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Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15

Music Discovery Monday - Burnos

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15.

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.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Melissa Burnos, who shares the inspiration behind Burnos’ single, “Syndrome Of Decay.” 



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

BURNOS – “Syndrome Of Decay”

When you think of hard rock, two things that probably don’t come to mind are the Miami Dolphins and The Bee Gees, but both have a connection to this week’s featured artist, Burnos (fronted by Melissa Burnos).

Like The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen, Burnos’ first exposure to the public did not begin with music.  However, her time as a Dolphins cheerleader helped with her music, as cheering in front of a stadium full of people taught her how to work a crowd.  Also giving her a boost of confidence was her association with the late Maurice Gibbs, who read some of her writing and told her that she could write songs.

Burnos was first heard on SiriusXM’s Octane with a song called “Octane.” Perhaps it was a serendipitous coincidence; perhaps it was a clever way to grab the attention of the most powerful Active Rock station in the country.  Either way, it got her noticed.  Her follow-up single, “WarShip,” also received attention from Octane, and was included in Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.

Burnos’ latest single, “Syndrome Of Decay,” from her forthcoming debut album, is once again getting airplay on Octane, yet she still remains under the radar to a large degree.  Burnos’ powerfully melodic, sultry vocals are delivered over a sound that is reminiscent of Alter Bridge and Tremonti, which is not surprising given that she is writing and recording her album with Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock.


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Melissa shares the inspiration and meaning behind her latest single…

“Although I feel that all poetry and lyrics are open to interpretation by readers and listeners from their own unique perspectives, I was inspired at the time by my own perspective. ‘Syndrome of Decay’ is definitely one of my favorite songs out of the ones we’ve written and recorded so far.  I was inspired by some darker life experiences and observations.

The song is about some people’s need for, and affinity towards, the destruction of happiness, which is the opposite of life.  It’s about the weak, inexperienced, unwilling, fearful observer who is constantly judging, naysaying, tearing down, and is throwing away all hope and ambition for his/her own life, ultimately projecting that onto the dreamers and go-getters.  Simply put, it’s about attempts by those who gave up on their dreams to berate and destroy those who refuse to do so.

‘Syndrome of Decay’ is about coming to terms with the fact that these people won’t ever change and basically can’t help themselves.  Coming to this conclusion, the dreamer and go-getter walks away leaving the destructive person flailing pitifully in their own negativity and darkness.

Erock (Eric Friedman) and Garrett Whitlock crafted and laid the perfect blend of dark and heavy riffs and rhythms, which drive home the story of ‘Syndrome of Decay.’  I think it’s the perfect marriage of music, melody and lyrics.  What the guys are playing is aggressive and eerily haunting at the same time.  I really love how Erock launches the song out of the gate and his ethereal guitar solo.  Garrett’s attack and sick combinations really drive it!  I hope everyone enjoys this one as much as we all do!”


SISTER SIN – “Chaos Royale”

Although I discovered Sister Sin on Octane (like I did Burnos), this is not a band that is likely to ever get tons of radio airplay.  Based on the lyrics to “Chaos Royale,” you have to believe that suits the band, more specifically, front woman Liv Jagrell just fine…

“Enslave the earth with an iron fist, now the whole world is my personal bitch…I’ll put an end to all music that sucks, according to my flawless taste…No hipster shit, radio rock, bubble gum, DJ pop…Heavy metal all the way…make no fucking mistake!”

Deeply rooted in 80s heavy metal (not hair), Sister Sin is a Swedish powerhouse that takes no prisoners with their aggressive sound.  Though their original plan was to have a male singer, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jagrell at the helm because she is such a perfect fit (and I’m not just saying that because I fear that she will hunt me down with her iron fist and make me her “personal bitch”).  If there was a sub-genre called “ballsy female-fronted metal,” Sister Sin would rule the throne.  From their latest album, Black Lotus, “Chaos Royale” is an ideal introduction to this vastly underrated band.





ONE BAD SON – “Black Buffalo”

While there seems to be no shortage of bands displaying 70s rock influences lately, most simply aren’t as good at doing so as this quartet from Vancouver.  That skill has made them one of the more consistent rock radio performers in Canada over the past couple of years.  Yet another “ten year overnight success story,” they’re a band that – if you appreciate a more straight-ahead traditional rock sound – really deserves more attention outside their native country.



Thoroughly modern sounding (in a good way) five-piece from Orlando, Florida has recently released the first single from their new album RegeneratE, and it’s a solid effort.  If released by one of the Active Rock format staple “big name” bands, this song would be all over the radio in a hurry.  Instead, it’s a good song with some teeth that has to hope to get that breakthrough by being in the right place at the right time just as all the stars align.  In the meantime, there’s no reason that any fan of good work should miss out, so take a listen.





SANDMARX – “Band On Fire”

Vocalist Sandra Szabo gets gritty in a commanding performance on the bluesy, modern rock song “Band On Fire.”  With shades of Guns N’ Roses and even some Black Crowes, the Norwegian band Sandmarx finds a sweet groove and hits on some addictive riffs. The other songs on their album, The Perfect Storm, vary at times in style, but rarely in intensity.


NEAL MORSE – “Doomsday Destiny”

Progressive rock superstar Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Flying Colors) scores again with his latest solo release, The Grand Experiment.  Bonus track “Doomsday Destiny” is a highlight, opening with some light keyboard before launching into a fuller, funkier orchestration and some striking vocal harmonies. Mike Portnoy mans the drums with the precision and flair he’s renowned for.





BLACK FATE – “Lines In The Sand”

Terrific power/progressive metal from Greece.  Black Fate’s “Lines in the Sand” is a well-executed, driving track about the subject seeking out their destiny.   Great rhythm line (Nikos Tsintzilonis -drums and Vasilis Liakos- bass) showcases the progressive talent through timing shifts, and sets the stage for Gus Drax’s screaming guitar work.


DAMNATION ANGELS – “Everlasting”

From Damnation Angels’ upcoming US album, The Valiant Fire, “Everlasting” showcases great lead vocals from Per Fredrik Asly (aka PelleK) and vocal harmonies, along with background orchestration overlaid onto smooth, driving, impassioned power.  This is the second full-length album from this symphonic metal band from the UK, led by Will & John Graney (on drums and guitar respectively).






THE LETTER BLACK – “Pain Killer” (2013)

From The Letter Black’s 2013 album, Rebuild, “Pain Killer” features a perfect blend of power, beauty, mystique and melody.  Sarah Anthony’s angelic vocals shine as she taps into the emotion of the lyrics over churning power chords.  When the band (which includes Anthony’s husband, Mark on guitar), dials up the intensity, Sarah follows suit with melody-drenched, anthemic vocals.  Like, Skillet (another Christian rock band that features a husband and wife team), The Letter Black aspires to give people hope with their lyrics.  Personally speaking, “Pain Killer” is a song of hope, but not because of the lyrical content.  This is the one hard rock song that my daughter – whose taste has unfortunately shifted to mainstream pop – will listen to on her own.


MARAGOLD – “Evergreen Is Golder” (2013)

When it comes to music, sometimes less is more.  AC/DC has built a legendary career by adhering to this adage.  Aside from their approach on “Evergreen Is Golder,” Maragold’s similarities to AC/DC end there.  The straight-forward groove of the song provides an ideal canvas for Meghan Krauss to bring a mental picture to life with her incredibly powerful, raspy, melodic delivery of poetic lyrics. Krauss is a star in the making. Guitarist, Greg Howe, has collaborated on numerous projects ranging from jazz fusion to hard rock (Richie Kotzen, Jordan Rudess).  There is no telling how far this band can go if they are able to build a fanbase worthy of their talent.





IRON MAIDEN – “Still Life” (1983)

Released 32 years ago this week, the album Piece Of Mind added several notable songs to the list of Iron Maiden staples.  This particular track isn’t considered as classic as, say, “The Trooper,” but is not only a worth a nod musically, but also for the cheeky bit of blatant backwards masking that takes place at the beginning as a shot across the bow of their detractors at the time.


DIO – “Killing The Dragon” (2002)

Title track from the next-to-last studio album from the iconic Ronnie James Dio, who left us five years ago this past weekend.  I chose it to mark the passing largely because it provided the backdrop for the first time my son saw the legend in person, a moment that I’ll always treasure.  Rest in peace Ronnie…never forgotten and sorely missed.





BUDDY GUY, B.B. KING, ERIC CLAPTON – “Let Me Love You Baby” (2005)

The music world was devastated last week by the loss of the great and prolific B.B. KIng.  Here he shares the stage and shines with two other modern legends, capturing the heart and emotion of every note like only he could.  Buddy Rich improvs during their jam…“I say B.B. King, man, play that thing for me.” Nothing more needed to be said.


LANA LANE – “Someone To Believe” (2005)

When it comes to the lesser known but greatest female rock vocalists, Lana Lane ranks near the top of the list.  Here she demonstrates her full power in a gripping, yearning piece. Comparisons to Heart (whose music she covers on other albums) are probably unavoidable. Husband, Eric Norlander ably mans the keyboards.





AIRGED L’AMH – “Glide On The Wings” (2008)

More metal from the Greeks!  A great find from back in 2008, “Glide on the Wings” is straight-forward, gritty, energetic heavy metal with themes of glory and heroics.  Curiously, this Greek band used to be called Ragnarok – of Norse, rather than Greek Mythology – but changed to Airged L’ Amh (Gaelic for “Silver Arm”) because of other bands with the same name.  Stand-out guitar work from Alexander Vasilopoulos and George Sofikitis, plus great work on the skins from George Thanasopoulos.


DIO – “My Eyes” (1990)

An ode to great Ronnie James Dio’s on the 5th anniversary of his passing (May 16th, 2010).  “My Eyes,” – from Dio’s 1990 release, Lock Up The Wolves – is complete with the styles and references you need to know about his great legacy in rock & metal. ‘Nuff said…


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