MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 3/12/18
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)
SINISTER X – “Good VS Evil”
Often times, these days, we’re quick to judge a book by its cover. Although I strive to listen to all submissions regardless of the expectation, sometimes I find myself surprised when I hit play. Listening to Sinister X was one of those occasions.
Given the band name/image, and the title of the song, I was expecting a touch of evil, or at the very least…a healthy dose of darkness. What I got instead was a walk down memory lane to the heavy metal of the ‘80s where great singing and melodies were all the rage. Thankfully, bands like Sinister X are more than willing to pay homage to an era that (in my eyes) was the pinnacle of hard rock.
“Good VS Evil” may come from the band’s debut EP (The Requiem), but it sounds like the work of a band that has been around for much longer. It took less than 15 seconds to come to that conclusion. The hook in the song gets stuck in your head (in a good way), and has you singing the chorus over and over long after it ends.
One of the biggest challenges facing any rock artist these days, especially developing artists, is delivering a memorable song. Sinister X has come strong out of the gate with “Good VS Evil,” a song that (to me) has influences that range from classic Sammy Hagar to KISS to Iron Maiden. Definitely expect to see more of these Virginia rockers on Hard Rock Daddy in the near future!
HERO JR. – “Jump Ship”
Although you only hear a fraction of it on Active Rock radio, classic bluesy rock is enjoying a legitimate revival; you just have to know where to find it. To be fair, I didn’t actually discover Hero Jr. (they reached out to Hard Rock Daddy). I was drawn in to “Jump Ship” before it even started. You could just tell from the tasty guitar tinkering before frontman/guitarist Evan Haughley speaks to the audience in the studio that you are about to experience true professional musicians.
From the powerful opening drum beat to the in-your-face bluesy riffs, Hero Jr. lets you know early on exactly what they’re all about…a classic rock sound from the ‘70s with a modern edge.
As impressive as the wall of sound that this four-piece Indianapolis rock unit delivers is, what’s even more striking is how they let the song breathe with their tight breaks. Speaking of breaks, with the right ones, Hero Jr. has every bit of the potential for success that Greta Van Fleet is currently experiencing.
I don’t know when (or if) radio will jump on these guys, but I can assure you that they will have a presence on Hard Rock Daddy going forward. Bands like Hero Jr. give me hope for the future of rock and roll.
KURT ARFT – HRD Music Scout
STRYPER – “Take It To The Cross”
The thing I love the most is when an established band pushes the envelope, while still maintaining the essence, message, and integrity that they have built with their previous music. Stryper has definitely accomplished that with their latest effort, “Take it to the Cross.” Michael Sweet, sounding better than ever, has kicked it up a few notches with this one. Adding the growls and death metal voice of Matt Blanchard (Shadows Fall, Act of Defiance) in the chorus, takes the Stryper sound (and brand) to a different level.
The title of their upcoming release – God Damn Evil – sent the social media masses into a frenzy with jaws dropping and minds exploding over what many Stryper faithful (and religious minded folks) believe to be scary, blasphemous, and against all that is sacred and wholesome. Not this guy. I love it! And I applaud Stryper for it. This is what rock n’ roll is all about. Even a Christian Rock band can still be edgy, and deliver the message within the confines of that edginess.
With “Take it to the Cross,” Stryper has built on the energy and momentum of their last two albums, and put out some of their best work to date. Also, a new member in the fold, bassist Perry Richardson (Firehouse), has given a shot in the arm to the band and re-invigorated their passion for the music that they hold near and dear to them. Richardson brings years of experience, great bass playing, and harmony/backing vocals that Stryper is known for. It’s a perfect fit that has elevated the other members’ playing and performances. Sweet sounds better than ever, hitting all the high notes that he is known for with ease and precision. He’s no slouch at guitar either.
If this is just the tip of the iceberg for the new and improved Stryper, I think it’s safe to say we’re all in for a real treat. It’s great to see a band with such a storied history continue to create music at a high level. You don’t need to be a Christian to appreciate the music or the message of Stryper. Although many are, this is for EVERYONE. Music is an INCLUSIVE art form, not EXCLUSIVE. If it touches you, and you can relate to the words or music in some small way, mission accomplished!
GUS G – “Letting Go”
Gus G is back with his latest effort “Letting Go” from his upcoming album, Fearless – a combination of metal, groove-laden music, blistering guitars, and melodic vocals. His guitar solo on the song is very tasteful and displays his talents on several fronts. The double bass drums and overall drumming, provided by Will Hunt (Evanescence, Black Label Society, Methods of Mayhem), is another highlight of the song. Bass tone is huge and cuts through on this track. Overall very well produced tone wise.
For such a young man, musically speaking, Gus G has already had quite an amazing run. His original band, Firewind, is still going strong and releasing new music. His stint with the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, has solidified him as one of the new guitar masters out there. And his solo career is taking off as well. His combination of ‘80s metal and today’s music is refreshing and crushing.
“Letting Go” has showcases his overall skills and guitar soloing within the context of a really good metal song. All of the great ones know how to do that without overplaying or sounding like a buzz saw gone awry. G’s playing is tasteful and pleasing to the ears, taking the listener on a sonic journey of sorts.
His new album, Fearless, comes out on April 20th. Be sure to go out and get it!
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