’t Care Anymore.” A cover of the song was recorded years ago by Dimebag and Vinnie Paul. The old track, which was recently dug up, was incorporated into this authoritative interpretation. With all due respect to Collins, who tapped into his emotions with powerful drum parts in the original, Hellyeah has taken the meaning of the song to an entirely new level. Chad Gray infuses the vocals with a healthy mixture of adrenaline and testosterone. If Collins made you believe that he didn’t care anymore with the original, then the boys from Hellyeah (and Dimebag) will make you believe that they truly don’t give a flying fuck!
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
ANTHRAX – “Blood Eagle Wings”
On the more mainstream side of metal (if you think Anthrax is mainstream), the boys from New York are back with their eleventh studio album, For All Kings. This album sees the return of original members Joey Belladona, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello and Scott Ian with a new lead guitarist (Jonathan Donais from Shadows Fall). “Blood Eagle Wings” is classic Anthrax at their best…melodic, heavy, catchy and soulful (much like they were in the ‘80s). Anthrax continues to impress in 2016. It’s no wonder that they are one of metal’s “Big 4.”
PARKWAY DRIVE – “Crushed”
Sometimes when a band slips by my radar, I accidentally hear a song and it catches me by surprise. Parkway Drive is one of those bands that I never paid much attention to until I heard “Crushed,” and was instantly impressed. Being a fan of the genre, I am not sure how I missed these guys. This metalcore band from Australia has been around for 13 years. “Crushed” is from the band’s fifth studio album, Ire. It’s got heavy, catchy guitar riffs, growling vocals, hardcore breakdowns and is angry as all hell…the ideal recipe for a perfect metalcore song.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
FAITHSEDGE – “Never A Day”
Four days from now, this California melodic rock band will release their third album, Restoration. Singer/songwriter Giancarlo Floridia returns with an impressive lineup, connected to some other great bands, including guitarist Alex De Rosso (ex-Dokken), bassist Tim Gaines (Stryper), drummer Matt Starr (Mr. Big, Ace Frehley), and keyboardist/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Revolution Saints). The hooks here are bigger than ever, the riffs and rhythms crushing, and Floridia soars over it all on the vocals.
BLAZE BAYLEY – “A Thousand Years”
Four years after his last solo album, Blaze Bayley returns with Infinite Entanglement, the first installment in a trilogy of science fiction themed albums. The traditional heavy riffs are here, but with more attention to melody than in his previous works. Bayley is most famous for replacing Bruce Dickinson when the vocalist temporarily left Iron Maiden. He has poured his heart into a worthy solo career since.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
WITHEM – “The Pain I Collected”
Prog metal outfit Withem (from Oslo Norway) released their second album, The Unforgiving Road, in April. Great vocals, expert musicianship and powerful (yet clean) production sound highlights this contemplative track, which breaks from the gate before settling into frequent changes-of-pace that are impressively tight and well-orchestrated. Ole Aleksander Wagenius’ tone is akin to Helloween’s Michael Kiske and Dream Theater’s James LaBrie.
JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 – “Scream”
Joel Hoekstra’s 13 is a side project formed by current Whitesnake guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, whose resume also includes Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Night Ranger. Hoekstra recruited stellar musicians to record his album, Dying To Live. “Scream” features Jeff Scott Soto belting out the vocals, and the thunderous rhythm section of drummer Vinny Appice and bassist Tony Franklin. The synergy of these all-stars abounds, with a truly great rhythm, melodic vocals and an excellent Hoekstra solo.
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