Blog Archives

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…

Revolve – “The Road To Here” EP Review

Revolve The Road To Here

For Baltimore quintet, Revolve, The Road To Here is an appropriate title for their debut EP.  Like most DIY bands in hard rock today, Revolve has had to deal with their share of bumps along “the road to here.”  Now that they have solidified their lineup and established themselves under a new name, the time has come for this band to take things to the next level and become a household name on the hard rock scene and on Active Rock radio.

The Road To Here is a 5-song EP that was produced by Sevendust guitarist, Clint Lowery.  While his involvement gives Revolve a leg up on many DIY artists, the band’s musicianship, cohesiveness and ability to write powerfully melodic hard rock music is what really makes you stand up and take notice.

Months before the release of The Road To Here, the excitement was already starting to build around Revolve when they released their first single, “Stranded.”  The song was featured on Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014, was the pick of the week on the first HRD Radio Report of 2015, and was also featured on Music Discovery Monday alongside an interview with guitarist, Debbie Barlow.  Needless to say, the bar was set fairly high for the rest of the EP, which more than lives up to the lofty expectations set by “Stranded.”

The intensity hits you from the opening note of the first song on the EP, “Believe.”  Heavy rhythms provide an ideal foundation for Thommy Michaels to showcase melody-drenched vocals and for impressive guitar shredding that is reminiscent of the glory days of 80s hard rock (albeit with a current sound).  Beyond their playing, one thing that makes the guitar duo of Dave Phelps and Debbie Barlow stand out from most is the fact that they are a married couple.

While Revolve has their own distinct overall sound, you can hear the influence of some of the top acts in hard rock today in their music (Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, and of course, Sevendust amongst others).

Following “Believe” and “Stranded” is “Buried Alive” – a song very much in Shinedown’s wheelhouse.  In fact, with a proven track record, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that “Buried Alive” would rocket up the charts if it was recorded by Shinedown.  Hopefully, programmers will let the music do the talking (rather than the cache of a band name) and give the track the attention that it deserves when the time comes.

“Superhero” shows off Revolve’s ability to incorporate slower tempo songs into the mix, while still sticking to their melodic, intense sound.

If you are a fan of bands like Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin and Sevendust, make sure to check out what Revolve has to offer with The Road To Here.  The only real disappointment is that it ends too soon (but that’s what the replay button is for, I suppose).

Music Discovery Monday – 3/16/15

Music Discovery Monday - The Glorious Sons

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 3/16/15.

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 featured artist is The Glorious Sons. Check out the story that frontman, Brett Emmons, shared behind the meaning of the band’s latest single, “Heavy.”


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)


In the early 90s, the Black Crowes (featuring the Robinson brothers) rose to fame with their brand of Rolling Stones-inspired rock.  Fast forward two decades, and it looks as though history is about to repeat itself with Canadian rockers, The Glorious Sons (featuring the Emmons brothers).  Although they are more edgy than either of the aforementioned bands, The Glorious Sons have built their sound upon the same rock and roll foundation.  “Heavy” is not only the title of the song, but also an accurate description of the direction that the band is taking with their sound, due in large part to Brett Emmons’ vocals.  Emmons takes a little bit of Mick Jagger and mixes it with an Ian Astbury vibe to create a vocal style that stands out as unique in the current hard rock landscape.

Brett Emmons shared the meaning behind “Heavy” with Hard Rock Daddy…

“I was going through a time in my life when I’d felt betrayed by a couple of people who were close to me. At the time, I didn’t know how to deal with the way they made me feel. I was watching The Sopranos one day, and Junior said to Tony, ‘Next time you come in, you come heavy or not at all.’ I instantly picked up my guitar and started strumming and singing to the line. The song became a little more violent than I’d expected, but ultimately, it’s about cutting the negative influences out of your life.”


RIVAL SONS – “Open My Eyes”

Unlike The Glorious Sons, Rival Sons do not hail from Canada, although they have inexplicably achieved greater chart success in the Great White North than they have in their native United States.  In the fall of 2014, “Open My Eyes” briefly cracked the Active Rock Top 50 with around 100 total spins, whereas the same song went all the way to the top of the Canadian Active Rock charts.  Although they do it with their own modern flair, this California quartet delivers a timeless, classic rock sound with “Open My Eyes” that is very much in Led Zeppelin’s wheelhouse.




I PREVAIL – “Love, Lust, And Liars”

The music business is a funny thing.  There’s plenty of buzz lately about this post-hardcore band from Michigan, courtesy of their cover of a pop song.   The funny part is that their debut album contains several songs that are simply better than the one that’s generated the attention.  The contrast between their clean/rough vocals is considerable, but that may be what makes it work as well as it does on this tale of a relationship that’s in worse shape than the ruined buildings that provide the backdrop for their video.


FURYON – “These Four Walls”

The sophomore release from this U.K. outfit will likely increase comparisons to a band that’s obviously an influence.  Still, there are certainly worse things to say about a band than “they kind of bring Alter Bridge to mind.”   Certainly not a clone by any means, vocalist Matt Mitchell is a genuine talent, and Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy) helps highlight that with his production.




ARCANE – “Unturning”

A tapping guitar riff introduces this piece, followed by powerful bass riffs and compelling vocals.  The drive slows in the middle, only to return full force in an ending that gradually builds until it finally explodes.  Out of Australia, this is progressive metal with shades of Tool, from Known/Learned, a double disc concept album with breathtaking depth.


INLEGEND – “Threatened”

There is a pop and techno quality to the metal of German band InLegend, with touches of industrial metal, that work wonderfully together.  There are no guitar solos, and unlike most metal, the music is written more around piano than guitar riffs.  This song in particular opens with gorgeous piano and a galloping beat.  The band was formed by the drummer from Van Canto, a metal band with no instruments (except drums), but voices that amazingly mimic the instruments.  Rewarding stuff for those listeners open to something a little different in their metal.




EUROPE “The Second Day”

Joey Tempest and John Norum are back, leading Europe to another solid album, War of Kings.  Tempest shows he’s still got that great, bluesy voice amid Norum’s great guitar work and the band’s trademark sound.


BEYOND THE BLACK – “Running To The Edge”

German metal band Beyond The Black debuts with Songs of Love and Death.  Jennifer Haben shows us yet another outstanding female lead in metal with a great tone (as opposed to sheer power).  She’s supported by a thick, heavy rhythm line, dueling guitars and a slight symphonic touch.  “Running to the Edge” will echo in your head for a bit after it’s finished.





VOLBEAT – “Fallen” (2010)

“Fallen” is a fairly recent track that did receive radio play, but it is included in this week’s Music Discovery Monday because of the lyrical content.  With arguably the most distinct voice in hard rock today, Michael Poulsen brings the song to life with his passionate delivery.  Although “Fallen” has an uplifting vibe due to its catchy melody and hook, it becomes somewhat bittersweet when you realize that the lyrics offer a poignant message to a father who has passed away.  During this time of year, this song has special meaning to me, as another birthday passes for my father without us being able to celebrate together.


DEEP PURPLE – “Child In Time” (1970)

Keeping with the theme of my selections this week, we travel all the way back to 1970 in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine to an epic Deep Purple track.  “Child In Time” is around 10 minutes long, but because it is so powerful and intense, you barely even notice.  They simply do not make music like this anymore.  The song opens with the signature sound of Jon Lord’s Hammond organ before Ian Gillan’s soulful vocals kick in, highlighted by ungodly high falsetto notes drenched with anguish.  Ritchie Blackmore shows why he is one of the greatest guitarists of all-time during the extended jamming in the middle of the song. Gillan was only 25 years old when he hit the high notes in this live video.  Amazingly, he was still able to hit those same notes when I saw the band play just days before his 43rd birthday in 1988.  In a lifetime of rock and roll memories, that one still stands out to this day!




RED LINE CHEMISTRY – “Dumb Luck” (2010)

Sandwiched between their 2013 album, Tug Of War, and the soon to be re-released 2006 album, Chemical High & a Hand Grenade, was a 2011 album entitled Dying For A Living, which provided the first taste of this Missouri band for many listeners.  This track lands somewhere in the still grunge-influenced segment of the post-grunge era.  It’s interesting to look back just a few years and see where the band was at that moment and wonder if it provides clues as to where they may head in the future.



ARANADA – “Break Away” (2013)

With the release of a new album now just weeks away (due May 2015), it seems like a good time to look back at the breakthrough of this Oklahoma four-piece.  While Stop The World produced three solid radio hits, the number could have easily grown to four if this up-tempo rocker had been chosen for a push.  The potential for a strong follow-up release makes their upcoming project one of the more interesting releases on the calendar this year.




VAN CANTO – “Lost Forever” (2010)

Van Canto somehow delivers brilliant metal with no instruments (except drums).  While this is a cappella, the voices do not merely harmonize with each other, but actually mimic the instruments that are missing (but which you’ll swear at times are there!).  With big hooks and an addictive chorus, “Lost Forever” is a wonderful introduction to Van Canto.  Also, check out their covers of classic metal songs such as Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”, as well as some lesser known (but no less brilliant) metal songs. 



FIREWIND – “Edge Of A Dream” (2012)

The most hauntingly beautiful song of 2012, “Edge of a Dream” gave Greek power metal band Firewind a chance to show their softer side.  The writing is sublime, the execution perfect. They brought in Apocalyptica to provide a cello accompaniment, but it is a tribute to the genius of guitarist Gus G that his guitar solo somehow manages to surpass that haunting addition in emotion and depth.





DRAGONFORCE – “Through The Fire And Flames” (2006)

DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and Flames” is one of the fastest, most synchronous metal tracks I have ever heard.  The speed on both lead guitars is amazing (Sam Totman & Herman Li), remarkably kept in time by the unbelievable speed of Gee Anzalone’s machine gun drums.  Great British power & glory metal.


BUCKETHEAD – “Nottingham Lace” (2005)

No lyrics here, just fantastic, all-around guitar talent in a strange wrapper of Halloween’s Mike Meyers and Kentucky Fried Chicken (the bucket).  Buckethead (a.k.a. Brian Patrick Carroll) is as prolific as he is talented (Enter the Chicken is one of over 150 albums to his credit).  Check out the live version of this track to complete the picture and witness his prodigious skill.



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

Music Discovery Monday – 3/9/15

Music Discovery Monday - Marenna

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 3/9/15.

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.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

MARENNA – “You Need To Believe”

One of highlights of the launch of Music Discovery Monday is the chance to discover music from all over the world.  Today’s featured artist, Rodrigo Marenna, is a powerfully melodic singer hailing from Brazil.  If you are a fan of the uplifting, melodic music of a bygone era, “you need to believe” that there are still artists out there who are keeping that style alive.  If you appreciate passionate vocals, anthemic harmonies, huge hooks and guitar in the vein of Neal Schon, make sure to give Marenna a listen.  From the first note to the last, Marenna delivers an inspiring brand of hard rock.



Referring to their sound simply as “21st Century Rock,” this Puerto Rican power quartet has made their home in Florida as they pursue their rock and roll dreams as a DIY band.  With influences ranging from Tool to The Mars Volta to Led Zeppelin, M2V has created a unique sound with an Alice In Chains vibe that stands out when played on stations like SiriusXM’s Octane.  “Hollow” is a powerful, driving song about living the life that you want to live by making choices for yourself.  This is definitely a band to keep on your radar!





One of the best finds of 2015 so far for me has to be this 5-piece group from Sweden.  The guest vocal from Elize Ryd (the always strong voice of Amaranthe) takes the song to another level, giving it either a very melodic/symphonic-feeling active rock song, OR a very active rock feeling melodic rock song.  It would make this a perfect introduction to North American audiences if radio took a little time to think it through and add this into rotation, but instead of waiting for that to happen, I’m more than happy to share it here and help readers get a jump on things!



The title track off of the third studio album from this Vancouver, BC quartet was unveiled in the past week.  It could very well help the band pick up where they left off after a trio of top 20 hits from their last album (almost four years ago).  It never hurts to get a little help from your friends, so the appearance of guest Dan Donegan (Disturbed) certainly adds a little extra weight (although I’m not sure this radio-friendly track will need much additional help).  Johnny Hetherington has a new look (see the video for evidence), but remains in fine voice.




BLIND GUARDIAN – “At The Edge Of Time”

There may be more going on here than the human ear can follow.  Symphonic, progressive power metal featuring blazing guitars, soaring vocals and a full orchestra.  The song drives forward without relent, but if you don’t linger here and there, you will surely miss the insane detail lovingly crafted into every measure.  Everything about this song, and indeed the whole album, screams masterpiece.  The band, hailing from Germany, worked with three world class choirs and two ninety-piece orchestras for this latest release.


STARGAZERY – “Dim The Halo”

Two great musicians well known in their native Finland, vocalist Jari Tiura and guitarist Pete Ahonen, combine forces in Stargazery to produce the music Rainbow might be playing if they were together today.  Their chosen band name evokes memories of Dio-era Rainbow, but on “Dim the Halo” Jari is clearly channeling his inner Graham Bonnett.  Filled with classic guitar riffs and prominent keyboards, this is hard rock with lots of groove and a catchy melody.




SHADOWQUEST – “Last Farewell”

Epic song of final moments from bassist Jari Kainulainen’s new band (formerly of Stratovarious and Kotipelto).  Awesome passion in the great vocals of Pata Johansson and the guitar of Peter Huss.


KIRK – “Time”

You really feel time running out fast in this pressure-packed track off of the album, Masquerade, from Swiss power metal band, Kirk.  The guitar work (Sammy Lasagni) is reminiscent of Ritchie Blackmore, but at a furious pace kept in time expertly by Philipp Eichenberger.





NUCLEAR VALDEZ – “Summer” (1989)

Hailing from Miami, and comprised of all Hispanic members, Nuclear Valdez offered up something truly unique when they made their debut in 1989 with their vastly underrated album, I Am I.  Although “Summer” gained some attention at radio and MTV, the band never got the recognition that they so richly deserved.  This single offers a politically charged commentary about the Cuban revolution of 1959.  Unfortunately, the band would only go on to release two more albums (in 1991 and 2002).


THE DEAD DAISIES (f. SLASH) – “Lock ‘N’ Load” (2013)

Though The Dead Daisies are not a Latin hard rock band like the rest of my selections this week, they do feature Marco Mendoza (who spent his formative years in Mexico) on bass.  However, the inspiration for including The Dead Daisies with other Latin hard rock bands is their recent historic performances in Cuba.  There is a lot to love about this band (beyond the guest appearance by Slash).  Though they are far from a household name right now, this supergroup has incredible potential to become a transcendent band in the genre.  In addition to Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), the band also features GNR members Richard Fortus (guitar) and Dizzy Reed (keyboard), drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne), guitarist David Lowy and frontman Jon Stevens (INXS, Noiseworks).  One listen to “Lock ‘N’ Load,” and you will undoubtedly become a fan of The Dead Daisies!




SMASH INTO PIECES“A Friend Like You” (2013)

One of the benefits of discovering a new song from a previously unheard band is the opportunity to dig back into their catalog and find what you may have missed originally.   This was the second single from the band’s first full-length album (Unbreakable).  Lead vocalist, Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye does a fine job telling the story in song. The accompanying video fleshes out the story even more, providing a different take on complicated relationships from an angle that isn’t often addressed.


ART OF DYING (f. ADAM GONTIER) – “Raining” (2011)

The 2011 album Vices and Virtues produced three radio hits for the band, but I wonder, if not for circumstances, perhaps there might have been a fourth?  Adam Gontier exited Three Days Grace just weeks after this song was released as a single, and airplay for it never really materialized.  It seemed like a natural radio hit, and the relationship between the singer and the band was natural as well as band bassist, Cale Gontier, is the guest’s cousin.  For whatever reason(s), this solid track was underexposed.




TERRY BROCK – “Up All Night” (2001)

Terry Brock showcases the perfect voice for melodic rock on his solo album.  Add in some cool riffs and tight writing, and you have a combination that cannot miss.  Now you might think that this is a love song as you start to listen, but by the time you reach the end, you’ll understand what the singer’s frustration is really about!


PLACE VENDOME – “Cross The Line” (2005)

When Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) teamed up with members of Pink Cream 69 and Vanden Plas in 2005, the resulting all-star project was nothing less than magic. They’ve put out two more albums since, but “Cross the Line” (from their eponymous debut) boldly announced their arrival on the melodic rock scene.




MEGADETH – “Elysian Fields” (1994)

Just over 20 years old, one of my favorite tracks from Mustaine and company off of 1994’s Youthanasia.  Great and memorable song of glory, appropriate to a resting place for heroes.


Y&T – “Mean Streak” (1982)

Another favorite.  Unforgettable riffs open up this heavy and classic “man-eater” track from Y&T from way back in 1983.  Dave Meniketti and the band are still going strong.



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

Interview with Crash Midnight’s Shaun Soho

Shaun Soho Photo

Photo courtesy of John Caruso


Hard Rock Daddy recently featured Crash Midnight’s single – “151” – on Music Discovery Monday, and a brief interview with frontman, Shaun Soho.  The song was also featured on the Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.  Buckle up your seat belts, and get ready to take an entertaining ride with Soho as we talk about the origin of the band’s name, the impact that they are having in their hometown of Boston and more!


The story behind the naming of Crash Midnight definitely fits with the vibe of your music.  Let’s talk about how the name came to be…

It actually happened before we were even a band, when it was just Bo, Alex and me.  Alex had only moved out to Boston from Columbus, OH two weeks earlier.  We decided that we would start a hard rock, blues-based band that would capture the stuff that Aerosmith was doing way back when, and what Guns N’ Roses hit on with Appetite For Destruction.  We had that idea in our heads, but no idea for a band name yet.

You have to know Bo to really appreciate this story.  Bo’s the kind of guy that will break an expensive vase and then be proud of himself for sweeping up the floor afterwards. (laughs)

Anyway, it was the middle of the damn night, and I was dead asleep.  Bo calls me all fired up, and I think that something exciting has happened.  I’m groggily trying to process what he’s saying as he tells me that he’s got a great idea for the band, and that he captured what we were going for.

He said…“what do you think of the name Crash Midnight?”

I’ve got one eye open and I’m half asleep, so I told him that it sounded like a cool name, and asked him if that was it.  He told me that he needed a ride.  I asked him where he was.  Thankfully, he was close to home.  He said that his car was up on this rubble after hitting a tree, and that it was leaking gasoline.  The tow truck driver said that he couldn’t pull it off because it would drag over the rocks and make sparks, and that they needed to get a crane to the car off.

So, Bo casually told me that he needed a ride. (laughs) And that’s how we got the band name.  It’s been a chaotic disaster ever since, but we’ve all managed to stay alive.


Sounds like a throwback to the recklessness of 80s bands…

If there is anything that we took from the 80s bands, it’s that leap-before-you-look mentality.  We get ourselves into situations with no thought as to how we will get out of them, but it always ends up working out, so I guess somebody’s looking out for us. (laughs)


How would you define Crash Midnight’s sound?

Old Aerosmith with a little bit of the GNR mentality (but not really as heavy as Appetite For Destruction), mixed with the punk stuff that we are into like Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, and especially, a band called The Dead Boys out of Cleveland.  They really have this great way of making the subject matter sound really authentic.


You mentioned a number of different influences, but when I listened to the album, the one that struck me was vintage Def Leppard, specifically their debut album, On Through The Night, which had a very raw sound…

That’s actually really funny that you came up with that.  When I was a little kid getting into music, the two bands that made me pick up the guitar were KISS and Def Leppard (back when they had some “nuts” to them).


As much as I like the record, I can tell that you guys have a sound that really comes alive on stage…

That’s something that makes us feel good out on tour.  People come up to us and tell us about how much they like the album, but that seeing us live is just a totally different animal.  With so many bands out there not able to live up to their albums in concert, I really like that we are able to surpass ours when we play live.  Maybe it just says something about our lack of prowess in the studio. (laughs)

I think that it’s just so hard for us to capture the sound that we’re looking for in the studio.  Even though I love Mutt Lange, we weren’t trying to come out with a super-polished sounding album.  We wanted something a little more edgy, but it’s really a fine line between sounding over-produced and sounding like a demo recorded in a garage.


I think that you managed to walk that fine line…

Our producer Kenny Lewis of Mixed Emotion Studios here in Boston ended up really helping us nail it.  He’s a huge fan of 70s, sludgy sounding Aerosmith tunes.  We tried to capture the sound as if that band stepped out of the 70s into a studio today and recorded an album.


You definitely did.  It’s great to hear that classic “dirty” rock sound that makes you feel good and want to go out and have a shot and party.  And the funny thing is, I’m not really much of a drinker, but your music makes me want to go drink…

That’s what we’re going for.  We’re trying to create a nation of alcoholics, one person at a time.  (laughs)  A lot of our stuff on the album is very up-tempo and energetic, and lends itself to partying.  We were able to capture something with this band that none of us have been able to capture with our previous bands.


Why do you think that is?

We really dissected what we like about all of our influences.  Because of that, people tend to reference 80s bands when it comes to us, but we really didn’t draw that much out of the 80s, although I learned to sing along to Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) and Brad Delp (Boston), and we did take a page out of Motley Crue’s social playbook. (laughs)


I really feel like Active Rock radio needs to incorporate more stuff like Crash Midnight into their rotation, but I guess we’ll see if they are forward-thinking enough to push the envelope.  Was radio ever a concern when writing the album?

You can try to copy what’s out there the way that bands did the 80s trying to be like Def Leppard, or today where there are a lot of generic hard rock bands with the Nickelback sound, but that was never for us.

If you’re going to get into the music business today, especially rock music, there’s just not the money that there once was back in the day.  So, if you’re doing this, you better be dedicated and believe in what you’re doing.  I’d rather just do something else than to play stuff that sounds generic to me.


I agree, but it definitely makes things more challenging to push the envelope with your sound…

We were very lucky to get signed by our label (Bronx Bridge).  They recognized that we had a lot of momentum going regionally, so they let us record the album on our terms, from the sound of the songs to song selection.

We’re not wildly far off from some of the stuff that’s out there, and I’m happy to see bands like Royal Blood having success with a sound that is not at all generic.  Our stuff will stand out (for better or worse), and it’s going to be up to our fans to push it on through.


One of the songs that seems to really capture the essence of the band is “Welcome To Boston,” but you almost left it off of the album.  Why is that?

The song was only added as a last-minute switch.  It was originally called “Nothing To Lose,” and it was written about the general mentality of people from Boston.  We have a chip on our shoulders, and to use a hockey metaphor, we’re always ready to “drop the gloves” at a moment’s notice if somebody looks at us the wrong way.

We originally left it off of the album because it was a little bit “metal-y” compared to the rest of the songs, and we thought that the title was a little trite because many other bands have songs with similar ideas.

Some of our friends in the sports world here asked us if we had any songs about Boston that they could use.  Even though it didn’t say it directly when it was called “Nothing To Lose,” the song was always about Boston; I don’t know why we never thought of it before.  So, we stopped beating around the bush and just renamed it “Welcome To Boston.”

The song has really taken off.  We’ve got the Patriots and Boston College playing it, and we’re working on some stuff with the Red Sox and the Bruins.  It kind of became a really galvanizing thing around here for us, and it’s very cool that it became sort of this hometown anthem.


You guys have done support dates with The Pretty Reckless and Adelita’s Way.  Do you have any tours lined up to support the album?

We also did a run with Sevendust and Gemini Syndrome.  Now, with radio starting, we’re keeping ourselves open to do sponsored concerts and in-studios for rest of the winter.  We’re going to be looking to jump on something to the equivalent of The Pretty Reckless in the spring.


If you had your choice of a few bands, who would you like to play with ideally?

You know what’s funny?  I get that question most from my mom more than anyone else.


I’m very thorough.  I do my research.  I called your mom before this interview, and she told me to get this question answered for her.

(Laughs) We got to go out with a heavy hitter who we grew up with in Sevendust, and a relatively newer act in The Pretty Reckless.  Each had very different fanbases, which I’m sure had to do with one being younger and female-fronted.

I think that the energy from younger fans makes for a better show from us.  Most of the people on The Pretty Reckless shows hadn’t heard a thing from us, but they gave us an incredible amount of support.  It was very validating to have all of those kids come up to us after the concert, buying our stuff and asking us to take pictures with them.


That gives me hope for the younger generation!  I feel like most rock shows that I go to these days skew a bit older…

It was a really interesting crowd with The Pretty Reckless.  You had some young teenage girls, and sometimes even younger than that because of the all-ages shows.  They would show up with their dads wearing a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt or something similar.  The dads had us take pictures with their daughters, which in my mind, would be the last thing that you’d want to do if you had a daughter. (laughs)


Thanks for a very entertaining interview, Shaun.  Looking forward to seeing you guys live when you come to town.

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…

Music Discovery Monday – 2/23/15

Music Discovery Monday - Revolution Saints

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/23/15.

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 legendary Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) about his latest project, Revolution Saints.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)


“Turn Back Time” is the first single off of the eponymous debut album (which drops tomorrow) from supergroup, Revolution Saints.  Featuring Steve Perry-esque vocals, the song captures the classic Journey sound. This is (drummer) Deen Castronovo’s first album as the featured lead singer, but you would never know it by hearing his spectacular range.  It’s hard to imagine Castronovo finding a better complementary singer than Jack Blades, who trades vocals in Night Ranger and has done so in the past with Damn Yankees and his collaboration with Shaw/Blades.  Along with former Whitesnake guitarist, Doug Alrich, Castronovo and Blades are a power trio to be reckoned with, and if not for their commitment to other projects, there is no telling what heights Revolution Saints would reach.  With this track, they have definitely “turned back time” to a bygone era (in a good way).



When it comes to releasing singles, Frontiers Records doesn’t waste any time.  “Back On My Trail” – the third single off of the band’s forthcoming debut album – gives another taste of what this power trio has to offer.  While “Turn Back Time” had a distinctive Journey sensibility, “Back On My Trail” brings each member’s influence to the forefront and blends them together perfectly.  With an edgier, high-intensity sound, “Back On My Trail” grabs your attention from the first note, and then continues to impress throughout with Alrich’s outstanding guitar work, and a powerful, driving rhythm by Blades and Castronovo.  Equally impressive is the vocal harmonies by a band that is in its infancy, yet sounds like they have been playing together for decades.  If you are a fan of bands like Journey, Night Ranger and Whitesnake, you will absolutely love this track (and the entire album for that matter).


In a recent conversation with Hard Rock Daddy, Jack Blades shared a great story about the writing and recording process of “Turn Back Time”

“I co-wrote ‘Turn Back Time’ with our producer, Alessandro Del Vecchio (who wrote most of the album). Musically, the song was done, but I wrote the lyrics because it’s been years since I had to sing anything that I didn’t write, and ‘Turn Back Time’ was written to be a duet with Deen and me.

Deen and I went to the studio Portland, OR together to sing the song. Since the song was set up to to be a duet already, we just decided that Deen would start the verse and I then would come in half way through the verse.

When we first started recording, Deen was coming in kind of low for his range, and then when I came in, Deen said ‘That’s a lead singer…that’s the way it should be done!’ He got really excited as he normally does because he’s a very excitable guy. That gave him the green light for the second verse to do the same thing as me, and take it off to another place.

At the end of the song, Deen was kind of scatting, and I was thinking that I can’t harmonize to that because he’s just going off singing all of this great stuff. Alessandro was looking at me, and I just told him to roll the tape. He asked if we should talk about it, and I told him to just hit record because what Deen did was fresh in my mind. He did that on one take, and I was like ‘holy shit!’

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and then it hit me to just answer Deen with my own ad libs. Deen and Alessandro were in the other room, and when I finished, they said…’that’s it…it’s done!” I asked what I did, and they said that they didn’t know, but we’ll play it back so that you can hear it. Everything was done in one take. I walked out and said…’I am not going to fuck that up! That’s the way that it is, and that’s the way that it’s going to stay!’

We were all looking at each other saying…’now that’s the way to make a record!’ The lesson in this is that Deen has this natural instinct to sing this great stuff from being around Journey, and when someone does that around me, it leads me into doing the same thing. It just blossomed into what happened at the end, and I’m just really, really proud of it (as you can tell).”





British blues-rock band fronted by a Glasgow-born singer.  It’s not entirely everyone’s idea of hard rock, and I’ll admit to struggling to figure out exactly what to think of them since they first crossed my radar last year.  The conclusion that I’ve reached thus far is that they’re quite good at what they do, with a singer that stands out from the crowd (in a good way) by a pretty solid margin.  There’s something to be said for being damned good at what you do — no matter what you’re doing — and they’re more than deserving of a listen so that you can draw your own conclusion.


THE TREATMENT“Running With The Dogs”

Straight-up rock n’ roll from this English band proves that keeping it relatively simple can be exceptionally effective.  The title track from their second album is a great introduction for the uninitiated, with an AC/DC vibe, but enough additional elements to avoid any accusations of copying the legends.  Matt Jones’ vocals, the band’s harmony choruses, and another round of spot-on production makes this a song (and a band) that any lover of hard rock needs to not only know, but know well.





Crisp piano keys punctuate the intro to “F.E.V.E.R.” before yielding to wild guitars and epic vocals.  This power metal band out of Germany returns strong in 2015 with Ravenhead, their fifth studio album, packed with the heavy, well-crafted music, that at times shows elements of folk metal as well as progressive metal.


NIGHTINGALE – “Forevermore”
Dan Swano sets aside the death metal vocals that he’s famous for elsewhere, to belt out smoother melodies with his progressive rock outfit, Nightingale. “Forevermore” highlights those vocal talents, together with the expert musicianship of his bandmates, in a tightly written song packed with yearning and amazing, ambiguous lyrics.





HARMONY – “In Search Of”

Harmony is what this track from the Swedish metal outfit with the same name is all about.  “In Search of” (from Theatre of Redemption) leads off with driving, heavy rhythm lines (Enbert and Dafras), and quality voices – the band members can all sing – (led by Daniel Heiman).  Standout guitars licks (Markus Sigfridsson), keyboards (John Svensson) and of course the vocal harmonies all impress on “In Search Of.”


PERIPHERY – “Heavy Heart”

Periphery’s “Heavy Heart” is a dark track about fighting against the intense weight of troubles.  Appropriately heavy and relentless throughout, the music is grave and complex.  Spencer Sotelo’s vocals have an intensity that rises above of the heaviness – a fitting passion for the song.





NIGHT RANGER – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” (1982)

The younger generation of hard rock music fans may think of “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” as a song from the Rock Band video game, but the “MTV Generation” will remember this as the song that introduced us to one of the most prolific bands to emerge from the 80s.  Over three decades later, the band continues to have a meaningful presence in the hard rock music genre.  “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” is a quintessential 80s hard rock song that has stood the test of time to this day.


WHITESNAKE – “Forevermore” (2011)

Night Ranger had their fair share of videos on MTV, but the most iconic hard rock video of 80s definitely belongs to Whitesnake with “Here I Go Again.”  Back in 1987 when it was released, no one could have ever predicted that MTV would turn their backs on the genre, and then videos in general.  While that time period is arguably the pinnacle of Whitesnake’s career, it doesn’t mean that they lost any relevance to a legion of fans who still admire them to this day.  The band is getting ready to release their first studio album in four years in the near future.  “Forevermore” – the title track off of the band’s 2011 release – is a classic, bluesy power ballad that starts off with David Coverdale’s signature soulful vocals before kicking into high gear with a mystical, Zeppelin-esque sound.  The impressive, bluesy shredding guitar work on this song is proof-positive that Dee Snider was way off the mark when he inexplicably blasted Doug Aldrich for his contributions to Whitesnake (see full story).  Although Aldrich has left the band to pursue projects like Revolution Saints (see above), he certainly left his mark with Whitesnake, particularly on this highly underrated track.





SCORPIONS“We’ll Burn The Sky” (1977)

With the release of a brand new album this month, it seems only fitting to take a look back into the catalog of these German icons.  Originally appearing on Taken By Force, this song would reappear on the band’s first live album, Tokyo Tapes.  It’s from a time of transition for the group – the first album with Herman Rarebell on drums and the last album with Uli Jon Roth on lead guitar.  Roth is credited as co-writer on the song, along with Monika Dannemann, who reportedly wrote the lyrics originally as a poem to her ex-boyfriend, Jimi Hendrix.  Despite the changes that would come, the sound is one that the group would develop as a signature…vocally a ballad, but with instrumental elements that were uncompromisingly hard rock.



One of the downsides of the rotating cycle of Alter Bridge and Slash albums is that their proximity to each other almost precludes going deeper than two singles from either.  That may account for why this track isn’t one of the better known from the past few years.  It’s easily my favorite track to date from their collaborative efforts, instead of gushing any further about it I’ll just stop here and let you listen in peace.





CIRCUS MAXIMUS  “Zero”  (2007)

Circus Maximus, a progressive metal band out of Norway, scored a huge power ballad back in 2007 with “Zero.”  Technically brilliant and utterly haunting, it will absolutely crush you….in a good way!  The mood is dark; the build-up is glorious, and there’s a guitar solo that mustn’t be missed!  Highly recommended, especially for fans of early Dream Theater.


ZENO – “Shades Of Blue” (2006)

The great Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) has an equally great, if less famous brother, Zeno. In “Shades of Blue”, Zeno demonstrates his prowess beyond any doubt, playing every instrument on the album brilliantly!  The only limelight he shares is with Martin Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart), who provides the amazing vocals to round out a masterful song from a masterful album.




HALESTORM – “Tell Me Where It Hurts” (2009)

Great tune from Lzzy and company. “Tell Me Where It Hurts” is a bonus track from Halestorm’s 2009 debut album.  The chorus of this black n blue tune will stick with you as Hale shows off her range and style.  This track helped Halestorm to establish themselves amidst the numerous acts out there.


REDEMPTION – “What Will You Say” (2009)

Prog Metal band Redemption shows off a wide array of talent on “What Will You Say” from Snowfall on Judgement Day.  Great changes of pace throughout this track about remembrance.  Standout vocals (Ray Alder) and percussion (Chris Quirarte).  Give the rest of the album a listen, too.



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

Music Discovery Monday – 2/16/15

Music Discovery Monday - Crash Midnight (2)

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/16/15.

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 (and entertaining) interview with Shaun Soho, frontman of up-and-comers, Crash Midnight.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)


You won’t find many (if any) hard rock bands today that cite artists like Hanoi Rocks, the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop as influences, but Crash Midnight is not like most bands.  Describing themselves as “a collision of classic 70s festival rock with a punk swagger,” the band has burst onto the scene with “151” – a party rocker with an infectious groove that has quickly become a fan favorite.  In a day and age where most modern hard rock acts fit comfortably into the Active Rock category, Crash Midnight dares to be different in a refreshing way.  Like Guns N’ Roses and fellow Bostonians, Aerosmith, this is a band with plenty of swagger and a sound that is tailor-made for the stage.  If radio programmers are smart, they will jump on “151” when it hits radio on 2/24/15!


In a recent interview with frontman, Shaun Soho, we discussed the inspiration behind “151”

“When we were first starting out, there were 5-6 guys crammed into this little apartment in Kenmore Square (right by Fenway Park).  We didn’t have a lot of money; we were just scraping by, trying to make something of Crash Midnight. 

We would always have big parties at our house, and no matter what, we would always scrape up enough money for booze.  151 gave us the biggest bang for our buck.  For about $23, we were able to get everybody ripped!  We used to mix it with Dr. Pepper, which made it look and taste like jet fuel, which is actually in the lyrics of the song. 

The writing of the song wasn’t intentional; we were just screwing around.  We would sit around listening to all sorts of classic rock stuff by some of our influences and heroes.  When Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Night Train’ came on, we were all fairly well lit already, so we started spoofing lyrics about 151 over the song, and we thought that it was hilarious. 

For weeks and weeks after that, people would be asking us to play ‘that 151 song’ at parties.  We kept playing it, and then people would start shouting it out at concerts, which makes sense because all the people that came to the parties were the people that came to the shows, so it was just one extended party.

Since people kept requesting it, we decided that we had to really work something out so that it didn’t just become ‘Night Train’ part 2.  We sat back, ripped it apart, and ended up making it into its own song.  Since both songs are in the same key, they do step on each other’s toes a bit though. 

It’s funny how stuff works in this industry.  People tell you that the song that you never intended to be a hit will be your biggest one.  We didn’t even intend ‘151’ to be a song, much less a hit, but it’s about to go to radio on February 24th as our first single!”



FRAMING HANLEY – “Twisted Halos”

Framing Hanley deservedly got a ton of mileage from “Criminal” – the first single off of their latest album, The Sum Of Who We Are, so it’s hard to understand why “Twisted Halos” didn’t get the same kind of attention at radio.  The song features the same smooth vocal delivery of Kenneth Nixon, great vocal harmonies and crunching guitars.  If anything, “Twisted Halos” is even a bit edgier than “Criminal,” (especially the guitars).  The seamless transitions and breaks show just how tight the band is together.  Somehow, radio missed on track, but based on early indications, they seem ready to embrace Framing Hanley’s latest single, “Collide,” which is likely to enter the Active Rock radio Top 50 this week.






Rap-rock, party-rock, whatever genre label you prefer, it’s hard to deny the impact and popularity of Los Angeles outfit Hollywood Undead, after sales of more than two million combined units for their first three albums.  Because of that, it is a little surprising that radio didn’t pay more attention when the title track from their upcoming album was revealed in late 2014.  With the release of the album now only a month or so away, the track could still generate more widespread interest (and deservedly so), within the niche.



WOVENWAR“Death To Rights”

Born from the wreckage of As I Lay Dying, Wovenwar debuted in late 2014 with a positive reception for their debut single, “All Rise.”  The follow-up track takes a similar approach with a blistering instrumental opening that gives way to more accessible vocals.  It’s a powerful combination, with vocalist Shane Blay again proving himself to be a solid choice to deliver the words that go with the music.  Familiar, yet new, this is a band that seems like a legitimate force to be reckoned with.






Finland’s premiere symphonic metal band, Nightwish, returns with new lead singer Floor Jansen (After Forever, Re-Vamp).  A classically trained soprano, Jansen has the pipes to deliver on the demanding songs of her predecessors, as well as the new material coming out March 31.  The first single, “Elan,” highlights her talent over the backdrop of a Celtic melody and inviting lyrics that keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen tells us were inspired by Walt Whitman.



VEGA – “Wherever We Are”

British melodic rockers, Vega, combine the 80s stadium rock of bands like Def Leppard with their own modern vibe.  They hit it out of the park with “Wherever We Are,” from their third and latest album, with high-range vocals by Nick Workman and a monster chorus that stays with you long after the song is over.





MR. BIG – “Gotta Love The Ride”

Hard-n-heavy right out of the gate, Mr. Big shows that they’ve still got it with Gotta Love the Ride.”  Paul Gilbert’s guitar shreds throughout this great new tune, changing pace and ripping through his usual great solo, and Eric Martin’s ageless vocals seem effortless.  Sheehan and Torpy’s rhythm/percussion is unmistakable.  The band’s signature sound is intact after all these years.  Looking forward to hearing this one when I see them in concert!




Atmospheric Progressive Metal Instrumental from the Netherlands: Shylamagoghnar’s I Am The Abyss” is an awesome, epic overture with all of the music performed by the two members in the band (Nimblkorg and Skirge).  Don’t bother with pronunciations, but do go on the powerful journey with them through dark and light.





TESLA – “Song And Emotion” (1991)

It is commonly believed that this raw, emotional song was written as a tribute to Steve Clark, one of Def Leppard’s original guitarists who died from an overdose of prescription pills and alcohol just before his 31st birthday.  While Clark’s death ultimately factored into the song, the it was already a work in progress.  Click here to watch the band discuss the inspiration for this incredibly raw and moving song that features the signature raspy vocals of Jeff Keith and Frank Hannon’s powerful (Clark-esque) guitar playing.  A timeless classic that is as poignant and memorable today as it was back in 1991.



DEF LEPPARD – “Rock Brigade” (1980)

To the average hard rock fan, Def Leppard is an extremely polished arena rock band defined by their saccharine vocal harmonies.  However, long before the passing of the aforementioned Steve Clark or the tragic accident that cost drummer, Rick Allen, his left arm, Def Leppard broke onto the scene with a dirty, unpolished garage band sound.  The lead track off of the band’s 1980 debut album, On Through The Night, “Rock Brigade” is a gritty melodic rocker that opens with dirty guitars and the crash of a China cymbal.  The vocals are considerably more raw than what most people envision when Def Leppard comes to mind (but in a good way).  One of the few Def Lep songs that is actually enhanced by the crackling sound of a needle on vinyl.





MERCY DRIVE“Burn In My Light” (2006)

For all the issues that rock seems to have breaking into the mainstream in recent years, one avenue that has been successful is through professional wrestling.  Based out of central Florida, Mercy Drive may not be a household name on rock radio, but their sound is instantly familiar to fans of the WWE as the intro music for superstar Randy Orton.  Publishing issues prevented the track from appearing on their debut album, and within a year of its release, Mercy Drive disbanded.  In late 2014, the band announced that several members were currently working on material for a new album.



SHAMAN’S HARVEST“Broken Dreams” (2010)

While 2014 saw this Missouri band score both chart and critical success with “Dangerous” (a worthy follow-up to their 2009 hit, “Dragonfly”), they are recognizable to fans of the WWE universe as the sound that brought several superstars to the ring in recent years.  This song was the entrance music for superstar Drew McIntyre during his most successful run.  It’s a soulful, southern rock flavored tune that fits well in between their successes on the rock radio charts.





DOGPOUND – “Glass Jar” (2007)

Heavy, but full of hooks, “Glass Jar” pounds out the story of a man plotting his escape from a life gone wrong. With great riffs and a driving bass, it’s melodic metal from Sweden that strikes all the right notes, both musically and lyrically.



MESSIAH’S KISS – “Thunder Of The Night” (2007)

The power metal clichés abound, but who cares?  This song is epic!  Screaming riffs and snarling, soaring vocals cascade into a glorious chorus on this offering from the German band’s third album.





STRYPER “Two Time Woman” (1990)

Stryper’s Against the Law release came and went in stealth-mode.  “Two Time Woman” is my favorite off of the album, and top 5 from them all-time.  Their signature is all over this bright and heavy metal track, and the content is a refreshing change of pace from the usual Christian Metal lyrics.  It’s almost refreshingly “dirty” for their image.  This is Sweet, Sweet, Gaines and Oz Fox at their best!



OZZY OSBOURNE & RANDY RHODES – “You Looking At Me Looking At You” (1981/2002)

Gotta dig deep into Ozzy’s tracks for “You Looking At Me Looking At You” – a great one off of Blizzard of Ozz.  You won’t find it in the original release, only as a bonus track in the 2002 version.  Even stacked up against the greats on this album, you’ll wonder why they didn’t just add song #10 in the first place.  Randy’s solo is off the charts, and this feelgood track is a great change of pace from the darker subject matter of this legendary album.



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

Music Discovery Monday – 2/9/15

Music Discovery Monday - Slam Cartel

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/9/15.

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 Steve Campkin, drummer of Slam Cartel.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

SLAM CARTEL – “Hypnotised”

Every once in a while, you come across a band that grabs your attention from the first note.  London rockers, Slam Cartel, fit into that category.  The band has been through their share of trials and tribulations, but have persevered to put out their appropriately titled debut album, Handful Of Dreams“Hypnotised” begins with a Tool-like bass line and transitions into powerful guitar chords before pulling back to a verse with a “hypnotizing” cool vibe, and vocals that are reminiscent of Jon Bon Jovi.  As the song builds towards the chorus, it takes a surprisingly heavy turn much like Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates.”  The band’s ability to seamlessly transition from Tool to Bon Jovi to Pantera influences makes for a fascinating, “hypnotic” musical journey that should leave you more than a little intrigued.


In a recent interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Slam Cartel drummer, Steve Campkin, shared the writing process behind “Hypnotised” and the meaning of the lyrics…

“The original riff, the bass line that introduces the song, was something Marc (Neudeck) played by accident.  I opened up a recording program on my laptop, recorded it, put some chords over it, and it grew from there.

Our guitarist Terry (Warville) and producer George (De Angelis) played about with some dynamics.  We worked with Gary (Moffat) on the vocals, and finally Damo (Fawsett) put his unique guitar over it.  It was a real team effort that changed so much while we worked on it.  The keyboards were George’s idea – just make the whole thing epic!

I tried to get a John Bonham ‘When The Levee Breaks’ feel on the drums – not the beat, just the groove.

I think the bass line inspired the lyrics; it’s hypnotic on its own.  For me, the song is about someone struggling against the perceived ‘norm’ and the constant bombardment of bullshit from the mainstream media.  Sometimes it’s tempting to just give in, watch X-Factor, listen to pop music, eat junk food, get drunk and hate whoever is being demonized in the Daily Mail this week, whether it’s Russell Brand or single mums.  Big Brother is real, and it’s not easy standing up against him.

The chorus is the higher self, the free will, the part of you that knows the truth, saying…

‘I can turn you upside down and inside out, and take you to places that we are too scared to talk about’ 

The idea is that the whole system is rigged.  Our politicians are bought and owned.  That the media controls the news and, thereby, your thoughts, is scary.  It’s obvious, but people willfully ignore it because it’s monolithic, and what on earth can we do about it?

It’s like that character in the Matrix that wants to be plugged back in, because reality is just too much.

Slam Cartel has been through some tough times recently, but we’ve evolved, changed and survived, and this is us saying so, and that we’re still here and still keeping it real!”



“Take Over” is a powerfully intense, anthemic rocker that features an aggressive rhythm, heavy guitars and the impassioned vocals of frontman, Ryan Hayes.  You might not expect such an angst-ridden sounding song to come from a Christian rock band, but Righteous Vendetta proves that rage and Christianity are not mutually exclusive.  If you want to get your blood pumping and your head banging, crank this one up to 11!





U.D.O. – “Decadent”

Maybe age really isn’t anything but a number.  At 62, Udo Dirkschneider certainly suggests that’s it not a handicap for one of heavy metal’s signature voices, as he delivers on the title track from the just-released new album.  It’s not an all-time classic, but it’s a more than respectable way to launch the band’s fifteenth studio album.


ACCEPT – “Stampede”

2014 brought Blind Rage – the fourteenth album from Accept, and the third with current vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick).  While not quite the 2012 Stalingrad masterpiece, this track proves that the band has remained relevant in the heavy metal world despite lineup changes and the occasional hiatus.   





BLOODBOUND – “Nightmares From The Grave”

Bloodbound pounds out power metal brimming over with harmonies on this release from their latest album, Stormborn.  What sets it apart is the eerie chorus of children’s voices that beautifully, if disturbingly, complements the rest of the piece.  The band has gone through major lineup changes and sound changes on their way to this sixth album, but they never seem to disappoint.


ANGELS OR KINGS – “Any Other Girl”

With a flourish of keyboards, Angels or Kings lets you know that you are in for an 80’s treat with “Any Other Girl.”  Having regrouped a few years ago, this band out of Manchester, England now adds the raspy vocals of Baz Jackson to their sound.  With big hooks and an infectious chorus, this is one catchy melodic rock anthem.






Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich join forces to become Revolution Saints.  “Turn Back Time” is great melodic, hard rock from the eponymous album of these three veterans.  Killer guitar from Alrdich leads the way as Blades and Castronovo crank out inspiring vocals while setting the energetic pace on the bass and percussion.


VEGA – “Stereo Messiah”

Melodic metal from the UK’s Vega.  Nick Workman’s vocals and Marcus Thruston’s guitars highlight this title track from their 2014 album.  “Stereo Messiah” is a driving and energetic track that will stick with you after the song finishes.  Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) was a guest collaborator on the album.





OUR LADY PEACE – “Starseed” (1994)

Hard rock definitely hit a lull in the 90s.  Most of the bands that launched during those transitional years were not built to last.  However, there are exceptions to every rule, and Our Lady Peace is living proof.  Although vocalist/guitarist, Raine Maida, is the lone remaining original member, the band still continues on to this day – more than two decades after their launch.  From the band’s debut album, Naveed, “Starseed” is the song that first garnered these Canadian rockers attention in the U.S., and helped to build a lasting foundation.


THE NIXONS – “Wire” (1995)

Unlike Our Lady Peace, The Nixons did not have the lasting career that you would have expected based on their major label debut album, Foma.  Although the band didn’t achieve the longevity as a unit that the success of Foma would have foreshadowed, the individual members have gone on to have meaningful music careers, most notably drummer, John Humphrey (Seether).  “Sister” was the track that became the biggest hit off of the album (and the band’s career for that matter), but “Wire” was the track that left the most lasting impression.




GODSMACK – “No Rest For The Wicked” (2006)

One of the things that seems to happen pretty easily with music is the rapid passage of time, which probably accounts for my surprise when realizing that Godsmack’s album (IV) represents the midpoint of the band’s career to date.  This album cut is vintage Sully Erna and Godsmack indeed – a representative waypoint in the evolution of the band.


SEETHER – “Fur Cue” (2011)

The last song recorded for Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray, I always think of “Fur Cue” as the “should have been a single” track.  Edgier than some of the better known material from the album (as the play on words title suggests), the song provides some of the “pissed-off” feeling that the band does quite well.




KORITNI – “Tornado Dreaming I & II” (2007)

The brilliant “Tornado Dreaming” appears as two separate tracks on Koritni’s 2007 album, Game of Fools.  The first part is more reflective, the second more purposeful.  Here they are properly combined for an uninterrupted romp bursting with guitars and driving rhythms.  This metal band out of France channels AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, but hits upon their own intense sound, and truly deserves to be better known!


KISKE/SOMERVILLE – “Silence” (2010)

A few years ago, two of metal’s greatest voices came together on this eponymous album.  Michael Kiske is most famous for his years with power metal pioneers Helloween, but twenty years later, he still hits every note and boasts added depth, and Amanda Somerville moves fluidly between opera and rock. Together they are spectacular!  They drafted an all-star cast for the instruments as well, including the great Magnus Karlsson on guitar and keyboards and Matt Sinner on bass.  “Silence” was the album’s biggest ballad, and everyone shines on it.





MAGNITUDE 9 – “Facing The Unknown” (2004)  

Magnitude 9 is a prog metal band from the U.S. that was around in the late 90s to early 2000s.  “Facing the Unknown” is off their last album back in 2004, Decoding the Soul.  Listen for some Queensryche & Geoff Tate influence on this track, especially when Corey Brown hits the high notes.  Great, lively pace and some fast and terrific guitar work from Rob Johnson.  Current status is unknown (hopefully they’re not gone for good).  Honorable mention to “Lies Within the Truth” and “Thorn” from the same album.


PAGAN’S MIND “Walk Away In Silence” (2011)

What a great lead-in to “Walk Away in Silence” from Norwegian Prog-Metal band, Pagan’s Mind, off their Heaven’s Ecstasy album.  This one takes off and doesn’t look back.  Big voice from Nils Rue (hide the glassware when he hits the high note of the song).  Driving and heavy right to the end.  The band’s DNA has been part of Firewind (Stian Kristoffersen – Drums), Eidolon (Rue) and Jorn (Jørn-Viggo Lofstad – guitars).



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

Music Discovery Monday – 2/2/15

Music Discovery Monday - Sons Of Texas

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

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 Jes De Hoyos, lead guitarist of Sons Of Texas.


 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

SONS OF TEXAS – “Baptized In The Rio Grande”

For the moment, Sons Of Texas is still a bit below the radar, but I don’t expect that to last much longer.  The band’s first single – “Baptized In The Rio Grande” (the title track from their forthcoming debut album) – is an instant attention-grabber. Hailing from McAllen, TX, this local all-star lineup was solidified in 2013, although their seasoned sound would lead you to believe that they have been together for much longer.  With an intense rhythm, shredding guitars and soulful vocals, the huge sound of these up-and-comers is just another example of everything being bigger in Texas.  (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).


Hard Rock Daddy is proud to have been the first one to interview the band (aside from local radio).  During my conversation with Jes De Hoyos, he shared the inspiration behind “Baptized In The Rio Grande”

“The song is gospel from the south, no doubt, but it’s got nothing to do with religion.  We come from a place way down at the southern tip of Texas called the Rio Grande Valley.  It’s not exactly  known as a hotbed for rock/metal music.  There are some highly talented musicians and acts that are from here, but you don’t come here to get discovered.  We were told by a lot of people that we had to move to a place like Austin or L.A. if we wanted to make it in music.  The mentality that we had is that it shouldn’t matter where you’re from, you should be able to expose yourself to the world no matter where you live.  Ultimately, the song is really an homage to where we’re from.”

The full interview with Jes De Hoyos will be featured in the near future on Hard Rock Daddy, in addition to a lot more coverage on Sons Of Texas.  Stay tuned!



As mentioned above, everything is bigger in Texas, and no better example exists in hard rock than THC frontman, Big Dad Ritch.  He describes the band’s sound as “Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top had a child, and Pantera ended up raising it.”  One listen to “Monster In Me,” and you will see that this is one cool kid.  Featuring a gritty groove tailor-made for exotic dancers to showcase their moves, “Monster In Me” is a great introduction to these rockers from Denison, TX. (see full Hard Rock Daddy review).





LEVEL 10 – “Cry No More”

Sometimes the names might explain things best:  Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), Matt Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner, Voodoo Circle), Roland Grapow (Helloween), plus more members of Primal Fear and Voodoo Circle.  Definitely on the heavier side of melodic, this is a song that deserves exponentially more attention in mainstream rock circles than it’s likely to receive from an album that will likely find its way onto a number of “Best Of” lists when 2015 comes to a close.


WITHIN TEMPTATION – “Covered By Roses”

Symphonic metal frontrunners, Within Temptation, enjoyed perhaps their biggest year ever in the U.S. with increased sales and increased airplay.  There’s more to the album Hydra than the hit single “What About Us,” which generated the most attention.  While not every song on the album is likely to suit the tastes of every hard rock fan, this particular track brings together Sharon den Adel’s remarkable vocal ability with a musical sound that brings to mind some of the Scorpions more melodic work.





ECLIPSE – “Stand On Your Feet”

Eclipse will return in late February with their newest album, Armageddonize, and if the first single is any indication, it’s going to be another hard-hitting melodic rocker with driving beats and heavy hooks. “Stand On Your Feet” showcases the powerful vocals of Erik Martensson, and the killer guitar of Magnus Henriksson.  This band out of Sweden got everything right on their 2012 album, Bleed and Scream, and they’re off to a strong start on this one.


WHITE WIDDOW – “Caught In The Crossfire”

Australian rockers White Widdow deliver the goods with “Caught in the Crossfire,” from their second album released near the end of 2014.  It features prominent keyboards and heavy harmonies with an 80s vibe that compares favorably to bands like Night Ranger and Giuffria.





ANTHEM – “Love Of Hell”

Anthem are Japanese metal veterans who have been around since the 80s.  Former members include greats like Graham Bonnet and Don Airey.  “Love of Hell” is great melodic metal that hits you from the opening chords.  The sound is a throwback to heavy metal from 20 years ago, but still sounds fresh and new. Yukio Morikawa, who is back for a repeat tour, delivers solid and impassioned vocals.


ELECTRO NOMICON – “Do You Remember”

Great emotion and power in this song of remembrance from Electro Nomicon’s Unleashing the Shadows.  Terrific rhythm line gives way to fantastic vocals from Diego Valdez – who, very fittingly, is reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio.  This band is cut from the same cloth with heavy, driving, rhythmic metal.  Juan Jose Fornes delivers great guitar licks throughout, with some really good, fast fretwork on the brief solo.  Check out the rest of the album as well.





ZAKK WYLDE – “What You’re Look’n For” (1996)

In between the launch of Black Label Society and Pride & Glory (Zakk Wylde’s first post-Ozzy project), Wylde released a solo record entitled Book Of Shadows.  This incredibly underrated album is much more about Wylde’s distinct, soulful, southern style vocals than his guitar playing.  While the whole album is brilliant, “What You’re Look’n For” is a standout track that combines powerfully emotive southern rock vocals with a musical style that is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Hey, Hey What Can I Do.”


CHRIS CORNELL – “Sunshower” (1988)

Featured on the soundtrack of 1988 film, Great Expectations – and included as a bonus track on the Japanese release of Chris Cornell’s first solo album, Euphoria Morning“Sunshower” is a departure from Cornell’s signature Soundgarden sound.  “Sunshower” offers a more subdued, soulful side of Cornell, although there are moments when he uses his power to provide a nice accent to the song and capture the emotion of the lyrics.





TERRORHAWKS – “You Can’t Take This” (2012)

It’s a little hard for me to believe that it’s been nearly three years since I first stumbled across this unsigned band from New Zealand that made such a good first impression.  Then again, it’s probably harder to believe that when their debut album releases later this year, it’ll be a band from New Zealand (by way of Sweden) where the two original members relocated, adding three European bandmates in the process.  Having top-notch assistance in the studio is a plus for the forthcoming album, but it’s the high quality and enthusiasm of this initial indie release that has me most looking forward to hearing more.


THE SLAM – “Tears In The Rain” (2011)

It’s not everyday that most of us run across a Serbian-based band with a Canadian-raised singer, but that’s the unpredictable nature of rock n’ roll; you never known where the good stuff will come from.  The production quality of “Tears In The Rain” immediately jumped out at me as among the best I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band (or from most signed bands for that matter).  Add in the standout voice of Serge Simic, and you end up with one of the most promising songs and bands in recent years that didn’t really crack the mainstream consciousness.





ILIUM “Fragmented Glory” (2009)

“Fragmented Glory” is a great piece of power metal that will get your adrenaline pumping.  From Australian band Ilium, this battle song boasts shades of Helloween and Iron Maiden. Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan), who almost sang for Deep Purple in the early 90’s, provides the vocals.





AIRTIME – “Liberty” (2007)

Airtime was a terrific project from Rik Emmett (Triumph) and Mike Shotten (Von Groove) that gave us back some of the sound that we loved and missed from Triumph over the years.  However, this not simply some repackaging.  You get the familiarity of melodic, edgy, inspiring arrangements with great complexity that includes hard-driving overtures and classical interludes.  “Liberty” is a mature, polished anthem that features great musicianship and vocals.


BRAZEN ABBOT – “Godforsaken” (2005)

Nikolo Kotzev organized Brazen Abbot in the early 2000s.  Progressive, power heavy metal that’s got some excellent DNA: Tony Harnell, Joe Lynn Turner, Goran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen), Erik Martensson (Eclipse).  “Godforsaken,” off of the My Resurrection album, is as powerful and rebellious as the title suggests.  Tony Harnell belts out the vocals as only he can with perfect tone and power.  Definitely check out the rest of the album as well.



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