Music Discovery Monday – 3/2/15

Music Discovery Monday - Cage9

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 3/2/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

Some of this week’s songs appear on the recently published Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with the Cage9 frontman, Evan Rodaniche.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

CAGE9 – “Illuminator”

Founder, Evan Rodaniche (aka Evan9) is largely known for his guitar work with Powerman 5000, but on Cage9’s latest single, “Illuminator,” Rodaniche proves that he is a force to be reckoned with as a frontman as well.  Powerfully emotive vocals bring the heartfelt lyrics of “Illuminator” to life as the music grabs you by the throat from the first note and never lets go.  Hauntingly beautiful harmonies atop intense playing from this power quartet makes “Illuminator” shine.

In a recent conversation with Evan Rodaniche, he discussed the inspiration behind “Illuminator”

“The song is all about going from darkness to light, which is something that we highlighted in the video, and means so much more to me when I watch it because we made it on our own.  When we started shooting the video, the song wasn’t done yet, so I worked on both simultaneously.  A lot of the changes to the song came as a result of the making of the video.  It’s interesting to write a song when you are creating the visual side of it at the very same time.

The lyrics mirror things that are going on in my life.  I had some cancer in the family, and went through some hard times going through that.  The song is a bit more general than that, but ultimately, it’s about dealing with difficult things, trying to stay positive and take the high road while looking on the bright side of life as you overcome obstacles.”


SAHAJ TICOTIN – “The Mission”

Sahaj Ticotin is a vastly underrated singer who fronts an equally underrated band, Ra.  Proving that his name should be mentioned with the best singers in hard rock, Ticotin takes on “The Mission” – a classic Queensryche song from the band’s epic concept album, Operation: Mindcrime – and absolutely kills it!  Making this cover even more impressive is the fact that he does so with the accompaniment of just two acoustic guitars.




 (hed) P.E. – “No Tomorrow”

I make a concerted effort to try to listen to songs on an individual basis.  I’m not sure how else to explain my unexpected appreciation of this track, after roughly two decades of being (at best) completely disinterested in this rapcore/punk/rap group from California.  For whatever reason, I find their latest effort noteworthy for those who can appreciate and enjoy a rough-edged rock track now and again.  At the risk of causing the band to shudder, I’d say this is amongst their most radio-friendly efforts in recent memory.  The closest comparison that comes to mind with this track would be Texas Hippie Coalition.  It might not be to everyone’s taste, but I’d say that it’s worth a listen to find out for yourself.



Ugly Kid Joe vocalist, Whitfield Crane, teams with original Godsmack guitarist, Lee Richards.  The duo enlists vocal help from the ever-busy Myles Kennedy and a dozen or so friends who make cameo appearances in an amusing, easy-to-watch video.  The first release from a forthcoming album is not the first time that Richards and Crane have collaborated, having been part of the group Another Animal (who experienced some radio success back in 2007).  This is a decidedly different genre than their previous work together, eschewing post-grunge for a lighter southern-rock inspired, acoustic-driven sound.




NIGHT DEMON – “Screams In The Night”

Reminiscent of early Iron Maiden and Diamond Head, Night Demon does new music old-school, and nails it.  The New Wave of British Heavy Metal sounds new again on Curse of the Damned, the band’s second album.  This trio out of California rocks hard and heavy with power vocals and furious guitar riffs.



When Norwegian melodic rockers Wig Wam disbanded, lead singer Age Sten Nilsen took the songs that he’d written for their next album to a new producer and formed a new band to record them. “Road to Babylon” is a guitar-driven ballad that highlights his singing, while layering in backing vocals and more guitars as it builds.




BLACK FATE – “Rhyme Of The False Orchestra”

Suspense creeps in on Black Fate’s “Rhyme of the False Orchestra” before giving way to the hard-n-heavy rhythm of this great track off of Between Visions & Lies.  Gus Drax’s guitar solo is off the hook.  Memorable, melodic chorus and vocals from Vasili Georgiou.


SANTA CRUZ “We Are The Ones To Fall”

Santa Cruz is a hard rockin’, high-energy, Finnish metal band reminiscent of the glam era, with a heavy edge that takes them up a few notches.  “We Are the Ones to Fall” is a burst of adrenaline, full of attitude and wailing guitars.





RA – “Do You Call My Name” (2000)

If you were impressed by Sahaj Ticotin’s version of Queensryche’s “The Mission” (see above), you will definitely appreciate what he brings to the table with “Do You Call My Name.”  Given the fact that the band’s moniker is derived from the Egyptian sun god, it should come as no surprise that they manage to incorporate Middle Eastern flair into their music, which only makes the song more intense when the band kicks it into high-gear.  Highlighted by Ticotin’s impassioned vocal delivery, “Do You Call Me Name” is a great introduction to a band that has somehow managed to fly under the radar for years.


QUEENSRYCHE – “spOOL” (1987)

The final album with the full, original Queensryche lineup – Hear In The Now Frontier – fell largely on deaf ears (no pun intended for those familiar with the album cover).  Perhaps if Queensryche fans knew that this would be the last album with Chris DeGarmo, they would have given it more of a chance.  The underrated 14-track album closes with “spOOL,” a track that showcases Queensryche’s incredible ability to dynamically transition between moody, atmospheric moments and heavy, melodic choruses.  Lyrically, “spOOL” offers further proof that Queensryche and the term “thinking man’s metal” are virtually interchangeable.





UGLY KID JOE – “Devil’s Paradise” (2012)

A fifteen year break between recordings did nothing to damage the sound of a band that is still most often associated by causal fans with a cover tune (“Cat’s In The Cradle”) recorded two decades earlier.  This single (from a six-track EP) certainly deserved more attention than it received, successfully blending several different influences into a sound that provides an updated look at the band.


LITTLE CAESAR – “Dirty Water” (2012)

Best known for a cover song (“Chain Of Fools”) released back in 1990, this California band broke up in the late 90s, reforming with most of the original members on board for albums in 2009 and 2012.  “Dirty Water” is a catchy, country-rock tune that adds some Texas rock/blues guitar work into the mix, with a small splash of swamp rock for a chaser.





FREEDOM CALL – “Circle Of Life” (2005)

“Circle of Life” tiptoes in acoustically and then builds to a powerhouse chorus.  While the mood starts out somber, the message is always hopeful–sometimes glorious–and the music ultimately embraces that joy.  Hailing from Germany, Freedom Call delivers uplifting power metal with hints of folk metal.




ARMORED SAINT – “Left Hook From Right Field” (2010)

It’s been five years since Armored Saint re-emerged, bringing the Symbol of Salvation lineup back together for La Raza, their 6th studio album.  Led by John Bush’s amazing vocals, “Left Hook From Right Field” is great in every aspect.


JOHN NORUM – “Face The Truth” (1992)

Europe founder & lead guitarist, John Norum, put out a solo album project while his main gig was still going strong.  Glenn Hughes lends his legendary voice to this excellent tune.  As expected from Norum, fantastic guitar work underscores it all on “Face The Truth.”



To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…


About AW

Hard rock journalist and father of two amazing rock and roll children.

Posted on March 2, 2015, in Hard Rock Music Time Machine, Music Discovery Monday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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