Posts Tagged ‘nashville’

2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t believe it! This year sped by and was the most adventurous year for Rocker Stalker yet. Between¬†presenting showcases at SXSW (3!) and CMJ (6!) ¬†and attending Aftershock and VooDoo Fests, and hosting over a dozen shows throughout the year in NYC, I’ve had a pretty great time. ¬†More importantly, though, there have been some incredible releases this year! Here are my top 5:

  1. Mister Asylum¬†by Highly Suspect: I’ve had my ears on these guys for about four years and was privileged to have them on a few shows ¬†in New York and SXSW before they burst from the Brooklyn “local” scene into the international spotlight. Their debut album that dropped in July is both a sultry, heavy alternative/bluesy rock delight and¬†vulnerable record that ¬†you can rock out and cozy up to. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a ROCK band making headway so quickly. And now, up for two Grammy¬†nominations, Highly Suspect might just be the next, most highly prized music act of the 2000’s. ¬†*Highlight tracks: “Lydia,” “Mom,” “23”¬†

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2.¬†Blood Moon¬†by Luna Sol: Back in the spring, I was lucky enough to interview Dave Angstrom,¬†a name you may recognize from “stoner rock” staples, Hermano and Supafuzz, and main man behind Luna Sol. ¬†The Denver-based group’s debut, released via Slush Fund Recordings, ¬†is heavy, dark and gritty; three words that describe almost all of my favorite music. ¬†And, to make things even MORE awesome, there are guest spots from¬†Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age),¬†Dizzy Reed (Guns N‚Äô Roses) ¬†and¬†John Garcia (Kyuss, Vista Chino), to name a few, lending to the already expertly-crafted, fiery and sludgy goodness. *Highlight tracks: ‘Your War,” “Operator,” “December”¬†

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3.¬†High Country¬†by¬†The Sword:¬†After catching these gentleman a few years back at SXSW, I fell in love with Austin’s hometown rock heroes. Their 5th studio album is fraught with masterful, headbanging riffs mixed with some space-rock/psychedelic influences¬†and some more up-to-date electro-effects. ¬†Those who weren’t able to live through the glory of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and the 70’s in general (yours truly included), can bask in the The Sword’s modern take on vintage vibes. ¬†I caught them recently at Webster Hall in New York City and once again, they blew my mind!¬†*Highlight tracks: “Mist & Shadow,” “The Dreamthieves,” “Buzzards”

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4. We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are¬†by Fable Cry:¬†These Nashville-based characters call themselves “theatrical scamp rock.” But, “what does that MEAN?” you may ask. A short and sweet answer is: vaudevillian, unique gypsy punk-infused rock. If you’re in search of the most out-of-the-box album of 2015, look no further. A combination of creepy, spooky, playful and creative, Fable Cry’s sophomore release is like having Halloween year-round. ¬†It’s only a matter of time before Tim Burton finds these guys and has them¬†score his next film. *Highlight tracks: “The Good Doctor,” “Fancy Dancing,” “You Ain’t My Baby No More”

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5. ¬†Temporary Love by The Brinks: OK, so this might be the black sheep of the list upon first listen, but you may recognize Australian-born, LA-based vocalist/guitarist Scott Mellis from Rocker Stalker’s “highly stalked.” His new band, The Brinks, a duo comprised of Mellis and producer Matt Friedman, dropped their 6-song EP earlier this month.¬†Executive produced by Pusha T¬†and Salaam Remi¬†and avidly supported by Pharrell Williams,¬†Temporary Love¬†showcases Mellis’ ethereal, spine-tingling vocals over bubbly dance-infused tracks. ¬†*Highlight tracks: “Temporary Love,” “Hide Your Love,” “Stoned”

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Wishing everyone a happy 2016!

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ROCKER STALKER

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Called “Music City” for a reason, Nashville is consistently pumping out¬†high caliber bands. One said band is garage/soul rock ‘n rollers Willie and the Giant.¬† Today, Rocker Stalker is excited to premiere the new track “Long Gone” from their forthcoming debut self-titled album, out April 21 on¬†Cumberland Brothers Music.

“Long Gone” offers up a punky punch from the start, kicking¬†out hip-shaking rhythms,¬† untethered¬†energy and classic boogie-woogie¬†drive. ¬†Willie and the Giants have already been named “New Band of the Week” by¬†The Guardian UK, which comes as¬†no surprise given the track’s dynamicism and catchy hooks that beg for multiple listens.

Take “Long Gone” for a whirl¬†below and make sure to get your copy of Willie and the Giant¬†on Tuesday! Check out the band on Facebook for upcoming news and pre-order the album HERE.

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If you’re like me, you take finding new music really seriously, so seriously that you Shazam your computer, the TV, or even movies at the theater. This is in fact how I came across Nashville-based grungy rock trio The Wans, whose song ¬†“Want You” from their 2012 self-titled EP was featured on¬†USA Network’s¬†Necessary Roughness.¬†I unabashedly reached out last year and managed to keep in touch like any rocker pen pals would.

Over the¬†past year, I’ve seen the band’s notoriety increase exponentially, as they’ve landed¬†spots at Forecastle Festival, Hangout Festival and soon, Austin City Limits. ¬†Additionally, they announced¬†a forthcoming full-length album,¬†He Said She Said,¬†out September 9, produced by¬†Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Rival Sons, Sturgill Simpson), mixed¬†by Vance Powell (Jack White, Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys) and mastered by¬†Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, Kings of Leon). ¬†Several of the tracks are already out via tastemaker sites like USA Today, Consequence of Sound, Flavorwire, PopMatters, and The AV Club,¬†riling up anticipation of the release.¬† When the band was planning their “Takeover Tour” a few months back, I did the Rocker Stalker thing to do and booked them a gig at Pianos for August 2. ¬†I had been waiting what seemed like ages to see the band live, so¬†I took full advantage and saw them three more times after Pianos at The Bowery Electric (supporting Jesse Malin), Niagara Bar, and The Legendary Dobb’s in Philadelphia. The gigs were a blast and obviously addictive, as the trio was consistently the stand out band of the night, bringing their high-powered¬†energy and tight musicianship to the stage. Check out the photos from the week on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook page!

¬†But let’s get down to business. ¬†The new album is¬†just plain badass.¬†However good music possesses you, be it headbanging, dancing, flailing, moshing¬†or taking your clothes off, He Said She Said¬†will lead you to do so.¬†¬†Fraught with bursts¬†of¬†raging¬†rock, sexy grooves, and dejected lyrics, this record blends Simon Kerr’s ¬†smooth and sultry upper register vocals¬†and¬†distorted guitars, Mark Petaccia’s ¬†heavy, pounding drums, and Thomas Bragg’s penetrating bass riffs into a smoothie of rock perfection. ¬†If you’re into “recommended if you like”¬†comparisons, The Wans’ sound ¬†evokes a large dose of¬†Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana, splashed¬†with Led Zeppelin, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden and¬†tinges of punky brashness, a la¬†JEFF the Brotherhood or Bass Drum of Death. ¬†Opening with the ironically triumphant melodies of ¬†“Never Win,” The Wans show off their knack for ear catching songwriting. I hear there’s going to be a pretty awesome video to accompany it too, so stay on the look out!¬†He Said She Said¬†plummets into the dark depths of the unbridled “You’re Wasting” ¬†and “The Holy One,” which ¬†slinks along with¬†grinding slide guitars¬†and smashing drums. ¬†“What I’m Feeling” builds on¬†grooving bass lines and oozes with seduction and growing tension, which pushes the tortured¬†sentiment to erupt¬†on¬†“So Cruel,” as Kerr laments over and over, ” Why are you so cruel? Try to be a man but you treat me like a fool!” ¬†The Wans take a minor breather with a “balladic” but¬†burdened¬†“Turn Your Back,”¬†and though the slightly subdued mood seeps into the raw opening vocals of “Take Me Home,” it quickly escalates into fits of wailing choruses. “I Can’t Fix You” is probably the most contagious singalong track with “Oh’s” and “Ow’s'” that will be stuck in your head for days, and the discordant chords¬†of ¬†“Tired” ¬†aptly embody¬†the pain of the song’s message. Last but definitely not least, “Black Pony” (featured recently in a BMW commercial), is pure bluesy, grunge greatness,¬†pushing the album to a climactic close with hypnotic beats, crunching guitars, and angst-ridden welps. The point is, this might be my favorite album of 2014 so far, and I’d recommend getting your hands on it.¬†That’s what she said, and that’s final.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from The Wans, but in the meantime pre-order He Said She Said on Bandcamp and find the band on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Happy rocking!

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Day 5 of SXSW kicked my butt, to be frank, but in the best way possible. I set up camp at Rusty’s after a failed attempt to get into Rachel Ray’s Party at Stubb’s BBQ. Not waiting in the three mile long line was definitely a blessing in disguise. ¬†I ventured to the tried and true, Rusty’s, where the line-up stayed amazing all day long.

A bunch of¬† Boston acts including, folk rock Air Traffic Controller, bluesy, harmony-soaked¬† Coyote Kolb, and rock ‘n rollers with a humorous edge, Mellow Bravo , got the energy pumping right off the bat.

A little later in the afternoon after yet another Tex-mex descanso, I returned to Rusty’s for some heavy hitters. Previous contestant on The Voice,¬†Nakia, who is based in Austin, showed off his lung capacity and soulful vocal chops with the help of an orchestra of instruments and back-up singers.¬† San Antonio-based band of (literal) brothers, Hacienda, took the stage next, demonstrating that their tightness as a band was not only by blood, showcasing their rough-around-the-edges pop rock and their personable stage presence .

Outside, another band of siblings, Chicago’s Filligar, led by three brothers, who would be a “classic” rock band if I didn’t know better. They’ll be in NYC on June 1 at Gramercy Theater rocking tunes from one of their 5 records. In the next room over,¬†Phoenix, AZ’s The Technicolors shined with Brit-rock-esque tunes from their record¬†Listener Deluxe, who were followed by Fresno, CA-based¬†Strange Vine, who, though only a twopiece, created a huge sound with some extra keyboard responsibilities played by their drummer. ¬†¬† SXSW got a huge dose of happy when country/blues/folk six-piece, ¬†Sam Marine & County,¬† high-voltage, Louisiana-born, pop group, Super Water Sympathy,and ¬†Brooklyn’s indie synth-pop/rock quartet, Silas Fermoy, who welcomed their debut EP Chapters yesterday, took the Rusty’s stage.

The best moment of the night happened when Jared James Nichols took the main stage, not to downplay any of the artists. JJN took my breath away, though, and it’s a rare occasion to be so utterly impressed. The trio, born in Troy, Wisconsin and now hailing from Los Angeles, shook the venue with blues rock to the max, with intense drums, surging bass lines, ¬†and Nichols’ guitar-playing that is pretty untouchable. ¬†Last but not least, Nashville’s The Hollywood Kills, closed the night on a perfect note, danceable rock ‘n roll with finesse, featuring sultry sounds from their latest EP ¬†An Idiot’s Guide to Desertion.¬†

Here’s a quick look at the day, but check out the full album on Facebook!