MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 6/26/17
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/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)
APOCALYPTIC LOVERS – “Change Of Frequency”
My favorite part of Music Discovery Monday is finding underrated bands through submissions. Not only does it show the value that they place in being featured on Hard Rock Daddy, but it also shows they that are proactively trying to expose their music in whatever way that they can (which isn’t easy these days). The relationship with bands like these tends to become something more than one feature. I suspect that this will be the case with Apocalyptic Lovers.
Like some of my favorite new bands, Apocalyptic Lovers has a history that dates back much further than most people realize. Reunions for bands like Guns N’ Roses may grab all of the headlines, but revisiting the past with the benefit of life experience can be a boon for bands that fly under the radar as well. The reunion story is part of the inspiration for “Change Of Frequency.” Rather than paraphrase, I encourage you to check out the meaning and inspiration behind the song as shared by drummer, Dave Hope (below).
The back story of “Change Of Frequency” is a powerful one that many people will find relatable. Beyond the lyrics, this is simply an epic hard rock piece brought to life by talented musicians. In a perfect world, this is the kind of music that rock radio would jump all over. The sad reality is that, like many of my other new favorite bands, radio tends to ignore songs that don’t fit into increasingly narrow parameters.
Back in 1980, John Belushi and Dan Akroyd delivered one of the most memorable performances in cinema history with The Blues Brothers. In a classic line that still gets used to this day, the duo said that they “were on a mission from God.” I’m not going to rise to that level, but what I will say is that I’m on my own mission…to expose the world to bands like Apocalyptic Lovers. If you’re growing weary of the same old, same old, it’s time for you to experience a “Change Of Frequency.”
Apocalyptic Lovers drummer Dave Hope shares the meaning and inspiration behind “Change Of Frequency”…
We were used to be known as Love and War. The band was gaining momentum, but by 1997, the grunge era had taken its toll. It no longer seemed worth the effort to spend the thousands of hours it took to promote the band, drive to gigs, and perform – all for little or no money. Love and War had held on longer than most, but our time had come to a close. We played our final show and went our separate ways. It was the end of an era. Except, it wasn’t the end. Decades passed, but the fire to create good rock and roll still burned. Melodic hard rock has made a comeback, and through something not entirely unlike divine intervention, Love and War has been resurrected.
Due to previous lawsuits from other entities also using the name Love and War, the band reunited with a new name, Apocalyptic Lovers – an apt description for a band that has survived the devastation of an entire genre of music and the music industry itself as a whole. We have overcome great distances in both time and space to bring this project back to life. As the old industry adage goes, “all it took was one song” to fuel the fire that never quite went out. Unfortunately, a tragedy was the catalyst behind that one song.
In 2010, my wife lost her younger sister. She was completely devastated, and I didn’t know how to help her in her grief. When my wife was on her way home from the services in Chicago, I left to pick her up from the airport and inspiration struck! I heard a song. I have no idea what song it was, but there was a phrase in it that caught my attention – something about changing frequencies on the radio. Somehow it just sparked my brain, and by the time I arrived at the airport, I had most of the lyrics in my head. After picking up my wife from the airport, I went straight to bed without writing the lyrics down. The next morning, I woke up remembering every single word.
I love to work on arranging songs, but my strength was never in melodies or lyrics. If I did try to write lyrics, I would never finish them, or they would sound too close to something else, so I would just toss them. But this time was very different. It almost felt as if I were channeling the lyrics.
‘Change of Frequency’ is written from a deceased person’s point of view. If you have ever lost someone you love dearly, the lyrics will really speak to you. My wife really liked the lyrics, and so did the few other people I showed them to, but, I put them away and really did not give them much thought.
A few years later, I was rearranging the music memorabilia in my house, and noticed it had been just over 20 years since the release of Love and War’s full-length album. None of the members had been happy with the final product, and I wondered if we could get back together, even if only to produce a product that each band member could be proud to share with family and friends.
I reached out to songwriter/guitarist Sean Magee, and asked if he would be interested in redoing the old stuff, and possibly writing music for the new song, ‘Change of Frequency.’ Sean hadn’t written music since Love and War had split up, but was excited to give it a go.
When he sent the song back, I was more than impressed by what I heard. I loaded the song into iTunes, hit play, and was just blown away. I tweaked the lyrics a little to fit the arrangement, and I could not have been happier with the results.
I then sent the demo to vocalist Rob Kane to take a stab at the vocals and play around with the harmonies and melodies. Rock and metal singers tend to blow out their voices later in life, and I wanted to make sure he still had the pipes. Rob sings and plays guitar in his church band, and had previously sent me a recording. He sounded really good – maybe even better than when we first got together. When I got the demo back from him, I felt like we had never split up, even though it had been more than 20 years. And what is even stranger, I received the demo with Rob’s vocals on the fifth anniversary of my wife’s sister’s passing.”
HOUSE OF LORDS – “Harlequin”
When you think of bands that have a history dating back 30 years, House Of Lords probably doesn’t come to mind. The band was formed back in 1987 by keyboardist Gregg Giuffria (Angel). The only original member left from the 1987 version of the band is frontman James Christian. If you research the history of House Of Lords, you’ll find a rather impressive list of former members.
The band’s most recent release – Saint Of The Lost Souls – is House Of Lords’ 10th studio album. It features “Harlequin” as one of the singles. The song is rooted in melodic hard rock of the ‘80s, but is far from the hair metal associated with that time period. If anything, the layered keyboards and haunting vocal harmonies give the song a more progressive feel. Bolstered by the powerful rhythm section of BJ Zampa (drums) and Chris McCarvill (bass), guitarist Jimi Bell is able to shine with leads that are reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen. Like another famous Jimi, Bell’s left-handed guitar playing is visually unique. This one gets better with each listen.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
ENTRAILS – “The Soul Collector”
I’m a huge fan of heavy. Whenever a band starts a song with a heavy riff, I feel compelled to listen. Once the drums come in, it adds a lot to the heaviness. Case in point, the new album by Entrails, World Inferno. On “The Soul Collector,” the intro hits you like a freight train as the death metal growl starts, and the band dives into the main verse. These guys from Sweden knows how to do death metal right. It’s brutal, hard-hitting and above all…heavy!
ANATHEMA – “Springfield”
No, I have not gotten mellow and soft in my old age, but I do know (and appreciate) great musicianship and evolution when I see it. Anathema started out as a doom/goth band back in the day…heavy, depressing, desperate, and foreboding. Fast forward to the past several albums. They have evolved their sound and songwriting in such a way they are almost considered alternative. Their new album, The Optimist, is equally alternative/post rock with some heavy interludes from their old days, and a pretty well-rounded progressive album. Taking on the same subject matter of depression and sadness, but with more mood-setting eloquent songwriting, this band has propelled itself to be one of the best emotional heavy rock bands in the past decade. I put them right up there with Opeth and Katatonia.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
ACCEPT – “The Rise Of Chaos”
Mark Tornillo continues his tenure as frontman for German metal veterans Accept with The Rise of Chaos (due out August 4th). The band split up back in 2005, only to reunite in 2009 with Tornillo replacing the iconic Udo Dirkschneider. It was a brilliant fit, and while the band has had some more lineup changes since their last album, the core remains with longtime members Wolf Hoffman (guitar) and Peter Baltes (bass).
ALICE COOPER – “Paranoiac Personality”
Vincent Damon Furnier (a/k/a Alice Cooper) returns this summer with new tour dates, co-headlining with Deep Purple and Edgar Winter, and with a brand new album, Paranormal (due out July 28th). The album will feature guest appearances from Larry Mullen, Jr. (U2), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and Roger Glover (Deep Purple).
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