Music Discovery Monday – 9/12/16
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.
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)
MICHAEL SWEET – “Radio”
Stryper’s Michael Sweet wearing a five-gallon cowboy hat, moving to Nashville and “going country” just to get played on the radio? Whitesnake guitarist extraordinaire Joel Hoekstra joining Sweet in the move? Has the world gone mad? Not exactly. Unless of course, seeing a rock legend who is known for meaningful lyrics showing his comedic side. Then yes, the world has gone mad.
If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, or watch the video for “Radio” (off of Sweet’s recently released solo album, One Sided War), you would have no idea that the song is a tongue-in-cheek tale about dabbling in the country genre to get radio airplay. Musically, this song is pure hard rock, featuring the soaring vocals of Sweet and the absolute shredding guitar of Hoekstra. It’s everything that you love about the ‘80s, with a fresh, current sound.
With the exception of the twang of Hoekstra’s banjo playing (which bookends the song), there is nothing country about “Radio.” It’s pure arena rock, which doesn’t really have a place on American radio today, which is the point of the song, I would imagine.
Thankfully, great music no longer needs “radio” to reach the masses, especially from legendary artists who have a following that they can connect with directly. Sweet has recently asked those very fans how they would feel if he focused more on guitar in Stryper, and had another singer come in to hit the insane high notes that helped to make him famous. Listening to this song, I’m not sure why. His vocals are as powerful as ever, and this song kicks ass!
TESLA – “Save That Goodness”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the release of Tesla’s incredible debut album, Mechanical Resonance. I can still remember hearing “Modern Day Cowboy” for the first time and being blown away. And then seeing the band open for Def Leppard, in what I’m pretty sure was their first ever American arena show in upstate NY, was something to behold.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary one of the best debut albums in my collection, Tesla has recently released Mechanical Resonance Live! – which includes “Save That Goodness” as a bonus studio track.
The connection that started three decades ago with Def Leppard is still strong. The bands have been touring together recently, and this song was written by Def Lep guitarist, Phil Collen. After Tesla bassist Brian Wheat heard the song, he suggested to Collen that they record it with him as the producer (see full story).
You can hear the influence of both bands in a song that brings the bands together in a brilliant way. This isn’t exactly the first time that there has been a connection between the bands. Years ago, Tesla paid homage to fallen Def Lep guitarist Steve Clark with “Song and Emotion,” one of the band’s more powerful tunes. This collaboration just works on every level.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DANIEL LIONEYE – “Aetherside”
Dark, nihilistic lyrics? Check. Sabbathy, tuned-down riffs? Check. Spooky, weird video? Check. If you like all three, you’ll like Daniel Lioneye’s “Aetherside” (from their new album Vol. III). The vocals remind me of Alice in Chains, while the music reeks of Black Sabbath…what a great combination! It is no surprise that this band from Finland was formed by members of the band HIM. Their musical compositions nicely set a mood of despair and loss. The choruses are catchy, the music ferocious, and the vocals wailing. Fans of heavy metal/goth/doom should give this entire album a listen.
BLOODY HAMMERS – “The Reaper Comes”
Bloody Hammers recently released a new goth/doom song entitled “The Reaper Comes,” (from their new album, Lovely Sort Of Death). This band has an interesting sound…slow, melodic verses and eerie keyboards to set the mood. It is oftentimes haunting as the listener gets lost in its almost whispering vocals, coupled with their dark imagery and feelings of dread. Horror movies should hire this band to compose their soundtracks.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
TANGO DOWN – “Carry On”
Melodic hard rockers Tango Down come out firing on this single, a breakup song, from their new album, Bulletproof. They’ve gone through some lineup changes, and are on their fourth singer in as many albums, but they’ve managed every time to produce quality material and this is no exception. Chas West (Lynch Mob, Resurrection Kings, Jason Bonham) brings power and finesse to the vocals and is expertly supported with groove and some addictive riffs.
CRYSTAL BALL – “Deja Voodoo”
Swiss melodic metal band Crystal Ball returns with their ninth studio album. Since a six-year absence that ended in 2013, they’ve busily put out three albums in four years. With the title track from their latest album, Crystal Ball continues to show that quality and quantity can go hand-in-hand.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
IN FLAMES – “The Truth”
Sweden’s In Flames, formed back in 1990, pioneered the melodic death metal genre, but over time, they have morphed into their present melodic groove metal incarnation. “The Truth” is indicative of their rather unique style…upbeat and bright with an infectious rhythm and melodic vocals and choruses, highlighted by Niclas Engelin’s guitar solo, which sneaks through the overpowering bass line.
SCORCHER – “Steal The Throne”
Scorcher is a Greek power metal band that has been around since 2011, first forming under the name Tex. The title track from their last album, Steal The Throne, features a heavy, marching rhythm line with excellent guitar licks, wails and riffs mixed in. Strong vocals accompany the solid musicianship.
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