MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 10/23/17
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)
VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS – “Tightrope”
The evolution of Vandenberg’s Moonkings reads like a Hollywood script. Life imitates art in this true story. After spending 13 years playing guitar in Whitesnake, Adrian Vandenberg took a hiatus from music to pursue his other passion, art. He also wanted to spend more time with his family. The years flew by, and before long, 14 years had passed since this extraordinary guitarist had recorded any music.
In 2011, Vandenberg was asked to write a song for the football club from his hometown (who happened to be the reigning champions of the Dutch league). After writing a stadium song, Vandenberg needed to find a singer to record it. He remembered Jan Hoving, a vocalist whose band opened for Whitesnake in Holland several years prior.
With Hoving in place, Vandenberg still needed to fill out the rhythm section. A friend of his mentioned Mart “Martman” Nijen-Es. The drummer turned out to be the kid that (at the age of 13) blew Vandenberg away when he was judging a talent contest a decade earlier. Finding one member of the rhythm section in this manner seems serendipitous. The odds of finding the bass player in the same manner has to be quite low, but that’s exactly what happened.
Nijen-Es had been playing with bassist Sem “the Sham” Christoffel for a number of years. Vandenberg had judged Christoffel in a different contest around the same time that he discovered his future drummer. He voted for both members of his current rhythm section long before ever playing a note with them in Vandenberg’s Moonkings.
The band made their debut in 2014 with a self-titled album, and will be following it up with MKII (coming in November).
Ahead of Vandenberg’s Moonkings’ sophomore release, the band has released the single, “Tightrope.” Sonically, the song has the same arena vibe as many Whitesnake classics, but the two influences that come to mind most when listening to Hoving’s bluesy, soaring vocals are Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
If you’re a fan of the timeless rock and roll of the ‘70s, you’re going to love Vandenberg’s Moonkings!
IDLEWAR – “Hang”
One of my favorite aspects of Music Discovery Monday is finding outstanding bands through the submission process. I discovered Idlewar through drummer Pete Pagonis, and I’m glad that I did.
I listened to “Hang” before looking at the band’s bio, so as to approach their music without any preconceptions. After listening to it several times, I was surprised to find that the band is a power trio because their sound is so big. The band has only been together since 2014, but you’d never know it by listening to them. If you didn’t know better, you would probably think that this was an undiscovered band from the ‘70s. I mean that in the most flattering way possible.
The trend of bands with a distinct Led Zeppelin influence is something that has given me hope for the future of rock and roll. Too often these days, newer bands craft their songs to fight for an ever-shrinking piece of the radio airplay pie. Idlewar has taken the approach of creating an epic, mystical sound that harkens back to the days of Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
This is not to imply that the band is dated sounding in the slightest. Idlewar’s brand of classic meets stoner rock is timeless. One listen to “Hang” will show you exactly what I’m talking about. Along with Pagonis, James Blake holds down a heavy bottom on bass, while Rick Graham’s guitar riffs add a crushing intensity to the song. As impressive as Blake’s bass playing is, it’s his Ian Gillan meets Chris Cornell vocals that takes center stage.
If you have an appreciation for the brand of rock and roll that has come from the legends of yesteryear, you will have a profound appreciation for what these relative newcomers have to offer.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
SPIRIT ADRIFT – “Curse Of Conception”
This doom metal outfit from Arizona has done it again with their new album, Curse of Conception. Currently one of the best doom bands out there (in my opinion), Spirit Adrift’s sludgy sound is , filled with heavy, slow-tempo riffs and tasty guitar solos. It’s heavy at times, while maintaining the melancholy feel of the composition. Just imagine Black Sabbath mixed with some slow Pantera, and even some influences of Iron Maiden. The songwriting and musical arrangements are both topnotch. In my opinion, this is (by far) one of the best releases this year.
ENSLAVED – “The River’s Mouth”
Enslaved, one of the best black metal bands from Norway, has released their fourteenth studio album, E. It is a great mixture of the band’s classic sound, featuring some clean vocals, which is one of the things that made the band unique from the beginning. Like Amon Amarth, Enslaved writes a lot about Viking mythology and their Norse heritage. Oftentimes coined a progressive metal band because they incorporate elements of jazz and progressive rock into the mix, Enslaved has always maintained its black metal roots. This long-running band shows no signs of ending their reign as one of the best Norwegian black metal bands around.
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
CORRODED – “Carry Me My Bones”
Corroded, from Ange, Sweden, has been tearing up the scene since 2004, though they are largely unknown in the United States. I heard them for the first time in 2010 when a music app recommended their album, Exit To Transfer. It was a worthwhile purchase that I played for a very long time. Fast forward to today. They have now released four studio albums, and get better with each one as their sound continually expands. Jens Westins’ voice is one that you can’t forget (like Ozzy), different, but special in a way that draws you in. “Carry Me My Bones” is the latest single off of their new album, Defcon Zero. It starts out slow, gets really good as it progresses. All I can say is that I love these guys!
36 CRAZYFISTS – “Better To Burn”
Although I didn’t know about 36 Crazyfists until a few years ago, this Anchorage, Alaska unit has eight studio albums since they formed back in 1994. “Better To Burn” is like a wall of sound…loud, in-your-face, and super cool guitar riffs. Their singer, Brock Lindow, has a distinct voice – bold and scratchy, yet smooth and refined – is one that you only need to hear once to remember. The rest of the band has a solid sound that complements each other very well.
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