Music Discovery Monday – 12/5/16
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)
THE GREG BILLINGS BAND (f. BRIAN JOHNSON) – “Old Friends Don’t Come Easy”
When Brian Johnson’s hearing problems forced him to suddenly leave AC/DC, fans were hoping that someday he would return to the stage (or at the very least, the studio). It’s safe to say that most people didn’t expect his return to happen as a guest vocalist (on a fitting song) with The Greg Billings Band.
You might be wondering how the band was able to land Johnson for a guest vocal spot. I must admit, I wondered the same thing, having not heard of them until recently. It turns out that Billings has a history that dates back to the ‘80s with a band called Romeo (which was signed to Epic Records). The band – who gained popularity in Florida – changed their name to Stranger before the album was released.
Stranger, with their “hook-laden songs” and “electrifying stage show,” became well-known in the southeast. Although the band released a number of albums through the years, most were independent. Fast forward to 2003…two original members of Stranger – Billings (vocals) and Tom King (bass) – continue the phenomenon that began in the ‘80s.
“Old Friends Don’t Come Easy” – from the band’s upcoming album Boom Boom All Night! – captured my attention because of the reemergence of Johnson, but the band more than stands on its own with its brand of feel-good, gin-soaked, honky-tonk rock and roll.
The smooth vocals of Billings are the Johnnie Walker Blue to Johnson’s edgy shot of Jack Daniels. Together, this vocal duo makes for an interesting blend that works perfectly together.
It just so happens that the lyrics of the song paint a picture of a nostalgic bar memories, but even if they didn’t, listening to “Old Friends Don’t Come Easy” makes you want to hit the bar for happy hour. Bluesy guitar, great vocals and rollicking piano…what more can you ask for?
ICE ON MERCURY – “Blind Leading The Lifeless”
Hailing from South Australia, Ice On Mercury hits you with a rare blend of aggression and infectious melody from the first note on “Blind Leading The Lifeless.” The band cites Anthrax as one of their influences, which is something that you definitely hear in the song, along with shades of fellow Down Under rockers Parkway Drive, Bullet For My Valentine and Hellyeah. Like Anthrax, who excels at combining blood-pumping, in-your-face metal with humor, Ice On Mercury can rock out with the best of them without taking themselves too seriously. After you listening to this killer track, I checked out the band’s bio on Facebook and learned that they like “long walks on the beach, romantic candle-lit dinners and rocking out with ye Ol’ Cock Out!!!” Make sure to check these guys out!
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
KREATOR – “Gods of Violence”
One of the founding fathers of death metal are back with their new single, “Gods of Violence” (the title track from their new album). Having been a fan since the late ‘80s, it’s great to this band still writing new material. The new single is not much of a departure from their earlier work, just updated to sound a little more modern. Kreator still has fierce aggression and nihilistic lyrics, but the songwriting has become more melodic (and even anthemic in its choruses). Their 14th album looks to be a strong one.
VADER – “Prayer to the God of War”
The death metal giants from Poland are back with their 13th studio album, The Empire. The album is heavy – like skull-crushing heavy – and full of double-bass drumming, growls and old school, thrashing guitar riffs. Vader is one of the rare bands in the genre to enjoy longevity and still be writing great new music. Since 1983, this band has brutally impressed their fans with their brand of speed/thrash/death metal in the same vein as Slayer. This album does not disappoint.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
DEFIANT – “Time Isn’t Healing”
Ukrainian power metal band Defiant has opted for English-lyrics-only on their sophomore album, making some high quality music instantly more accessible to the metal world. This is the title track, which conveys an idea of their melodic approach with some speed and progressive influences.
FEANOR – “We Are Heavy Metal”
Feanor is another power metal band that has just elected to release their first English-lyrics-only album this year. After a five-year stretch, this is the Argentinian band’s third album. Check them out rocking hard (but melodically) here on the title song, and listen for a guest appearance on vocals from Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) on the excellent “Crying Games.”
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