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HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 1/7/17



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

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




TOP 50 ACTIVE ROCK SONGS OF 2016 (by spins)

 2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q4

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 1/7/17.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

1 1 HIGHLY SUSPECT “My Name Is Human” 2052
2 2 GHOST “Square Hammer” 1976
3 3 VOLBEAT “Seal The Deal” 1803
4 4 METALLICA “Atlas, Rise!” 1760
5 5 GREEN DAY “Still Breathing” 1701
6 6 AVENGED SEVENFOLD “The Stage” 1655
7 7 SHINEDOWN “How Did You Love” 1388
8 8 RED SUN RISING “Amnesia” 1240
9 9 DISTURBED “Open Your Eyes” 926
10 11 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again” 912
11 14 BEARTOOTH “Hated” 805
12 13 CHEVELLE “Door To Door Cannibals” 795
13 12 A DAY TO REMEMBER “Naivety” 767
14 15 KORN “Take Me” 751
15 17 SIXX:A.M. “We Will Not Go Quietly” 645
16 18 IN FLAMES “The Truth” 630
17 19 STARSET “Monster” 582
18 21 POP EVIL “If Only For Now” 570
19 20 KINGS OF LEON “Waste A Moment” 554
20 22 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS “Go Robot” 502
21 23 METALLICA “Moth Into Flame” 481
22 24 GEMINI SYNDROME “Remember We Die” 431
23 28 PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God” 379
24 26 DEVOUR THE DAY “The Bottom” 334
25 27 SICK PUPPIES “Where Do I Begin” 330
26 29 THROUGH FIRE “Breathe” 310
27 30 ADELITA’S WAY “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” 302
28 31 AVATAR “Night Never Ending” 263
29 38 BLEEKER “Highway” 252
30 32 BLINK-182 “She’s Out Of Her Mind” 252
31 33 FROM ASHES TO NEW “Breaking Now” 239
32 37 ART OF ANARCHY “The Madness” 225
33 35 GOODBYE JUNE “Oh No” 217
34 36 AMITY AFFLICTION “All Messed Up” 215
35 41 BADFLOWER “Animal” 195
36 40 METALLICA “Hardwired” 178
37 39 ONE LESS REASON “Break Me” 163
38 42 3 DOORS DOWN “The Broken” 141
39 43 NONPOINT “Divided…Conquer Them” 118
40 44 LAMB OF GOD “The Duke” 114
41 47 CROWN THE EMPIRE “Weight Of The World” 108
42 46 DOROTHY “Dark Nights” 106
43 48 THREE DAYS GRACE “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” 101
44 49 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Heavydirtysoul” 98
45 45 SYLAR “Dark Daze” 96
46 52 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Stressed Out” 93
47 54 K.FLAY “Blood In The Cut” 92
48 50 AFI “White Offerings” 86
49 53 OTEP “Royals” 84
50 57 LIKE A STORM “Pure Evil” 82




HALESTORM – “Still Of The Night”

Halestorm takes some recent trends (hard rock cover songs and a classic rock revival) and knocks it out of the park with their balls-to-the-wall interpretation of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night.”  There are a lot of powerful female vocalists out these days, but Lzzy Hale is on another level.  With a sexiness that rivals Hollywood actresses, a vocal delivery that stands toe-to-toe with the legendary voices of classic rock and an ability to appeal to rock fans across the generations, Hale is a unique talent.  Like many bands these days, Halestorm releases EPs so that they always have fresh material and can stay out on the road.  However, Halestorm is the only band that has created a recurring series of cover EPs (ReAniMate).  “Still Of The Night” is off of the latest installment (3.0).  Back in the ’80s, girls wanted to be with David Coverdale and guys wanted to be him.  Fast forward three decades, and Hale has reversed that trend (although you have to imagine that she has her fair share of female suitors).  As usual, Hale and company have delivered a kickass cover that pays homage to the original while making it their own.




2017 begins as 2016 ended – with Highly Suspect’s “My Names Is Human” sitting on top once again (despite a moderate decline in spins).  Ghost closed the gap with a moderate gain in spins, but even a replication of this week will not be enough to reach the top.  At this point, the only prediction that can be made is that radio should get back to work, because it still looks like things are on autopilot.  Here’s another prediction far from the top…Twenty One Pilots will see the return of “Stressed Out” fall off the chart once again (where it belongs).  There is absolutely no rationale for the song coming back onto the chart again long after it made its run.  If you read this column regularly, you know our feelings about the band even being on the chart in the first place.


HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

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


HALESTORM “Still Of The Night”






CHRYSALIS – “My Eternity”




Twenty One Pilots“Stressed Out”

Twenty One Pilots“Heavydirtysoul”

K-Flay“Blood In The Cut”

Head & The Heart“All We Ever Knew”

Kings Of Leon“Waste A Moment”

Blink 182“She’s Out Of Her Mind”


Green Day – “Bang Bang”



THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


The beat goes on (and on and on) for Highly Suspect on top of the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart for an eighth consecutive week. Ghost and Volbeat remain second and third for their sixth straight week in those spots.



Breaking Benjamin slips into the Top 10…

The only new entry in the Top 20 is from Pop Evil

Bleeker makes a big jump into the Top 30, Avatar rises into that tier as well…

Returning to the Top 40 this week is Badflower.  Three other songs reach that strata despite having fewer spins than the week before….

There are four songs arriving in the Top 50 this week but the most interesting (and puzzling) case might be the Twenty One Pilots track that returns after nearly a year’s absence, having spent 13 weeks on the chart previously starting as far back as November 2014.




Green Day“Still Breathing”

Pretty Reckless“Oh My God”




A Day To Remember“Naivety”

One Less Reason“Break Me”

Sylar“Dark Daze”



Yes, Active Rock radio has resorted to recycling songs that ran their course over a year ago. It’s reaching the point that I can’t really even try to explain some of the things that happen without the use of very strong language.   Since I’m trying to avoid that, I’m uncharacteristically at a loss for words.



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

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/17/16


Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/17/16

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

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

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



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – “The Bleeding” (2007)

Five Finger Death Punch is arguably the biggest rock band of this generation.  They’ve become so popular that you expect every single that they release to be somewhat successful at the very least, and more often than not, battling to reach the top of the Active Rock radio chart.  Once upon a time, the band was just breaking onto the scene with their debut album (The Way Of The Fist) and their first single, “The Bleeding.”

The song, about love and loss, was written about frontman Ivan Moody’s previous band (Motograter) and his ex-fiance.  The two partings came around the same time, on the heels of the loss of a close friend.  According to Moody, “The Bleeding” is probably the most personal song that he’s ever written.

It’s hard to think of another vocalist who taps into the angst the way that Moody does, wearing his emotion on his sleeve in a visceral way that makes you feel his pain.  If you listen to the lyrics, you can almost visualize the struggle going on inside of Moody’s mind.  Like most FFDP songs, “The Bleeding” is raw, powerful and real.

THE WILDHEARTS “29x The Pain” (1994)

The Wildhearts have had a successful career in their native Britain, but have failed to achieve worldwide commercial success for various reasons, ranging from battles with their record company to drug and depression problems.  With the exception of the band’s founder/singer/guitarist/songwriter, Ginger (David Walls), the band has featured a revolving door of musicians.

Although “29x the Pain” is over 20 years old, I just discovered it recently when a friend (that I worked with in 1994) shared it on social media.  In the song, the band pays homage to a number of Ginger’s musical influences ranging from The Beatles to Kiss to Twisted Sister to Kurt Cobain to Cheap Trick and beyond.  The most notable mention is of Husker Du, whose song “59 Times the Pain” was the inspiration for “29x the Pain.”  The song is about the uplifting effect that music has on a fan.

If you’re a fan of mood-lifting Cheap Trick songs like “Surrender” and “Dream Police,” make sure to check this song (and band) out.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

ARCH ENEMY – “My Apocalypse” (2005)

One of the most impressive and enduring death metal bands from Sweden has to be Arch Enemy, not just because of their female vocalist (Angela Gossow), but because of how great the musicianship was.  Members of the band all played in various other bands such as Carcass, Carnage, Mercyful Fate and Nevermore (to name a few).  “My Apocalypse” – from Arch Enemy’s sixth album, Doomsday Machine – is a great example of this musicianship.  It’s heavy, melodic and the intro makes the listener bang their heads and growl along.  Gossow left the band a couple years ago to manage Arch Enemy, but her replacement (Alissa White-Gluz) is just as great a frontwoman.


LACUNA COIL – “Swamped” (2002)

Continuing with my homage to female-fronted metal acts, Lacuna Coil was always a favorite of mine.  Although their newer albums have been a little more radio-friendly and “poppier,” their first several releases were straight-up heavy goth metal along the same lines as Type-O-Negative.  “Swamped” is from the band’s third album, Comalies.  What drew me to this band was the sheer heaviness of the riffs, coupled with the keyboards and Cristina Scabbia’s haunting voice that gave the band a goth feel that totally worked for them.  They were able to develop moods and feeling to their songs, while playing heavy riffs that any fan of metal/goth metal would appreciate.




WHITESNAKE – “Love Ain’t No Stranger” (1984)

Whitesnake is the band that vocalist David Coverdale formed after his departure from Deep Purple.  In 1987, the band exploded in popularity with their eponymous seventh album, where they adopted a sleeker, more polished sound.  The songs they wrote for that album were nothing short of brilliant.  The commercial success that they achieved with this record was well earned, but they’d been enjoying a fair measure of success already with their earlier material.  This favorite from the previous album, 1984’s Slide It In, is representative of a grittier, bluesier sound that was still rooted in the ‘70s.


LOS ANGELES – “I Will Carry You” (2007)

Michele Luppi made headlines last year when he was recruited by Whitesnake as their new keyboardist and backup vocalist.  But he had a rather impressive resume prior to that recruitment, including three albums with the Italian metal band Vision Divine, and his recent work with Secret Sphere (which I’ve covered previously for Music Discovery Monday).  Here he shines on vocals in a collaboration with the band Los Angeles.

Music Discovery Monday – 9/12/16


Music Discovery Monday – 9/12/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

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



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)


Stryper’s Michael Sweet wearing a five-gallon cowboy hat, moving to Nashville and “going country” just to get played on the radio?  Whitesnake guitarist extraordinaire Joel Hoekstra joining Sweet in the move?  Has the world gone mad?  Not exactly.  Unless of course, seeing a rock legend who is known for meaningful lyrics showing his comedic side.  Then yes, the world has gone mad.

If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, or watch the video for “Radio” (off of Sweet’s recently released solo album, One Sided War), you would have no idea that the song is a tongue-in-cheek tale about dabbling in the country genre to get radio airplay.  Musically, this song is pure hard rock, featuring the soaring vocals of Sweet and the absolute shredding guitar of Hoekstra.  It’s everything that you love about the ‘80s, with a fresh, current sound.

With the exception of the twang of Hoekstra’s banjo playing (which bookends the song), there is nothing country about “Radio.”  It’s pure arena rock, which doesn’t really have a place on American radio today, which is the point of the song, I would imagine.

Thankfully, great music no longer needs “radio” to reach the masses, especially from legendary artists who have a following that they can connect with directly.  Sweet has recently asked those very fans how they would feel if he focused more on guitar in Stryper, and had another singer come in to hit the insane high notes that helped to make him famous.  Listening to this song, I’m not sure why.  His vocals are as powerful as ever, and this song kicks ass!

TESLA – “Save That Goodness”

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the release of Tesla’s incredible debut album, Mechanical Resonance.  I can still remember hearing “Modern Day Cowboy” for the first time and being blown away.  And then seeing the band open for Def Leppard, in what I’m pretty sure was their first ever American arena show in upstate NY, was something to behold.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary one of the best debut albums in my collection, Tesla has recently released Mechanical Resonance Live! – which includes “Save That Goodness” as a bonus studio track.

The connection that started three decades ago with Def Leppard is still strong.  The bands have been touring together recently, and this song was written by Def Lep guitarist, Phil Collen.  After Tesla bassist Brian Wheat heard the song, he suggested to Collen that they record it with him as the producer (see full story).

You can hear the influence of both bands in a song that brings the bands together in a brilliant way.  This isn’t exactly the first time that there has been a connection between the bands.  Years ago, Tesla paid homage to fallen Def Lep guitarist Steve Clark with “Song and Emotion,” one of the band’s more powerful tunes.  This collaboration just works on every level.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout


Dark, nihilistic lyrics?  Check.  Sabbathy, tuned-down riffs?  Check.  Spooky, weird video?  Check.  If you like all three, you’ll like Daniel Lioneye’s “Aetherside” (from their new album Vol. III).  The vocals remind me of Alice in Chains, while the music reeks of Black Sabbath…what a great combination!  It is no surprise that this band from Finland was formed by members of the band HIM.  Their musical compositions nicely set a mood of despair and loss.  The choruses are catchy, the music ferocious, and the vocals wailing.  Fans of heavy metal/goth/doom should give this entire album a listen.


BLOODY HAMMERS  “The Reaper Comes”

Bloody Hammers recently released a new goth/doom song entitled “The Reaper Comes,” (from their new album, Lovely Sort Of Death). This band has an interesting sound…slow, melodic verses and eerie keyboards to set the mood.  It is oftentimes haunting as the listener gets lost in its almost whispering vocals, coupled with their dark imagery and feelings of dread.  Horror movies should hire this band to compose their soundtracks.




TANGO DOWN – “Carry On”

Melodic hard rockers Tango Down come out firing on this single, a breakup song, from their new album, Bulletproof.  They’ve gone through some lineup changes, and are on their fourth singer in as many albums, but they’ve managed every time to produce quality material and this is no exception.  Chas West (Lynch Mob, Resurrection Kings, Jason Bonham) brings power and finesse to the vocals and is expertly supported with groove and some addictive riffs.


CRYSTAL BALL – “Deja Voodoo”

Swiss melodic metal band Crystal Ball returns with their ninth studio album.  Since a six-year absence that ended in 2013, they’ve busily put out three albums in four years.  With the title track from their latest album, Crystal Ball continues to show that quality and quantity can go hand-in-hand.




IN FLAMES  “The Truth”

Sweden’s In Flames, formed back in 1990, pioneered the melodic death metal genre, but over time, they have morphed into their present melodic groove metal incarnation.  “The Truth” is indicative of their rather unique style…upbeat and bright with an infectious rhythm and melodic vocals and choruses, highlighted by Niclas Engelin’s guitar solo, which sneaks through the overpowering bass line.


SCORCHER – “Steal The Throne”

Scorcher is a Greek power metal band that has been around since 2011, first forming under the name Tex.  The title track from their last album, Steal The Throne, features a heavy, marching rhythm line with excellent guitar licks, wails and riffs mixed in.  Strong vocals accompany the solid musicianship.



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

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/2/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - Rolling Stones

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/2/16

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

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

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



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

ROLLING STONES – “One Hit (To The Body)” (1986)

From 1986’s Dirty Work album, “One Hit (To The Body)” is the first Rolling Stones song to feature a Ronie Wood co-writing credit with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  Why is this notable?  Because Wood joined the band in 1976; it took him a full decade (and nine albums) to get his first writing credit.  Of course, waiting a decade to get a Rolling Stones writing credit doesn’t seem like much of a wait when you consider that the 68-year old guitarist became a father to twin girls this week.

“One Hit (To The Body)” was the follow-up single to one of the more popular Stones’ songs of the ‘80s, a cover of 1963’s “Harlem Shuffle.”   The video for the song shows archival boxing footage and Jagger trading mock blows with Richards.  This song is notable not only for Wood’s writing credit, but also because it featured a guitar solo by Led Zeppelin legend, Jimmy Page.

FACES – “Stay With Me” (1971)

“Stay With Me” is the biggest hit that Faces ever recorded.  From the band’s second album of 1971, A Nod’s As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse, the song was co-written by Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart.  Collaborating on this high-energy song (that features raspy vocals over gritty guitars) isn’t the only thing that this duo has in common.  As mentioned above, Wood became the father to twin girls this week (at the age of 68); Stewart’s youngest child was born when the legendary rocker was 66 (in 2011).



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

THE MISFITS “Dig Up Her Bones” (1997)

When most people talk about The Misfits, they usually talk about the (Glenn) Danzig days.  “Dig Up Her Bones” was a single off of their post-Danzig album, American Psycho.  This great song had all the feel and attitude of the original Misfits lineup; campy horror images, sing-a-long choruses and three-to-four chord musical compositions.  Although the lineup for this version of the band no longer exists, this was one of the great classic Misfits tunes ever recorded outside of the Danzig days.  I recently heard that the original lineup of the Misfits is back together.  I might have to find my old Misfits Fiend shirt in my closet, dust it off, and relive the ‘80s again for a couple hours.


D.R.I. “Beneath The Wheel” (1989)

One of the best hardcore/thrash crossover bands of the ‘80s was D.R.I. from Houston, Texas.  By combining punk, hardcore and thrash metal, this band was influential to many because they created a sound and culture that is embraced by punks, skinheads and metalheads alike.  “Beneath the Wheel” was a great example of this combination.  Every D.R.I. song had a message, always rooting for the underdog, pointing out the injustices of the world and the weight of society on our shoulders.  Gone are the days of slam dancing in the pit whenever these guys came to town, but D.R.I. will always be one of my favorite bands of all-time.




TOTO – “Can’t Stand It Any Longer” (1986)

Toto’s 1986 album, Fahrenheit, is remembered mostly for its ballads, especially the Top 40 hits “I’ll Be Over You” and “Without Your Love.”  But this funkier, harder driving number remains a forgotten favorite.  Michael Joseph had taken over vocals on this album, and sings with style here, backed by Steve Lukather’s playful riffs.


VANDENBERG  “Burning Heart” (1982)

Vandenberg was a Dutch band named for their virtuoso guitarist and founder, Adrian Vandenberg. Although they released three albums full of quality hard rock in the early ‘80s, only this amazing ballad from their self-titled debut managed to chart.  For years, David Coverdale had been courting Adrian Vandenberg to join Whitesnake, and when he finally accepted in 1987, that effectively ended Vandenberg the band.  Adrian has since gone on to form the band MoonKings in 2013.




BLUE MURDER – “We All Fall Down” (1993)

After John Sykes first left Whitesnake, he formed one of the earlier supergroups – Blue Murder – with legends Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice.  The band had a relatively short run from 1988–1994.  Their second of two studio albums, Nothing But Trouble, saw Franklin and Appice contribute, but give way to Marco Mendoza and Tommy O’Steen.  “We All Fall Down” kicked off that album in a big way with fast and powerful riffs, excellent vocals and, of course, a great wailing John Sykes solo.


JOHN NORUM “Nailed To The Cross” (2005)

John Norum’s solo career, alongside his tenure with Europe (as founder and lead guitarist), has produced seven studio albums over the years.  “Nailed To The Cross,” from 2005’s Optimus, is highlighted by a thick, sinister rhythm line and Norum’s usual, fantastic guitar work.


Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 4/21/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - Meat Loaf - Rocky Horror Picture Show

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 4/21/16

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

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

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



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

MEAT LOAF – “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul” (1975)

When Meat Loaf burst onto the scene in 1977 with Bat Out Of Hell, a theatrical rock collaboration with Jim Steinman, he became a household name virtually overnight.  However, fans of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show got to know this larger-than-life personality when he portrayed Eddie (an ex-delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky).  During one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, a maniacal Meat Loaf performed this week’s featured song – “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul” – with an intensity that foreshadowed what was to come from one of the most animated singers in rock and roll history.  Although the song was written by Richard O’Brien, it is Steinman-esque… theatrical, storytelling lyrics brought to life by energetic, over-the-top musical performances.


FIRE INC. – “Nowhere Fast” (1984)

When you think of Jim Steinman, you can’t help but to think of Meat Loaf.  This duo has done their best work together, but they have also had memorable moments on their own (see above).  “Nowhere Fast,” was featured in 1984’s Streets Of Fire, a movie that was billed as a “rock and roll fable.”  No one writes theatrical rock better than Steinman, and this song may very well have been the highlight of the movie.  Although it featured some big name actors, Streets Of Fire was widely panned by critics.  It is something of a cult classic, but not nearly as popular as Rocky Horror Picture Show, which still conjures up nostalgia to this day.  “Nowhere Fast” features Laurie Sargent delivering a powerful performance with her lead vocals.  This song easily could have fit in with the rest of Bat Out Of Hell.  Meat Loaf actually recorded a version of the song, but the movie version is the one that left the most lasting impression.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

BAD RELIGION – “American Jesus” (1993)

Bad Religion is a band that was way ahead of its time.  For a genre of music that preached anarchistic behavior, rebellion, anti-authority and basically a “don’t-give-a-shit attitude,” Bad Religion took all of those aspects of punk rock and wrote some of the most intelligent, sharp, and ingenious songs ever.  “American Jesus” – off of the band’s 1993 release, Recipe For Hate – is one of those.  Led by Dr. Greg Gaffin on vocals (yes, he is an actual Doctor; he obtained his PhD at Cornell Univeristy) and a vast array of past members, Bad Religion has released 16 albums to date.  This song is one of many that stood out due to its political messages regarding nationalism and religion.  Plus, it brings me back to my old school punk rock days of being in the pit.  Those days are long gone, but this song (and this band) remains one of my favorites.


CORROSION OF CONFORMITY “Vote With A Bullet” (1991)

If you want to hear one of the heaviest intros to a song, look no further than Corrosion of Conformity’s “Vote with a Bullet” (from their 3rd studio album, Blind).  With our current state of politics being the way that it is, this song might mean a little more now than any other time in recent history.  This is the epitome of a well-written metal song.  The guitars are heavy and crunchy, bass lines and drums accent odd time signatures, and the screams of Pepper Keenan all give way to a head-banging, pissed-off take on the band’s political views.  Listen to the main riff.  I dare you not to bang your head when you hear this!





AXXIS  “I Hear You Cry” (2007)

This power metal band lays claim to the best-selling debut album in Germany’s hard rock history, with 1988’s Kingdom Of The Night.  This favorite, from 2007’s Doom Of Destiny, though nearly 20 years later, instantly reminded the world why the band is so loved among metal enthusiasts.  Vocalist Bernhard Weiss positively soars, playing off beautifully against returning guest vocalist Kerstin Bischof (a.k.a. Lakonia.).


HAMMERFALL – “Bloodbound” (2005)

Sweden’s Hammerfall has been producing top-quality power metal since they were founded by guitarist Oscar Dronjak in 1993.  This power ballad comes from their defiantly named fifth album, Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.




WHITESNAKE – “Guity Of Love” (1983)

Whitesnake is fast-approaching 40 years together. “Guilty of Love” is a great track off of one of their best albums, 1984’s Slide It In.  Excellent vocals by David Coverdale, memorable lyrics and outstanding twin-guitar leads stand out the most.  This song was actually released a year ahead of the album as a promotional preview during 1983’s Monsters of Rock tour.


POWER GLOVE – “Storm Eagle”  (2012)

Power Glove is an American, all-instrumental band that is known for playing metal cover versions of classic video game themes.  “Storm Eagle” is a skillfully executed combination of a variety of metal styles.  Make no mistake, this is not your kid’s PacMan or Mario Brothers – it is true metal, also known as “TV-Game Metal” and “Nintendocore.”  This theme is from the game Mega Man X.


Music Discovery Monday – 8/24/15

Music Discovery Monday - Joel Hoekstra's 13

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 8/24/15.

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, Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Joel Hoekstra.  The Whitesnake guitarist discusses the inspiration and meaning behind “Anymore” – the first single from his upcoming solo project (Joel Hoekstra’s 13).



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 – “Anymore”

It may seem a bit surprising that Joel Hoekstra has released a solo project after having joined Whitesnake fairly recently, but this album was in the works long before he joined the band.  The Whitesnake influence on “Anymore” – the first single to be released from his upcoming album, Dying To Live – offers further proof that Hoekstra was the perfect choice to replace Doug Aldrich in the band.  Although it isn’t likely to happen, the song would fit nicely into a Whitesnake set.

On “Anymore,” Hoekstra showcases a songwriting ability that rivals his outstanding guitar work.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an all-star cast of musicians helping to bring the song to life – vocalist Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), bassist Tony Franklin (Whitesnake, The Firm), drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Coooper).  “Anymore” also features backing vocals by Jeff Scott Soto (who sings lead on some of the other tracks on the album).

Based on the talent and resumes of Hoekstra and the rest of the band, Joel Hoekstra’s 13 is undoubtedly a supergroup.  Unlike many modern-day supergroups, there is no talk of turning this into anything more than a side project.

“Anymore” offers a taste of what’s to come when Dying To Live is released.  In a recent conversation with Hoekstra, he said that the song falls somewhere in the middle of influences ranging from Foreigner to Dio.

During an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Hoekstra shared the meaning and inspiration behind “Anymore”

“The song is a song about overcoming obstacles in life to arrive where you’re finally meant to be.  Everybody’s got their demons and vices that they’re struggling with, and this is just about battling with them and ultimately winning.  Like the whole album, ‘Anymore’ is based on the theme of people fighting things in their life to get to where they’re meant to be.  I think that It strikes a chord with me. A couple of years ago, I just hit a point where I kind of decided exactly how I wanted to be living.  I made a laundry list of things that I wanted to change and the realistic steps that it would take to get to where I wanted to be.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but I guess it was a turning point of sorts.  I think that the theme of the song is something that resonates with everyone.”



In 1974, Deep Purple released Burn, the first of three studio albums that David Coverdale recorded with the band.  Born out of a desire to reunite the Mark III lineup of Deep Purple by friend and former bandmate, Jon Lord (before his passing), Coverdale attempted to reach out to Ritchie Blackmore to bring the reunion to fruition.  When Coverdale and Blackmore couldn’t find common ground, and with the work on the songs already in progress, Coverdale’s wife suggested that they move forward with the project under the Whitesnake banner.  All of the members of Whitesnake were very enthusiastic about the prospect of recording updated versions of the songs that Coverdale wrote in his youth, and it shows in this inspired recreation of “Burn.”  If you mixed the colors white and purple, you would end up with a light shade of purple.  However, the blending of Whitesnake and Deep Purple is anything but light.  Quite the contrary!  This mixture offers the best of both worlds…the soulful, bluesy creation of Deep Purple and the energetic, dual-guitar assault of Whitesnake (Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach).  There is an inherent risk with trying to recapture the magic of a classic original, but on “Burn,” Whitesnake has done so with flying colors!





GLOOMBALL – “Blood Red World”

German five-piece that isn’t entirely “new” (having formed back in 2010), but their latest release sees them hit their stride with a heavier step.  I’ve liked several previous songs well enough, but this one does an excellent job of breaking through the clutter of releases out there, demanding that you pay attention.


RUBIKON – “Live That Lie”

The lead single from the just-released album, Delta, is probably the most radio-friendly song in the bunch, but that’s meant as a compliment.  The ability to mix a wide range of influences into something that’s got this much appeal is a definite talent.  There’s bits of ZZ Top in here, no shortage of blues and notable nods to 70s hard rock, yet what comes out is something bigger than any one influence.  They managed to come across feeling organic rather than contrived…just a darned good hard rock song.





POWER THEORY – “Cut And Run”

This week I’ll be focusing on power metal, simply because there are two amazing new tracks out by two amazing bands on the cutting edge of the genre.  In 2006, guitarist Bob Ballinger founded Power Theory in Philadelphia.  The band has gone through some lineup changes since, and today boasts the driving guitars of the founder and Nygil Hoch, the belligerent bass of Angelo D’Angelo, the unfaltering drums of Nick Bunczk, and the powerhouse (yet soulful) vocals of Jeff Rose. This new single roils with aggression, crashing down hard at every stroke.  It promises more great music from their upcoming album, Driven By Fear.  The band will be playing in Europe for the first time on Septemebr 5th, at the Hard Summer Festival in Bavaria, Germany, followed by an appearance in support of Belgian metal stars Fireforce.  Here in the USA, we’ll be waiting for them to come home and announce some new tour dates.


SEVEN WITCHES – “Better Days”

Loud and grooving with an addictive riff, “Better Days” storms the stage to announce these power metal veterans’ new album, The Way Of The Wicked (due out September 18th).  Jack Frost (Savatage, Belladonna, Metalium, Speed) returns, as always, on guitar.  Anthony Cross (Livesay, Shadow Image, Fischel’s Beast, Attacker) delivers some thick, smoky vocals.  Bassist Ronnie Parkes (Farcry, Tango Down, Reece, Bonfire) and drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Danzig, Kill Devil Hill) pound out the rhythm section.  They each brandish impressive resumes standing alone; they fire on all cylinders playing here together.





WAMI – “Wild Woman”

WAMI is an acronym for veteran almost-supergroup members Doggie White, Vinny Appice, Marco Mendoza & Iggy Gwadera.  I say almost because Iggy Gwadera is a 16-year old Polish phenom guitarist breaking onto the scene.  “Wild Woman” is their first international release.  You can hear the rock and metal DNA in the thick and rich rhythm lines, wailing lead and licks and the story-line theme.  Iggy sounds like he’s been at this longer than his years.


ARCTURUS “Crashland”

“Crashland” showcases the epic, large scale sound of Arcturus – an avant-garde metal outfit from Norway.  Arcturus was named after the brightest star in the northern hemisphere, a major astronomical body since antiquity.  This track, from their March release Arcturian, features a rousing theme of venturing into the unknown.  Good and powerful vocals from ICS Vortex (not a typo, that’s what he’s called) and standout drumming from the appropriately nick-named Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg.


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





RAINBOW – “Lady Of The Lake”

Although Ronnie James Dio is widely considered to be one of the greatest voices in the history of hard rock and heavy metal, and Rainbow is a legendary band, much of the music that they made together is vastly underrated.  As far as legendary bands go, Rainbow may very well be the most underrated of all-time.  Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, the final Rainbow studio album with Dio, is nothing short of brilliant, yet, aside from the title track, most of the songs are unknown by the masses.  Almost any track off of the album could have been selected for Music Discovery Monday, but “Lady Of The Lake” was chosen because it exemplifies the vivid mystical world that lived inside Dio’s mind.  As is customary on many songs featuring RJD, there is a perfect blend of light and dark, intensity and beauty.  Ritchie Blackmore’s riffs are powerful and driving, as is the drumming of the late Cozy Powell on “Lady Of The Lake.”  If you haven’t delved into the entire Rainbow catalog, you’re missing out on something unique and timeless.


DEEP PURPLE – “Bad Attitude”

While Ritchie Blackmore’s work with Rainbow is underrated, his work with Deep Purple is not (with the exception of the clueless Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters).  Musically, there are few bands that can touch the work that Deep Purple created.  Unfortunately, the musical chemistry didn’t carry over to chemistry between the members of the band.  After a near-decade hiatus caused by internal strife, the band returned in 1984 for their highly-acclaimed reunion album, Perfect Strangers.  The follow-up album, The House of Blue Light, was met with much less fanfare, but still featured some outstanding tracks.  “Bad Attitude” is one of the tracks that received some airplay, but not nearly as much as it deserved.  Opening with the signature sound of Jon Lord’s Hammond organ, the song launches into an up-tempo, driving rhythm, highlighted by Ian Gillan’s distinct, emotive vocals.  Everything that you love about Blackmore’s guitar playing is featured in the song as well.  It’s been nearly three decades since the Mark II lineup of Deep Purple last recorded together.  Time has flown by since then…Gillan celebrated his 70th birthday this week.





POP EVIL “Broken And Betrayed” (2011)

The release of a new album actually sent me back to previous work for what could have easily been a fifth hit single from the War Of Angels album.  It happens that way sometimes; songs just don’t get the exposure as an album runs through its life cycle, so it’s good to go back and revisit now and then.  This one holds up very well, even four years and two albums later.


RATT “Shame, Shame, Shame” (1990)

It’s been 25 years since Ratt released their last gold album, DetonatorTimes were changing so there was only one major hit (“Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job”) from the record, along with a minor hit for the band’s only ballad, (“Giving Yourself Away”).  The best of the rest of the album might well be this track which was released as a promotional single in Japan.  Plenty of vintage Ratt sound in this song, from the final album to feature both Robbin Crosby and Juan Croucier.





FIREWIND – “Tomorrow Can Wait” (2002)

Continuing here in the Time Machine section with the power metal theme I adopted because of those great new power metal releases: Greek band Firewind has gone through numerous lead singers, but always seems to find a great one, and always has the virtuoso guitar and songwriting of Gus G to guarantee the highest quality power metal.  From their debut album, Between Heaven And Hell, this selection highlights the immense talents of everyone concerned, including the power of original singer Stephen Frederick and the passion and insane technique of Gus G.


TRAIL OF MURDER – “I Know Shadows” (2012)

In contrast to Firewind, which has gone through several lead singers but always found a great one, Urban Breed (ex-Tad Morose, ex-Bloodbound) is one of those talented vocalists who always manages to surround himself with the best musicians.  By doing so, he manages to deliver quality power metal year in and year out, no matter where he finds himself.  Teaming up with guitarist Daniel Olsson and bassist Pele Akerlind to form Swedish band Trail Of Murder, in 2012 he mesmerized fans with this melancholy, yet pounding track.





REDLINE – “The Edge Of Falling” (2012)

Redline is a hard rock band from Birmingham in the UK.  “The Edge of Falling” is great hard rock with infectious, melodic choruses and solid musicianship throughout.  Notables are Kez Taylor’s bright and strong vocals, and Ade Yeomans’ lead guitar work.


FRIAR RUSH – “Voiceless Stranger” (2006)

Friar Rush is a power/prog metal group from Sydney, Australia that has been around since 2003.  “Voiceless Stranger” comes from their only studio album, Alauda Sonare Suavis.  This band has all the elements, which makes you wonder why we haven’t heard more of them.  This track features the articulate guitar work of Andrew Najdek and outstanding vocals from Justin Brockbank, kept in time expertly by Alcides “Seed” Stowe on the skins.

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 6/13/15

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/13/15.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. ***Click on the hyperlinked titles to read full album reviews***


      1. FAITH NO MORE – Sol Invictus
      2. THE STORY SO FAR – The Story So Far
      3. HALESTORM – Into The Wild Life
      4. THREE DAYS GRACE – Human
      5. ANTI-FLAG – American Spring
      6. THE WHO – The Who Hits 50!
      7. WHITESNAKE – The Purple Album
      8. SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE – At Your Service
      9. INCUBUS – Trust Fall (Side A) (EP)
      10. COAL CHAMBER – Rivals
      11. THREE OH SEES – Mutilator Defeated At Last
      12. SLIPKNOT – .5: The Gray Chapter
      13. FOO FIGHTERS – Sonic Highways
      14. IN THIS MOMENT – Black Widow
      15. THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell



Halestorm – “Apocalyptic”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Three Days Grace – “Painkiller”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

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

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/6/15.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. ***Click on the hyperlinked titles to read full album reviews***


      1. FAITH NO MORE – Sol Invictus
      2. THE STORY SO FAR – The Story So Far
      3. SILVERSTEIN – I Am Alive In Everything I Touch
      4. SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE – At Your Service
      5. COAL CHAMBER – Rivals
      6. WHITESNAKE – The Purple Album
      7. HASTE THE DAY – Coward
      8. INCUBUS – Trust Fall (Side A) (EP)
      9. CHUNK! NO CAPTAIN CHUNK! – Get Lost Find Yourself
      10. HALESTORM – Into The Wild Life
      11. THE WHO – The Who Hits 50!
      12. THREE DAYS GRACE – Human
      13. IN THIS MOMENT – Black Widow
      14. THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell
      15. HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD – Day Of The Dead



Halestorm – “Apocalyptic”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Three Days Grace – “Painkiller”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

That Metal Show – Season 14, Episode 4: Marky Ramone, Darryl McDaniels, Gary Holt, Joel Hoekstra

That Metal Show - Season 14, Episode 4 - Marky Ramone, Darryl McDaniels, Gary Holt

GUESTS:  Marky Ramone, Darryl McDaniels, Gary Holt


Eddie discussed the t-shirt that he was wearing, which featured artwork from the Dio tribute album – This Is Your Life.  All of the proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to the Dio Cancer Fund.  To purchase, go to


MUSICAL GUEST: Joel Hoekstra

Hoekstra discussed how he left Night Ranger to join Whitesnake.  He was first told about the opening by his friend, Doug Aldrich (who was leaving Whitesnake).  Some people in the industry (including Eddie Trunk) brought Hoekstra up to David Coverdale (who actually heard him play for the first time while playing on TMS).



GUESTS: Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Darryl McDaniels (RUN DMC), Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer)

All three guests were TMS first-timers.

Darryl McDaniels talked about not caring about soul power, afros and high heels when he listened to AM radio in NY.  His passion was folk and classic rock (Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan).

Marky Ramone talked about listening the beginning of FM radio in NY growing up, and his influences (Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad).  Talked about Motorhead writing a song called “Ramones,” which The Ramones eventually covered.  The first song that he recorded with The Ramones was “I Wanna Be Sedated.”  The band opened for Black Sabbath and Van Halen in 1978 (didn’t go over well because metal fans didn’t like punk).

A clip was shown of Marky appearing in a mock commercial featured on CollegeHumor’s CH2 advertising the “smartphone swatter,” a device that allows concert goers to swat smartphones out of the hands of people who watch concerts through their screens.  It is made by gluing a 7” vinyl record onto a drumstick.

All of the guys and guests talked about how much they dislike the use of smartphones in concert. Gary said that it doesn’t really happen at a Slayer shows because of how intense the audience is in the pit.

Gary Holt started on classic hard rock.  He jokingly said that he’s still just a classic hard rock guitar player on methamphetamines and steroids.  He plays a faster, more intense version of what he grew up on (Montrose, Nazareth, Ted Nugent, Motorhead).  He’s pulling double-duty with Slayer and Exodus, and has even been playing with both bands on the same night.



Gary – Exodus – Blood In Blood Out new record, start tour with Testament on April 1st

Darryl – Working on a thrash record.  Got to meet Rob Dukes (singing w/ Exodus) at Rock On The Range.  Gave him his new album, with his band Generation Kill, and he fell in love with it.  Told him that he wanted him to produce a track on his new album.  The first single is called “Lot Lizard.”  Says it’s the best record he ever made.

Marky – Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone autobiography.



TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT: Music Streaming Services

JIM – Leave it.  Spotify only pays one penny per 500 spins.

DON – Take it.  I like the services because I can make playlists and share it with other people.

EDDIE – Take it.  From the standpoint of music discovery, it’s really cool.  Hopefully, it encourages you to go out and buy the record.



TMS TOP 5:  Album Closers

  1. Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
  2. Deep Purple – “Space Truckin”
  3. Black Sabbath – “The Writ”
  4. Aerosmith – “Home Tonight”
  5. Ozzy Osbourne – “Diary Of A Madman”

TMS Fans Picks

  1. Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
  2. Slayer – “Raining Blood”
  3. Guns N’ Roses – “Rocket Queen”
  4. Metallica – “Damage Inc.”
  5. Led Zeppelin – “When The Levee Breaks”



PUT IT ON THE TABLE – Marky Ramone, Darryl McDaniels, Gary Holt

If you could be in any other band, what band would it be, and what would you play?

MR – Jimi Hendrix Experience, drums

DM – The Beatles

GH – AC/DC, rhythm guitar


What is the one song that you wish you wrote?

MR“Hocus Pocus” – Focus

DM“Into The Blue Light” – Pentagram

GH“Stargazer” – Rainbow


What is your one vice?

MR – Collecting cars

DM – Sweets

GH – None, quit smoking




Eddie – Krokus

Don – Death Angel

Jim – Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats



METAL MODEM – David Coverdale (Whitesnake)

Coverdale talked about finding Joel Hoekstra.  He also talked about the inspiration behind doing the Whitesnake album revisiting his work with Deep Purple.  When Jon Lord was diagnosed with cancer, he said that he wanted to do a reunion of sorts with Coverdale.  They never got the chance to do it, but Lord’s passing made him realize that life is just too precious to hold any bitterness or animosity.  When he reconnected with Blackmore, and they made up, he asked if Coverdale would be interested in doing a reunion.  When they didn’t share the same vision, he expressed disappointment to his wife that he couldn’t make it happen.  She is the one that suggested that he do it as a Whitesnake album.  Coverdale thought about doing a Coverdale/Blackmore project similar to what he did with Coverdale/Page where they would do songs from Rainbow, Whitesnake and Deep Purple.  The new album comes out in May.



THROWDOWN – “Walk This Way” (w/ RUN DMC) vs. “Bring The Noise” (w/ Public Enemy)

Gary“Walk This Way”

Darryl“Bring The Noise”

Marky“Walk This Way”

Eddie“Walk This Way”

Jim“Bring The Noise”

Don“Walk This Way”



That Metal Show – Season 14, Episode 1: Geddy Lee, John Petrucci

That Metal Show – Season 14, Episode 2: Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, Alex Skolnick

That Metal Show – Season 14, Episode 3: Dave Lombardo, John 5

Hard Rock Daddy Visits That Metal Show


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.



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