Monthly Archives: May 2016

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 5/28/16

HRD Radio Report - 3 Pill Morning

HRD RADIO REPORT 

The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by AllAccess.com), and appears every Tuesday on HardRockDaddy.com.  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on HardRockDaddy.com.

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

 2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 5/28/16.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

CHART CHART ARTIST SONG TITLE RADIO
POSITION POSITION SPINS
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1 1 VOLBEAT “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” 2196
2 5 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS “Dark Necessities” 1655
3 4 SIXX: A.M. “Rise” 1586
4 2 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “My Nemesis” 1582
5 7 SHINEDOWN “Asking For It” 1347
6 3 BRING ME THE HORIZON “Happy Song” 1234
7 9 GHOST “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” 1141
8 8 DISTURBED “The Sound Of Silence” 1076
9 6 RED SUN RISING “Emotionless” 1036
10 16 CHEVELLE “Joyride” 1005
11 10 HALESTORM “Mayhem” 915
12 11 HELLYEAH “Human” 880
13 13 SICK PUPPIES “Stick To Your Guns” 847
14 14 A DAY TO REMEMBER “Paranoia” 755
15 17 POP EVIL “Take It All” 727
16 15 ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Here I Am” 686
17 18 DEVOUR THE DAY “Lightning In The Sky” 580
18 20 KALEO “No Good” 568
19 23 BLINK 182 “Bored To Death” 543
20 21 ROB ZOMBIE “Get High” 531
21 19 3 DOORS DOWN “In The Dark” 476
22 12 PAPA ROACH “Falling Apart” 471
23 28 HOLY WHITE HOUNDS “Switchblade” 397
24 26 AVATAR “The Eagle Has Landed” 387
25 27 THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH “Running With Giants” 348
26 25 KILLSWITCH ENGAGE “Hate By Design” 285
27 29 MONSTER TRUCK “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” 280
28 22 DEFTONES “Prayers/Triangles” 268
29 24 FOALS “Mountain At My Gates” 264
30 30 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Ride” 262
31 37 ESCAPE THE FATE “Remember Every Scar” 251
32 35 LIKE A STORM “Break Free” 251
33 34 THROUGH FIRE “Stronger” 243
34 33 SEVENDUST “Death Dance” 243
35 38 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Ashes Of Eden” 242
36 31 CHEAP TRICK “When I Wake Up Tomorrow” 232
37 40 TRIVIUM “Dead And Gone” 229
38 32 BLACK STONE CHERRY “In Our Dreams” 217
39 36 CHRIS CORNELL “Nothing Compares 2 U” 207
40 43 BEARTOOTH “Aggressive” 172
41 49 THRICE “Black Honey” 170
42 42 ONE LESS REASON “Where Were You?” 170
43 45 STITCHED UP HEART “Monster” 157
44 82 DEFTONES “Phantom Bride” 151
45 41 TREMONTI “Dust” 142
46 48 CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN “Soundcheck” 125
47 51 MEGADETH “Post-American World” 117
48 44 DOROTHY “Raise Hell” 111
49 56 PIERCE THE VEIL “Circles” 104
50 47 SUNFLOWER DEAD “It’s Time To Get Weird” 101

 

 

PUBLISHER’S PICK OF THE WEEK (by Adam Waldman)

3 PILL MORNING – “Electric Chair”

3 Pill Morning is back with their sophomore effort, and if the lead single “Electric Chair” is any indication of what’s to come, the band is headed in a heavier direction, while staying true to their melodic sound.  “Electric Chair” hits hard from the opening note with a cool, distorted guitar which ushers in an almost tribal rhythm and a heavy beat that sets the tone for the song. The verse fits nicely in the Active Rock pocket, and the chorus keeps things interesting with layered, nuanced vocals that capture some of what makes bands like Nothing More special. Pardon the pun, but “Electric Chair” is a “powerful” tune that should make a nice run up the Active Rock charts if given the chance.
 

 

 

HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.

SPIN IT…

3 PILL MORNING“Electric Chair”

SONS OF TEXAS“Blameshift”

EVE TO ADAM“Lucky”

FROM ASHES TO NEW“Lost And Alone”

HUDSON“Cast Out”

FIFTYWATT FREIGHT TRAIN“Whiskey & Hate”

THE WORD ALIVE – “Made This Way”

 

DROP IT…

Catfish And The Bottlemen“Soundcheck”

Twenty One Pilots – “Ride”

Foals“Mountain At My Gates”

Holy White Hounds“Switchblade”

Deftones“Prayers/Triangles”

Red Hot Chili Peppers“Dark Necessities”

Blink 182“Bored To Death”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless

KING OF THE HILL

Volbeat sees their sizable lead over the competition shrink, while still remaining firmly in charge of the latest Mediabase Active Rock Airplay Chart for a fourth straight week.  While the performance of “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” is undeniably impressive (half of their eight weeks on the chart have been in the #1 position), the end of the song’s run may have already begun (due to radio’s love affair with the return of the Red Hot Chili Peppers).  It’s really just a matter of time and math at this point.
 

 

NOTABLE CHART MOVEMENT

Chevelle slips past Halestorm to break into the Top 10, just a week after Lzzy Hale & friends made their own move up…

Blink 182 and Rob Zombie are a diverse pairing reaching the Top 20 this week…

New to the Top 30 this week is…nothing!  The order of the top thirty songs changed, but not one single different title entered the group…

New to the Top 40 this week is the latest single from Beartooth

Three new arrivals in the Top 50 this week, including a second consecutive charting single from Megadeth.
 

 

THREE UP & THREE DOWN

MOVING UP

Red Hot Chili Peppers“Dark Necessities”

Shinedown“Asking For It”

Chevelle – “Joyride”

 

DROPPING DOWN

Five Finger Death Punch“My Nemesis”

Bring Me The Horizon“Happy Song”

Red Sun Rising“Emotionless”
 

 

TRENDS AND OBSERVATIONS

Rather than rail (as I’m tempted to do) about the feast or famine nature of the songs that are getting enough airplay to hit the active rock chart lately, I’ll just point out something kind of random.  With the debut of “Post-American World” by Megadeth this week, it looks as though this is the first time that they’ve managed to have two successful singles from the same album in more than a decade.  The last time that this happened was 2004.  Each of their four albums between The System Has Failed and Dystopia have had no more than one song break onto the airplay charts.  Despite that lack of respect (or interest) from radio, each of those albums peaked significantly higher than the 2004 release on the album sales chart.

 

WRAP-UP

That’s all for this week.  Tune in to HardRockDaddy.com every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

CENSORED by YouTube:  Crash Midnight – The New Bad Boys of Rock and Roll

Crash Midnight CENSORED

By Adam Waldman

Crash Midnight may very well become the new “bad boys of rock and roll,” following in the footsteps of bands like Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and others.  They certainly have the musical chops and attitude to fill a void in the genre, but did they really do anything so distasteful that YouTube felt the need to censor and remove the video for “Roxy” – the band’s latest single – 72 hours after it went live?

There was a time when adolescent boys relied upon sneaking a peek at magazines like Playboy and Penthouse or perhaps an R-rated movie on cable to see a woman’s breast.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one from my generation to “read” National Geographic to see topless African women.  And, I’m certainly not the only rock music fan to purchase Queen’s album, Jazz, for the poster that featured a slew of naked women on bicycles.  In this day and age, my youthful “exposure” to women’s breasts is laughable compared to what can be found with the click of a button online.

Crash Midnight has always been passionate about their art, and unapologetic about putting their music first and not backing down from clashes with authority.  They have routinely been banned from Boston-area venues because of their wild shows and outspoken views about certain local city officials, so it’s no surprise that the band is doing whatever they can to make the uncensored video of “Roxy” available to their fans.

“We’ve always been against censorship of the arts,” stated Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho.  “We’re not going to let sites like YouTube (that pays artists next to nothing for their content), dictate what our fans get to see.”

Thankfully, because of the power of social media, we no longer live in the days where artists have no leverage to fight against censorship.  YouTube may be living in the mid-‘80s era of the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), but rock artists and their fans aren’t.

There is an inherent danger in the slippery slope of censoring art, and that’s exactly what the nudity in the video for “Roxy” represents.  It is neither gratuitous nor salacious; it is used to help tell the story behind the meaning of the song.  The video doesn’t feature disturbingly real, bloody violence, hardcore sex acts or anything that warranted its removal by YouTube.  In fact, it can be argued that there are numerous pop videos that are far more suggestive/inappropriate and, to make matters worse, they target a much younger audience than Crash Midnight.

It’s 2016.  Porn is readily available to anyone with an internet connection and the ability to lie about their age.  You can find nudity and foul language on network television.  Every sporting event features commercials about erectile dysfunction.  Sexual suggestion and innuendo is so ubiquitous that it can be found on “family” shows like Family Feud.  Are we really to believe that flashing to a woman’s breast in a rock music video rises to the level of dangerous?

If there is a silver lining to this ridiculous overreach by YouTube, it is the confirmation that rock and roll is alive and well, and heading towards a mainstream revival.  After all, there is no fear of the underground.  Let’s not go back in time to the censorship days of the PMRC.  We have the power to start a rock and roll revolution with Crash Midnight leading the way.

Help spread the word by sharing this story.  Go to www.CrashMidnight.com and check out the UNCENSORED video for “Roxy” on the new Crash Midnight app.

Music Discovery Monday – 5/30/16

Music Discovery Monday - Crash Midnight

Music Discovery Monday – 5/30/16

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.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho, who discusses the inspiration behind the band’s latest single, “Roxy.”

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, Hard Rock Daddy)

CRASH MIDNIGHT – “Roxy”

A lot of ‘80s hard rock has a distinctive sound that takes you on a journey back in time when you listen to it today.  The “decade of decadence” also delivered some timeless, gritty rock and roll that still feels as relevant today as it did back then.  There’s been a revival of a more classic rock sound in recent years, but not many bands have been able to capture the Appetite For Destruction era of Guns N’ Roses or the On Through The Night era of Def Leppard (when they were incredibly raw).  Crash Midnight infuses influences of both into their modern hard rock sound.  Not only does the music have just the right amount of sleaze, but the lyrics harken back to an era when sex, drugs and rock-n-roll were alive and well.

Like GNR, Crash Midnight isn’t afraid to rock the boat.  Their latest single, “Roxy,” has already created a stir with YouTube because of nudity (which is why the censored video is featured in this forum).  If you’re interested in seeing the uncensored version of the video (which I highly recommend), make sure to go to www.CrashMidnight.com and download the band’s new app.

 
In an exclusive interview with Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho, he shared the inspiration for the band’s latest single…
 

“A few years back, I was living in an apartment right in the heart of the old Boston ‘Combat Zone’ – a pretty notorious place (especially back in the 1960’s) where all sorts of crazy shit would go down.  These days, there are very few remnants left with everything being replaced by high-rises and high-priced coffee joints.  I liked the idea of doing a song based on the seedy underbelly of that area’s history.

We actually wanted to make the song parallel our experience as a band in the music industry.  You know, starting out thinking things were going to be perfect and everyone was going to help us…then getting chewed up, spit out, and prostituted up on stage like all the rest of the whores in this industry.  The opening line…‘Crashed town, young and fresh’ is supposed to allude to that, along with the (uncensored) music video not so subtly flashing back and forth from the girls on stage to us on stage.”

 

 
DEF LEPPARD – “Dangerous”

Eponymous albums usually happen very early on in a band’s career.  Def Leppard waited 35 years and 11 studio albums to release their self-titled album, but they did so for an interesting reason.  According to frontman Joe Elliott, “the album is just called Def Leppard because that’s what it sounds like.  It doesn’t sound like any one specific era of the band.  It’s got every single aspect of anything that we’ve ever wanted to put out – acoustic, heavy, soft, slow, fast.”  Elliott was referring to the mixture of songs on the album, but the explanation is accurate for the song “Dangerous,” which features the dirtier, heavy riffs the early ‘80s and the more polished vocal harmonies of the band’s more recent works.  It’s not quite a step back in time to the band’s first three albums, but longtime fans will appreciate the influences just the same.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

DEATH ANGEL “Hatred United/United Hate”

I have been a Death Angel fan since The Ultra-Violence came out in 1987.  Despite their breakup and reforming with various lineup changes, I was more than a little excited when I heard that their new album (The Evil Divide) was to be released in May.  With the single “Hatred United/United Hate,” the band has proven once again that Death Angel will always be one of the top bands from the Bay Area thrash metal scene.  The song is trademark Death Angel.  Soft, melodic guitars start the song with odd-time signatures.  When the rest of the band comes in, you’re smacked against a brick wall of fast and heavy thrash metal.  Add the finger-numbing guitar solos, the gallop of the rhythm section and the screaming vocals, and you have one hell of a masterpiece of thrash metal songwriting.

 

HATEBREED “Looking Down The Barrel Of Today”

Jamey Jasta and the boys from Hatebreed are back with their seventh studio album, The Concrete Confessional.  Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, their brand of 3-minute songs of hardcore crossover metal has stayed the course over the past two decades.  It is lyrically powerful, political, thought-provoking, and often-times uplifting.  Hatebreed is a great example of how well-written songs can inspire and move the listener without relying on flashy guitar licks or progressive compositions.  Crank this up, groove, sing along, pump your fists and bang your heads!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DERDIAN – “Lord Of War”

Derdian is a symphonic metal band out of Italy.  This galloping song will be released on their upcoming album, Revolution Era (due out in just a few days).  It features the very talented and busy Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Angra) on vocals.

 

JORN – “Stormbringer”

With elements of David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio, Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande boasts one of the finest and most powerful voices in metal today.  On his upcoming album, Heavy Rock Radio (due out June 3rd), he pays tribute to some of his heroes: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Paul Stanley, Journey, Queen….and here, Deep Purple, on one of their David Coverdale classics.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

UNIVERSAL MIND PROJECT – “Seven”

Seven” is a great track from UMP’s debut album, The Jaguar Priest.  Formed back in 2012 by American guitarist and composer Michael Alexander, this immensely talented and dynamic Prog Metal group has an international veteran presence from members of Dream Theater, Waken Eyes, Darkwater, Stratovarius, Andromeda and others.

 

VOLBEAT “The Bliss”

From the North American version of Volbeat’s upcoming release (Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie), “The Bliss” is a bright, introspective, heavy and driving song that features a terrific vocal performance by Michael Poulsen.

 

SUBMISSIONS

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

Max Impact – The United States Air Force Band – “Send Me”

USAF Band Max Impact

By Adam Waldman

Memorial Day is meant to remember the fallen heroes of the United States military.  Each Memorial Day weekend, my family and I remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom as we witness the awe-inspiring precision of fighter jets at the annual Jones Beach Air Show.  You can’t help but appreciate the teamwork that it takes to master these amazing feats that are born out of supreme dedication and bravery.

We all enjoy the freedom that comes with being an American, but our freedom wouldn’t exist if not for the members of the military whose sacrifices make it possible.  As the saying goes…“all gave some, some gave all.”  Memorial Day is about honoring the military members who gave all, and for me, about paying respect to those who are willing to do so.  Having never served, it isn’t possible for me to explain the mindset of those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our country, but I gained some valuable insight after watching the video for “Send Me,” a powerful song by Max Impact (The US Air Force Band).

There are many bands pro-military artists in the hard rock genre, the most well-known being Five Finger Death Punch.  While you have to admire the incredible support that FFDP gives to the military, there is something that is even more special about hearing inspired, thought-provoking music performed by members of the military.  Seeing the members of Max Impact performing in military fatigues makes the the video for “Send Me” even more poignant.

Max Impact is a special band that deserves recognition, and “Send Me” is the perfect song to listen to today when you are remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 5-28-16

Octane Logo

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 5-28-16.

The 5-28-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

NOTE:  There was no Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown during the week of 5/21/16.  It was pre-empted by coverage of the Rock On The Range festival.

 

#15 – “Generation Idiot” – NONPOINT

#14 –  “Aggressive” – BEARTOOTH

#13 – “Take It All” – POP EVIL

#12 – “Avalanche” – BRING ME THE HORIZON

#11 –  “Chevelle” – JOYRIDE

#10 –  “Defeated” – BREAKING BENJAMIN

#9 –    “Death Dance” – SEVENDUST

# 8 –   “Paranoia” – A DAY TO REMEMBER

# 7 –   “The Eagle Has Landed” – AVATAR

# 6 –   “Asking For It” – SHINEDOWN

# 5 –   “Black Honey” – THRICE

# 4 –   “Hate By Design” – KILLSWITCH ENGAGE

# 3 –   “Human” – HELLYEAH

# 2 –   “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – VOLBEAT

# 1 –   “My Nemesis” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Flashback Friday: 1991 – Heavy Metal Love

Heavy Metal Love - 1991 Compilation Album

By Adam Waldman

Yesterday, on Hard Rock Music Time Machine, we journeyed back 25 years to 1991.  Today, we journey back to that same year for a nostalgic look at one of the few compilation albums that became a staple of my music collection.  The album Heavy Metal Love is ripe with power ballads, hard rock love songs and an incredible cover song by Judas Priest, brought to another level by Metal God, Rob Halford.

It’s amazing how things change over the course of 25 years.  What was once a CD that cost around $10 at a record store, has now become a rare commodity that can be purchased online for $55.  Of course, only true collectors would pay that amount for a CD full of songs that you can easily create as a playlist for free on YouTube, but I digress.

Heavy Metal Love has a lot of sentimental meaning for me because it was, for all intents and purposes, the soundtrack of the summer of 1991.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the songs that I listened to with my girlfriend back then is now an album that is filled with nostalgia for the same girl who eventually became my wife and mother to my children.

The album opens with two classic ballads inspired by women [“Beth” (Kiss) and “Carrie” (Europe)] before transitioning into some very powerful collaborations.  If ever there was a singer who could capture the emotion of a power ballad, it is the legendary Joe Lynn Turner.  On “Dreaming (Tell Me)”  the emotion of  JLT’s vocals are beautifully complemented by Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar solos.  The same can be said of a lesser-known, but equally powerful song, “Love Kills,” a collaboration between Mark Slaughter and Vinnie Vincent (Kiss).

Stryper’s “First Love” is a quintessential power ballad that showcases the immense vocal range of Michael Sweet.  April Wine’s “Just Between You And Me” is one of those songs where the guitar riff sets the emotional tone as much as the lyrics and vocals.  The song has the interesting distinction of being both well-known and underrated at the same time.

The album shifts into ‘80s hard rock mode for the last three songs: the title track by Helix, “Lady Red Light” (Great White) and “Edge Of A Broken Heart” by female rockers, Vixen.

All of the songs have meaning to me, particularly when they are listened to as a collection, but the one that stands out the most is Judas Priest’s cover of “Diamonds & Rust.”  The song was written (and originally recorded) by Joan Baez, who is known as much for her social activism as she is for her music.  Those with an appreciation for music history will find Baez’s original a worthwhile listen, but the Judas Priest interpretation is the one that resonates with me most.  It’s the brilliance of the storytelling, combined with Halford’s passion and the NYC-centered lyrics that make this an all-time personal favorite.

Whenever I hear any of these songs, I put them in the context of Heavy Metal Love, and enjoy the nostalgia of the moment.  25 years goes by much faster than we expect, but when you look back upon them as fondly as I do because of the one constant force in my life, I can’t help but appreciate the deeper meaning that music has to me, and the significant role that it plays in shaping memories.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/26/16 – The Year 1991

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - 1991 Theme

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/26/16 – May Theme…The Year 1991

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

This month’s special theme is the year 1991, which was chosen for specific reasons.  For fans of ’80s hard rock and heavy metal, this was the year that one era ended and a new one began.  This stark transition is more notable than the typical changing of a decade because of the seismic shift that took place towards the end of the year.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

LENNY KRAVITZ – “It Ain’t Over Til Its Over” (1991)

We tend to group musical time periods by decades.  However, 1991 is notable because it created a line of demarcation, due mostly to the grunge movement that would alter the hard rock music landscape for a good portion of the ‘90s.  The debate rages on as to whether Nirvana was the cause of this seismic shift in the genre.  My personal belief is that they set the wheels in motion at the very least.

The summer of 1991 is memorable for personal reasons, so it’s understandable why some of my favorite songs from that year helped to form an indelible soundtrack of a time and place in my life.  However, the summer of ’91 was an important time in general for hard rock because it was the end of an era that focused on an upbeat, feel-good mindset.  What would follow is a darker, more angst-ridden period that, quite frankly, was more than a little depressing.

Lenny Kravitz may not the be the first name that comes to mind when you think of hard rock, but having seen him perform live in the fall of ’91, I can tell you that his show rocked more than many artists who are considered heavier than him.  “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” was going to be featured anyway, but this decisioin was validated when it was announced that Kravitz will be the supporting act on some of the upcoming Guns N’ Roses reunion shows.  Like Prince (but with much less fanfare) Kravitz’s appeal in the hard rock world is undeniable.  His entire 1991 sophomore album (Mama Said) is outstanding.  The lead single on the album (“Always On The Run”) is a heavier track, but “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” got the nod because of its meaning to me.  This one is a very special dedication to a journey that began 25 years ago.
 

 
MR. BIG – “To Be With You” (1991)

Although Mr. Big’s sophomore album (Lean Into It) was released in the spring of ’91, it is also an album that brings back memories of the summer of that year, especially “To Be With You.”  The closing track to a memorable album is arguably one of the greatest power ballads of all-time.  Songs like this were a staple of the decade that preceded its release, however, in what seems like one fell swoop, they simply disappeared from the mainstream.

Even though this song falls well within the category of power ballad, there is something about it that differentiates it from most.  Perhaps it is the soulful vocals of Eric Martin or the beauty of the harmonies in the chorus.  Or maybe, it is the fact that the acoustic instrumentation never deviates into the shredding guitar solos that defined most ‘80s power ballads.

Like the Lenny Kravitz track above, this song holds special meaning to me and always takes me back to the summer of ’91 whenever I hear it.  If you’re a fan of ‘80s hard rock and metal, power ballads never go out of style, but they do have a definitive sound of the decade.  Because “To Be With You” didn’t feature all of the usual elements of a power ballad, it manages to avoid sounding “dated” even when it comes on the radio today.  A lot has changed since this song came out 25 years ago, but thankfully, some things have stayed the same.  This one will always be a classic and a personal favorite.
 
 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

INFECTIOUS GROOVES “Therapy” (1991)

Funk in metal?  That’s never been done before!  Anyone familiar with Infectious Grooves knew what a great supergroup they were in 1991, and were NOT hair metal nor grunge.  Fronted by Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies, a young Robert Trujillo (now In Metallica), Adam Siegel from Excel, Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction and a host of guest guitarists and vocalists including Ozzy Osbourne, Infectious Grooves was a funky heavy metal party.  Their album The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…It’s the Infectious Grooves is an essential in your metal collection.  I miss 1991, a time when everyone didn’t take themselves so seriously.

 

SEPULTURA – “Arise” (1991)

One of the founding fathers of modern death/thrash metal is Brazil’s Sepultura.  Founded in 1984 by Max Cavalera (vocals and guitar), Igor Cavalera (drums), Andreas Kisser (lead guitar) and Paulo Jr. (bass).  “Arise” (the title track off of the band’s fourth studio album) was released during a time when metal was dominated by big hair and spandex on one spectrum, and flannel shirts and cargo shorts on the other.  This song is the epitome of great thrash metal; the crunchy, fast guitars, drum fills from hell, low gruff vocals and a memorable guitar riff throughout the whole song.  Everybody scream with me…“I see the world old!!  I see the world dead!!!”
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

CRIMSON GLORY – “Deep Inside Your Heart” (1991)

Progressive metal pioneers Crimson Glory brought us this moving power ballad back in 1991. The band’s amazingly talented frontman, Midnight, died in 2009.  He was replaced for a stretch by Todd La Torre, who has since gone on to front Queensryche following their breakup with Geoff Tate.

 

YES – “Saving My Heart” (1991)

In 1991, then current members of YES (Chiris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye, and Alan White) came together with past members (Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe) to release Union.  The album was a collection of songs by both, but with no overlap between the two groups.  This beautiful ballad was written by Trevor Rabin and performed by his group, who were then the current members.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

BADLANDS – “The Last Time” (1991)

1991 saw the second album from Badlands, led by the legendary vocalist Ray Gillen and guitarist Jake E. Lee.  “The Last Time” is a track that showcases their fantastic, bluesy metal style.  Lee’s continuously active guitar work, along with Gillen’s emotional vocals, makes this rueful track a great kickoff to the Voodoo Highway album.

 

ARMORED SAINT – “Last Train Home” (1991)

One of Armored Saint’s best has it all…great vocals, rhythm, guitars (especially the solo), and an introspective message that urges the start something new: “It’s a sign to make a change among the platform crowd, words clear as clouds say you can’t remain the same…”  This track is from Armored Saint’s lauded Symbol of Salvation album, which is ranked 424 in Rock Hard magazine’s book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All-Time.

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 6/4/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/4/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. PIERCE THE VEIL – Misadventures
      2. HATEBREED – The Concrete Confessional
      3. DEVILDRIVER – Trust No One
      4. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      5. AVATAR – Feathers & Flesh
      6. ROB ZOMBIE – Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
      7. NOTHING – Tired Of Tomorrow
      8. DANCE GAVIN DANCE – Tree City Sessions
      9. DEFTONES – Gore
      10. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      11. SIXX: A.M. – Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1
      12. GORGUTS – Pleiades Dust
      13. KVELERTAK – Nattesferd
      14. SHINEDOWN – Threat To Survival
      15. BABYMETAL – Metal Resistance

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 5/21/16

HRD Radio Report - From Ashes To New

HRD RADIO REPORT 

The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by AllAccess.com), and appears every Tuesday on HardRockDaddy.com.  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on HardRockDaddy.com.

Click on the hyperlinked song titles to read song reviews, and the hyperlinked artist names to read album reviews.

 2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 5/21/16.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

CHART CHART ARTIST SONG TITLE RADIO
POSITION POSITION SPINS
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1 1 VOLBEAT “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” 2228
2 3 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “My Nemesis” 1688
3 2 BRING ME THE HORIZON “Happy Song” 1606
4 4 SIXX: A.M. “Rise” 1589
5 7 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS “Dark Necessities” 1490
6 5 RED SUN RISING “Emotionless” 1277
7 9 SHINEDOWN “Asking For It” 1243
8 6 DISTURBED “The Sound Of Silence” 1150
9 10 GHOST “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” 1099
10 11 HALESTORM “Mayhem” 916
11 12 HELLYEAH “Human” 846
12 8 PAPA ROACH “Falling Apart” 833
13 14 SICK PUPPIES “Stick To Your Guns” 814
14 15 A DAY TO REMEMBER “Paranoia” 765
15 16 ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Here I Am” 684
16 46 CHEVELLE “Joyride” 609
17 21 POP EVIL “Take It All” 597
18 20 DEVOUR THE DAY “Lightning In The Sky” 581
19 17 3 DOORS DOWN “In The Dark” 548
20 19 KALEO “No Good” 544
21 22 ROB ZOMBIE “Get High” 520
22 13 DEFTONES “Prayers/Triangles” 500
23 28 BLINK 182 “Bored To Death” 453
24 18 FOALS “Mountain At My Gates” 427
25 23 KILLSWITCH ENGAGE “Hate By Design” 382
26 24 AVATAR “The Eagle Has Landed” 369
27 25 THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH “Running With Giants” 342
28 27 HOLY WHITE HOUNDS “Switchblade” 330
29 26 MONSTER TRUCK “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” 313
30 30 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Ride” 308
31 29 CHEAP TRICK “When I Wake Up Tomorrow” 283
32 31 BLACK STONE CHERRY “In Our Dreams” 262
33 34 SEVENDUST “Death Dance” 249
34 33 THROUGH FIRE “Stronger” 248
35 38 LIKE A STORM “Break Free” 234
36 35 CHRIS CORNELL “Nothing Compares 2 U” 231
37 37 ESCAPE THE FATE “Remember Every Scar” 229
38 39 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Ashes Of Eden” 224
39 32 ADELITA’S WAY “Bad Reputation” 204
40 36 TRIVIUM “Dead And Gone” 197
41 40 TREMONTI “Dust” 188
42 41 ONE LESS REASON “Where Were You?” 174
43 42 BEARTOOTH “Aggressive” 171
44 48 DOROTHY “Raise Hell” 140
45 50 STITCHED UP HEART “Monster” 137
46 44 OTEP “In Cold Blood” 127
47 45 SUNFLOWER DEAD “It’s Time To Get Weird” 125
48 52 CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN “Soundcheck” 109
49 49 THRICE “Black Honey” 105
50 47 RIVAL CITY HEIGHTS “Take It Back” 104

 

 

PUBLISHER’S PICK OF THE WEEK (by Adam Waldman)

FROM ASHES TO NEW – “Lost And Alone”

From Ashes To New took Active Rock radio by storm with their hit single, “Through It All,” which is featured on the band’s debut studio album, Day One (released February 2016). SiriusXM’s Octane has been spinning their latest single, “Lost And Alone,” but it has not yet gained the same type of traction as “Through It All.” This single has more of a straight-forward, Active Rock sound, highlighted by some intense growls rather than rap, befitting of the emotion of the message of the song. The band has already made a name for themselves in the genre, so it seems that the traction for their latest single is more a matter of when, not if. Expect the song to crack the Top 50 and spend time on the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown in the near future.
 

 

 

HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.

SPIN IT…

FROM ASHES TO NEW“Lost And Alone”

EVE TO ADAM“Lucky”

SONS OF TEXAS“Blameshift”

THE WORD ALIVE – “Made This Way”

HUDSON“Cast Out”

FIFTYWATT FREIGHT TRAIN“Whiskey & Hate”

PIERCE THE VEIL – “Circles”

3 PILL MORNING“Electric Chair”

 

DROP IT…

Catfish And The Bottlemen“Soundcheck”

Holy White Hounds“Switchblade”

Foals“Mountain At My Gates”

Twenty One Pilots – “Ride”

Red Hot Chili Peppers“Dark Necessities”

Blink 182“Bored To Death”

Adelita’s Way“Bad Reputation”

Deftones“Prayers/Triangles”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless

KING OF THE HILL

Volbeat further extends their lead over the nearest competition to remain solidly atop the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay Chart for a third consecutive week.  The nearest serious challenger is probably at least a couple of weeks away from moving into position.
 

 

NOTABLE CHART MOVEMENT

Halestorm finally cracks the Top 10 after basically running place for a month…

Chevelle enters the Top 20 with a roar; Pop Evil ascends as well with what would typically be considered a solid week…

The wave of fast-rising songs means that there was no room for anything to make a straightforward debut in the Top 30, or the Top 40 for that matter…

The only debut in the Top 50 is a crossover song from the alternative chart.
 

 

THREE UP & THREE DOWN

MOVING UP

Volbeat – “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”

Red Hot Chili Peppers“Dark Necessities”

Chevelle – “Joyride”

 

DROPPING DOWN

Bring Me The Horizon“Happy Song”

Red Sun Rising“Emotionless”

Papa Roach“Falling Apart”
 

 

TRENDS AND OBSERVATIONS

Will 2016 be the year of “feast or famine” for Active Rock singles?  That certainly seems like a possibility if you consider the past few weeks.  Songs seems to either be hitting the chart at warp speed, or finding momentum (and airplay) to be sluggish at best.   There are pros and cons to that scenario, but it certainly seems to feel different from the pacing of the chart over the past few years.  Time will tell if it’s just a short-term blip driven by situation and circumstance or if it will become the new normal.

 

WRAP-UP

That’s all for this week.  Tune in to HardRockDaddy.com every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

Music Discovery Monday – 5/23/16

Music Discovery Monday - Blacktop Mojo

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 5/23/16.

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.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Blacktop Mojo frontman Matt James, who discusses the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s latest single, and the decision to cover one of the greatest hard rock songs of all-time.

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, Hard Rock Daddy)

BLACKTOP MOJO – “Where The Wind Blows”

There’s always a risk when a band straddles different genres of rock because it makes it difficult for them to fit neatly into a radio format box.  However, every once in a while, you come across a band that is able to deliver impressive songs, regardless of the radio “fit.”  Texas rockers Blacktop Mojo have no trouble straddling a variety of genres with both original songs and inspired covers.

If you’re a fan of the “Seattle sound” of bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, Blacktop Mojo’s “Where The Wind Blows” will definitely resonate with you.  However, this doesn’t mean that the song sounds like a throwback to the ‘90s, just the influence of that time period mixed with some southern rock flair (another area where the band excels).

Because of the band’s tight, driving rhythm section and the soulful, rangy vocals of Matt James, complemented by Ryan Kiefer’s impressive lead guitar work, Blacktop Mojo is able to incorporate a number of different influences into their music.  In addition to their powerful original songs, the band’s shining moments extend to some brilliant covers ranging from country rock to classic rock.

 

In an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Blacktop Mojo frontman Matt James discussed the meaning and inspiration behind “Where The Wind Blows”
 
“The inspiration for ‘Where The Wind Blows’ comes from watching buddies of mine in college chasing wild women (who didn’t really want to be tied down) in the bars every night.  Nothing really came of it but one-night stands.  Back then, as a guy in that situation, you’re pretty much willing to chase those woman to the ends of the earth to try to “get to know her a little better” (if you will). I think that every guy can relate to that in some respect.”

 

 

BLACKTOP MOJO – “Dream On”

Like many others, Aerosmith’s “Dream On” is near and dear to my heart.  It is a song that has more than withstood the test of time, and is largely regarded as one of the greatest hard rock songs of all-time.  Anyone with the guts to take on a cover of this song should be commended, because they risk ridicule for tampering with a classic.  It was one thing when Ronnie James Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen covered the song.  Both of them had already been long-established as rock and roll icons by the time that they recorded their interpretation.  It is something entirely different when an up-and-coming band like Blacktop Mojo rises up to the challenge.

Knowing that Steven Tyler has recently put out a country album, your first impression of the song might be that the legend himself re-recorded his own song with a new twist if you didn’t know any better.  While the recent rumors of Aerosmith possibly considering touring with another singer doesn’t sit well with most (including me), with this cover of “Dream On,” frontman Matt James proves that there are people out there who are vocally talented enough to handle the gig.

When listening to this cover, there are two distinct thoughts that came to mind.  The first is that the band did an outstanding job of staying true to the original, while also infusing enough of themselves into it to make it unique.  The other is that James absolutely killed the ungodly high notes that Tyler delivered over 40 years ago when the song was released, so much so, that it’s almost indecipherable from the original.

 

Matt James on the decision to do a cover version of this Aerosmith classic…
 
“We chose to do a cover of ‘Dream On’ because of our producer, Philip Mosley, who brought up the idea.  All of the guys in the band have always been fans of Aerosmith; we thought it would be a challenge for us to take on such an iconic song.  I think that it was important to us to stay as true to the original as we could.  I don’t really think that there’s much you can change or add to a song that so many people know and love.  Everything from the finger-picked guitar part at the beginning, to the high notes at the end are irreplaceable, so it was important for us to do our best to capture all of that.”
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

MUDFACE “Anthem”

With so many genres of metal, finding a new band to listen to nowadays is pretty difficult.  Face it, most new metal bands end up sounding pretty generic and fail to excite me.  When I was sent a link to check out “Anthem” from Mudface’s album, The Bane of Existence, I was skeptical at first, but I was impressed within the first 10 seconds of this song.  “Anthem” has everything that I love about metal; heavy, thick guitars, talented guitar solos, aggressive, pounding bass and drums, technicality, politically charged/dark subject matter, great sound production, and most importantly…it’s loud!  In fact, “Anthem” is the heavy metal song, and Mudface is the heavy metal band that I have been searching for forever.  Kudos to the band for keeping the spirit of metal alive.  This is a must-listen for any and all fans of metal!

 

AMORPHIS “Sacrifice”

This Finnish band is back with their 12th studio release, Under the Red Cloud.  Fans of melodic/death metal will love Amorphis’ return to their form.  “Sacrifice” is a catchy tune with hard rock roots, rather than their trademark death metal style, but still exhibits the band’s style of darkness and foreboding.  Not afraid to explore their different musical styles, ranging from death metal to folk and hard rock, Under the Red Cloud takes all of their styles from previous albums and encompasses them all into this album.  “Sacrifice” is a great example of Finnish metal being alive and well.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

IRON SAVIOR – “Way Of The Blade”

German power metal veterans Iron Savior have just released their ninth album, Titancraft. Heavy riffs, a galloping pace, and melodic choruses are married to mythical themes.  Founder, vocalist, and lead guitarist Piet Sielck delivers the iron, with enthusiastic support from the rest of the band.

 

DECYFER DOWN – “Burn Back The Sun”

North Carolina’s Decyfer Down returns with their fourth album, The Other Side Of Darkness.  It’s chock full of pounding drums and aggressive riffs, but here, on the album’s closer, they take a step back. This is an acoustic makeover of one of their earlier hits, and it works quite well.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

MOB RULES – “On The Edge”

German melodic power metal band Mob Rules is back with their 8th full length album, Tales From Beyond.  Klaus Dirk’s powerful vocals lead a talented group in this driving force of a song with terrific guitar work by Matthias Mineur and Sven Lüdke.

 

PROJECT AEGIS – “Angel In The Ashes”

“Angel In the Ashes” is the work of Project Aegis, an all-star power metal ensemble that came together in charity for homeless and refugee families in Greece.  This tremendous line-up is led by Theocracy vocalist and songwriter Matt Smith, with Rob Rock (Solo, Impellitteri), Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya, Soulspell), Vasilis Georgiou (Sunburst, Black Fate), Leah McHenry (LEAH).  This kickass song for a worthy cause features excellent guitar work by Gus Drax (Sunburst, Black Fate).

 

SUBMISSIONS

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