Category Archives: Hard Rock Bands Under The Radar

Hard Rock Bands Under The Radar: SEVENTRAIN

seventrain

In the fall of 2012, Seventrain first performed together at a memorial show for close friend, Vincent John Crudo (a.k.a. “Big Vinnie”), a sound technician and bass player from Southern California. The original intent of guitarist, Eric Horton, who played in the power metal band Cage, was to put together a group of well-respected local musicians to do some cover songs for the event.  An undeniable chemistry inspired the group to stay together and record the new material that Horton had been writing with vocalist, Jon Campos.

Seventrain is a relatively new five-piece hard rock outfit with a sound that can best be described as blues metal.  This eclectic band features seasoned veterans that have enjoyed varying degrees of success with previous bands.  In addition to Horton and Campos, the rest of the lineup features drummer Joel Maitoza (24/7 Spyz), guitarist Jef Poremba and bassist Steve (Dino) Andino.

After going into the studio to record last spring, Seventrain’s self-titled debut album was released this February.  The sound of the album is distinct not only because of the various backgrounds and influences of each member, but also because, unlike most modern hard rock recordings, it was tracked in analog with no use of auto tune or pro-tools, and only limited effects.  The end result is a stripped down rock record with a timeless sound that harkens back to the 70’s and early 80’s.

While there is no obvious single that necessarily stands out above the others, every song on Seventrain’s debut album is rock solid and features outstanding musicianship.  Every member of the band shines in their own right, which is something that isn’t very common nowadays.

Seventrain is bluesy metal at its best.  From gritty, powerful rhythms to guitar harmonies and shredding solos, Seventrain delivers a unique brand of eclectic hard rock.  Fans of great musicianship will not only appreciate the dynamic guitar offerings, but also the musicality of an impressive rhythm section whose contribution goes well beyond providing a solid foundation to build upon.

Campos’ vocals are ideally suited for Seventrain’s sound.  From the moody, slower moments to the powerful wails, Campos uses everything in his arsenal to capture the emotions of each song.

Fans of King’s X will instantly feel a connection to Seventrain from the first vocal harmony to the last.  While King’s X is the most obvious influence, fans of bands like Alter Bridge and Badlands will be drawn to Seventrain’s sound, as will those who are fans of guitarists like Zakk Wylde and Ritchie Blackmore.

Seventrain’s debut album is available on iTunes and Amazon.  If you are a fan of timeless hard rock music, take a ride on a musical journey with Seventrain.

Hard Rock Bands Under The Radar: TYKETTO

Tyketto Band Pic

When you think of hard rock bands under the radar, you might envision an up-and-coming act struggling to get the recognition that they so richly deserve.  There are an untold number of bands that fit into that category for one reason or another.  Luck, or lack thereof, often contributes to which bands make it and which ones become a cautionary tale for aspiring artists with rock and roll dreams.  It is rare for a band to have a lengthy career and still fly under the radar, but Tyketto is living proof that this phenomenon exists.  The band recently released “DOCUMENTALLY YOURS 25th Anniversary DVD.”

How is it possible for a band to release a 25th anniversary DVD and still be a relative unknown within the hard rock community?  Bad timing!  As the saying goes, timing is everything, and Tyketto’s couldn’t have been worse.  Their debut album, Don’t Come Easy – a prophetic title if ever there was one – was released in 1991, just as the grunge movement was starting to drive the final nail into the coffin of 80’s metal.  But make no mistake, this band should have, and likely would have been huge if their album was released in the mid-80’s.

Don’t Come Easy is an outstanding hard rock album that has stood the test of time.  Unfortunately, most hard rock fans have never heard it, or any other Tyketto album for that matter.

Tyketto has had its share of tribulations throughout the past 25 years, from lineup changes to record label problems, and eventually a breakup in 1996 that led the individual band members to pursue other projects.

In 2004, the original band reformed for a reunion tour, and then again in 2007 for one last hurrah under the Tyketto moniker, going so far as to release an album entitled The Last Sunset – Farewell 2007.  However, the band has continued to play together in Europe and South America at various festivals.

The four original members – Danny Vaughn (vocals), Brooke St. James (guitar), Jimi Kennedy (bass) and Michael Clayton (drums) – released a new album in 2012 entitled Dig In Deep, an appropriate title given what the band has had to do to overcome the obstacles that they’ve faced throughout their career.

One of the saving graces for bands like Tyketto is that there is still a strong market for their style of music around the world.  Given the difficulty in gaining traction in America, it is understandable why the band that started out in New York City is now based in Europe.

For more information about Tyketto, check out the band’s official website.

Check out the video for “Forever Young” below…

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Hard Rock Bands Under The Radar: POYNTE

Poynte

Many hard rock bands are leveraging the power of social media to build a fan base without record label support (see “How Independent Hard Rock Bands Are Building Fan Bases On Their Own”).  The article was inspired by POYNTE, a five-piece hard rock band from Covington, GA that has somehow managed to fly under the music industry radar thus far.

POYNTE’s five-song debut EP, One More Day, is a collection of radio-friendly hard rock songs filled with driving rhythms and impressive vocal harmonies.  Solid bass lines lay the foundation for dynamic guitar sounds that range from heavy, crunching riffs to sparse, moody accents.  Soulful lead vocals capture the emotion of the lyrics, and the melodic guitar solos add the ideal finishing touch to the entire EP.

POYNTE fits in perfectly with the modern hard rock music that is currently being played on SiriusXM’s Octane channel.  The title track of the EP, “One More Day,” is in the same vein as Another Lost Year’s “War On The Inside.” 

Though POYNTE’s sound is rooted in modern-day hard rock, influences dating back as far as the 1970’s can be heard in their music.  The 90’s flavor of “Forever” features shades of The Nixons and Saigon Kick.  The vocal harmonies on “Destined To Fall” bring back memories of Kansas and Styx, while “Coping,” the heaviest track on the EP, features a powerful, melodic sound that is reminiscent of Soundgarden and Metallica.

To listen to the EP in its entirety, go to www.POYNTE.com.

If national competitions are any indication, things are definitely “POYNTE-ing” in the right direction for these rockers from Georgia.  In the past year, they have placed first in Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands and the Cabo Wabo Your Shot to Rock contest.

Booking shows on their own, the band has secured gigs on bills with Shinedown, Godsmack, Thousand Foot Krutch, Saliva, Pop Evil, Drowning Pool and other well-known hard rock acts over the past few years.

POYNTE is currently in the midst of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help finance their first music video.  Click here for more details about becoming part of the story.  There is a very interesting, one-of-a-kind perk still available.