Rock songs for the Soul

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Bones & Bridges – Reveries

Bones & Bridges deliver a moody, intense song about the questions that we all ask ourselves at one point or another. What is our purpose as human beings?

There is a void that each of us need to fill…what is that for you?

Uncle Lucius – Keep The Wolves Away

The song has a heartfelt country sound to it and describes the narrator’s father as being a hardworking man. It makes the narrator realise that he will have to work just as hard to provide for his family in order to keep them safe.

Salem – Limbo

Salem describes a love that is detrimental to you, but its not something that you necessarily want to give up either. The tough decision that you have to make between staying with that person or leaving them can be compared to an inferno.

Nothing Nowhere – Ornament

The guy describes how someone who left him, presumably an ex-girlfriend, treated him like he was just an object in her life. He felt a deep connection to this person and felt that she understood him better than anyone else has. He can’t let go of the fact that things could have turned out differently.

Slaves – Heavier

Slaves deliver a powerful rock track about struggling to forgive yourself for past mistakes. Struggling with the anxiety and all the self judgement related to that. The lyrics are delivered in such a way that you feel the pain and angst that is plaguing the artist.

Autumn Kings – Want You To Stay

The song describes the ups and downs of love perfectly. I’m sure all of us have been through this before, you don’t know if the relationship is going to progress and fail. This is the risk you have to take. Will the reward be worth the risk? It is a question all of us struggle with at some point.

Have a great week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Lead Vocalist Feature – Tommy Vext

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Thomas Cummings was born on the 15th of April 1982. He is better known by his stage name Tommy Vext and is known for being the lead vocalist for Bad Wolves, Snot, Divine Heresy and Westfield Massacre. In 2017 Tommy filled in for Ivan Moody on Five Finger Death Punch’s European arena tour when the vocalist checked into a medical facility.

Tommy started his music career in Brooklyn, New York as a teenager singing in local hardcore bands and he engaged in freestyle rap battles with the neighbourhood’s hopefuls. He even snuck into the nightclubs for his own shows, because he was too young to enter.

In 1996, he formed the band Maniacal Disciple with some friends, Jim Donovan, Steve Perlmutter and Mike Kontaras. They eventually changed their name to Vext based on Wu-Tang’s lyrics and it became Tommy’s nickname in the New York hardcore scene.

In 2005 at the Roadrunner’s 25th anniversary show Tommy was invited to sing with Corey Taylor from Slipknot.

In 2006 Tommy was recruited by Dino Cazares from Fear Factory to be the front man for his new band Divine Heresy. Their debut studio album “Bleed The Fifth” was released in the United States on the 28th of August 2007  by Century Media Records. The album was produced by Logan Mader, formerly of Machine Head and guitarist for Soulfly. “Bleed The Fifth” was met with warm reviews by the critics and fans alike.

Tommy was responsible for the majority of the lyrics which was influenced by the Book of Revelation, natural disasters, war and terrorism.

Due to unresolvable differences between Tommy and Dino Cazares, Tommy parted with Divine Heresy in 2008. Later on bassist Joe Payne and drummer Tim Yeung broke ties with Dino as well.

Snot is an American heavy metal band from Santa Barbara, California that was formed in 1995. Their debut studio album “Get Some” was released in 1997 with Lynn Strait on lead vocals. The band disbanded after Lynn’s death in 1998. In 2008 the band reformed with Tommy on lead vocals. The band did a fall tour in 2008 in the USA in support of DevilDriver. Snot went on hiatus again when the original guitarist Sonny Mayo left the band. In 2014 Snot reunited at the Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood. They played three more shows in Southern California before going quiet once again.

In 2011 Tommy Vext reformed Vext with members of Mutiny Within, along with guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi. The band releseased an EP titled Impernance in 2012 and a year later they released another EP Broke is the New Black.

After his stint with Snot, Vext moved on and formed a new band known as “Westfield Massacre”. The band released their self-titled debut album on Urban Yeti Records 2016. In 2017, Vext began working on a side project with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin Vext left Westfield while he was on tour with Five Finger Death Punch.

In 2016 Tommy formed a new band with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin, named Bad Wolves. Guitarists Doc Coyle (Vagus Nerve, God Forbid), Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead) and later bassist Kyle Konkiel formerly of In This Moment were recruited for the project. During the summer of 2016 they headed to the studio to start recording the bands’ debut album. They headed off to AudioHammer studios with longtime collaborator Mark Lewis who has worked with Trivium and All That Remains to name a few.

On the 2nd of May 2017, Bad Wolves independently premiered a song titled “Learn To Live” coupled with a music video. In November 2017 it was announced that Bad Wolves had signed with Eleven Seven Music and Zoltan Bathory (founding guitarist of FFDP) became the band’s manager.

Bad Wolves released their debut studio album “Disobey”on the 11th of May 2018 through Eleven Seven Music. The album reached number 23 on the US Billboard 200. In November 2017, the band released their second single “Toast To The Ghost”. On the 18th of January 2018, they released a third single , which was a cover of The Cranberries “Zombie” and it charted on multiple charts. The cover of this song took the band’s reputation to a another level and placed them on everyone’s radar. The Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was meant to have performed the song with the band, but she passed away prior to recording the song. The music video for the song was released on the 22nd of February 2018, it paid tribute to the singer and the original music video.

The song topped the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, while the music video was viewed more than 170 million times. The single is certified platinum in Canada, the United States and gold in Germany.

The band toured with Breaking Benjamin, Starset, Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch for the first half of 2018.

One of the most fascinating parts of Tommy’s story is the home invasion he experienced in 2010. He was attacked by his twin brother when he was high in his own home. His brother is currently serving 17 years behind bars for attempted murder and Tommy had to testify against him.

“Remember When” one of the songs from “Disobey” was written describing Tommy’s childhood and his relationship with his twin brother. It describes two people who lived the exact same life and went through the same hardships, advantages, disadvantages and were ultimately defined as adults by the different choices they made. Their lives reflect the choices that they made as individuals.

I’m in awe by how Tommy handled the adversities he had to face and how he ended up overcoming them. He now helps other creative people face their addictions in order to overcome them and he helps people fight depression. By doing this Tommy feels that he has found his purpose and he passionately embarks on a mission to better others’ lives as well as his own.

If you want to read more about Tommy’s personal life, here is a link to the article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brick-brick/201808/tommy-vext-and-the-deafening-sound-self-termination

Rock Regards, Lauren K

Rock Tracks on the 2019 Radar

We want 2019 to rock, so here are a few of the latest rock tracks to wet your appetite properly!

Risen – Sevendust

This song is heavily driven by the impeccable drumming performed by Morgan Rose. The lyrics of the song deals with trusting someone enough in order to love again. The narrator is looking for someone to help make him/herself strong again after disappointment/heartbreak. Lajon’s vocals always tend to elevate a song, to create a good contrast with the heavy instrumentation.

 

Apologize – grandson

With “Apologize”, grandson is stating that he admits to all his mistakes and imperfections, but he refuses to apologise for who he is. The opening line “I lose a bit of myself with every selfie” could be a commentary on the world’s current obsession with social media. I think this song is empowering and a wake-up call to the world to take responsibility for their actions by becoming more self-aware. grandson really has a knack for creating a unique sound that has become his signature.

Come Around – Papa Roach

Papa Roach delivers a powerful message with the lyrics for “Come Around”. It is about being there for someone when they are going through a difficult time and sticking it out with them even when it becomes tough. People act differently when they are trying to cope with a difficult situation, even though they think they are hiding it well. Papa Roach created a lighter sound on this song, despite the heavy topic at hand. They are creating a sense of optimism by incorporating a stunning guitar solo towards the end.

Born For This – The Score

The Score has a talent for creating arena-worthy anthems. “Born for this” is definitely no exception. The lyrics serve as a motivation to deal with any difficulties that life may throw at you and being ready to face them head on. This song will be right at home at any sporting event, I imagine it being blasted to the audience at a stadium and them loving every minute of it. The Score are starting to make a name for themselves and they deserve every minute of it.

Hold Up A Light – Thrice

The chorus to this song is a headbanger of note. I love the build-up to the chorus and then singing along to it in my car as loud as I can and then I ask myself, “Can life get any better?”.

I can’t help but think that this song  has an apocalyptic feel to it. I’m sure the crowd will love it if the band decides to play this song live at some of their concerts. I think any rock fan will gravitate towards this song.

Medicine – Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon return with super honest lyrics. I’m always entertained by Oli’s blunt style of song writing. I love the style of the song and I won’t ever forget the opening verse “Some people are a lot like clouds, you know (Clouds, you know, clouds, you know) ‘Cause life’s so much brighter when they go”. I’m obsessed about the video for “Medicine”, it is artistic, fascinating and realistic. Although this song might seem a little more mainstream than fans expect, I have thoroughly enjoyed the album thus far.

Dying in a Hot Tub – Palaye Royale

Remington Leith delivers a song about a friend that is seemingly going through depression and addicted to drugs. He is trying to intervene through the lyrics and deliver the vocals with the necessary flair and sensitivity. This band is in a different league and produce their own flavour of 21st century glam rock.

Demons – Our Last Night

“Demons” is a reminder that all of us are capable of being brave and overcoming adversity. I love the how the electronics were incorporated in the song and the intro. There are certain guitar sections of “Demons” which mimic speed metal and I love the pace of the song. The brothers’ vocals blend beautifully and they take you on a sonic journey with so many elements being blended effortlessly.

A promise of great things to come this year!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)

Best 18 Rock Songs of 2018

2018 has been another bumper year for rock music. I have discovered so many new bands and new music, it has been a privilege to experience it all.

I’m extremely passionate about music, as you know. It is something that is always there when you need it. It helps me process my feelings, it lifts my mood, it inspires me on a daily basis and it expresses what I’m feeling at any given time.

Music, to me is a magical force in my life and I’m grateful for its existence on a daily basis. My passion for rock music runs deep and people who know me well are reminded of this regularly. I’m open to experiencing other genres of music, but I tend to turn back to rock music every single time I need a crutch to lean on. 

My favourite post of the year entails reflecting on the music that featured in my life this past year.

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18. Three Days Grace – Infra-Red

This song off Three Days Grace ‘s “The Mountain” album describes the passion that two people have for one another and the connection that they have. This connection is described as something that only these two people share, so much so that they forget about the people around them. The guitar hook on this song is addictive and fast-paced, which suits the lyrics perfectly. You can feel the intensity of the passion these two people share.

 

 

17. Twenty One Pilots – My Blood

I’m so passionate about the lyrics of this song. It is a declaration of dedication and loyalty from one person to another. It can be towards a friend, significant other or family member. It describes unquestionable commitment, that some people can only dream to experience in their lifetime. 

The melody of the song is tender and it is delivered in a heartfelt way. The layered drums, electronics and background vocals create an ethereal experience like only Twenty One Pilots can deliver.

 

16. Amaranthe – Countdown

Amaranthe combines female and male clean vocals with unclean vocals effortlessly. A fast-paced song that serves as an introspective commentary on the person’s own well-being. The heavy drums and guitar just adds such an enjoyable melody to this song. The combination of all these elements become quite addictive. An adrenaline injection if you ever need one. Henrik shines on the unclean vocals, adding just enough grit to this already up-tempo song.

 

15. While She Sleeps – Haunt Me

The intro already tells you that this song is one to take note of. The song deals with the themes of regret and betrayal. The track is epic in scale, the drumming and rhythm guitar elevates it to the next level. The chorus is perfect for head banging, which isn’t surprising at all. The transitions happen quickly and it creates a unique sound from the band on this track.

 

14. Our Last Night – Soul Speak

I got to know more about OLN by listening to their cover songs, but they have really come into their own since they started. “Soul Speak” made my ears prick up. The guitars on this song stand out and the vocals are on point, as is to be expected. I can relate to the topic that is being dealt with lyrically. It speaks about trying to find your own voice, while being surrounded and overwhelmed by the people around you. It speaks to the frustration of trying to find yourself amidst all the chaos in your life. The narrator doesn’t want to be affected by other people’s opinions, but he feels like he is losing the battle.

 

13. Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Driving Rain

This song is in my opinion a true reflection of the band and embodies their signature sound. A groovy rock song that doesn’t shy away from utilising every instrument in the band’s arsenal. The lyrics describe a man’s determination to get to the love of his life, no matter which obstacles are in his way. This is a song to party or dance to and it has meaning to it. The combined guitar work on this track makes it shine.

 

12. Palaye Royale – Teenage Heartbreak Queen

I think this is one of the catchiest rock songs that I have heard in a while. The narrator is mourning his high school sweetheart. The theme of this song is somber, but this song always cheers me up due to its catchy melody. Slather some of Remington Leith’s grainy, passionate vocals on top of that and this is a recipe for success. 

 

 

11. Thrice – Only Us

This song deals with the fact that the human race are all connected, yet we continue to fight one another and despise one another’s differences when we are from the same species. We continue to wage wars, build walls and try to solve our problems with violence. The song poses the question….When will it be enough?

Dustin Kensrue‘s moody, subtly powerful vocals carry the importance of this message perfectly. The synth sounds create a nostalgic throwback to the 80s and the bass line leads the song throughout.

 

10. Beartooth – Afterall

The lyrics of this song are quite dark. It describes a person that has completely lost the will to live. It deals with the narrator’s despair and the feelings he or she is experiencing to such an extent that being alive has become a chore. The drumming from Connor Denis is impeccable on this track and sets the tone for the intense lyrics of the song.

 

9. Shinedown – The Human Radio

This song/video serves as a commentary on our society today. We continue living through our phones and social media, forever comparing ourselves with others. This video is about a person who breaks free from our modern societal life. The more time we spend on our phones, the less we live our own lives the way we should be. The backing vocals on this song makes it feel more epic in a sense. The chorus is memorable and I think this is an important topic in this day and age.

 

8. Tremonti – Take You With Me

This was a hard choice to make between “The First The Last” and “Take You With Me”. I have always loved the former, but “Take You With Me” got chosen due to the stellar drumming from Garrett Whitlock and the pace of the song. It has a really positive message in facing difficulties and adversity together with the person you love. Mark’s vocals have really evolved and if you ever wanted proof, here it is…

 

 

7. Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA

I think there are many ways to interpret this song. Oli said that the inspiration for this song came from a documentary he was watching on Netflix about a cult, called Wild Wild Country. As a society we tend to follow one another blindly. I find that the song and in turn the music video is quite eerie and it tends to creep in under your skin. Oli Sykes has also said that a romantic relationship can tend to act as a little two-man cult. You dedicate yourself to that person, you have to trust and love them unconditionally. This song demonstrates the development of the band and it has all the ingredients for a smash hit.

 

6. Disturbed – No More

First off, no one makes groovy heavy rock songs like Disturbed. David’s inspiration behind the lyrics are the fear-mongers that feed off people and they don’t care about collateral damage in return for profit. David makes it clear that this isn’t about a specific situation or system, but just the way the world operates. The guitar hook gels so well with the drumming that it has a seamless groove throughout. 

 

5. Hands Like Houses – Tilt

This band’s material has really grown on me and this is one of the first songs I heard from them. I heard that they were coming to perform in Cape Town next year, in support of Rhino Conservation and I decided to do some research on their sound. I was pleasantly surprised and felt like an idiot for not discovering them earlier. Tilt is about cycles and how we can go around breaking them. The future, the past and how we are in control of our circumstances to a certain extent. Trenton Woodley’s vocals are delivered with serious intent on this track and it demonstrates how versatile his vocal style can be.

 

4. Coheed and Cambria – The Gutter

Coheed and Cambria produced a concept album which combine the band’s love for comic books and music. I’ll leave it up to the listener to come up with theories regarding the band’s storyline from the album “Unheavenly Creatures”. The song is captivating in its entirety, it is theatrical and progresses to an anthemic tempo. Claudio delivers the story compellingly with his vocal range. The band builds the framework to be theatrically delivered with a beautiful guitar solo towards the end. This is just a masterpiece, to be honest.

 

3. Bad Wolves – Hear Me Now ft DIAMANTE

In my opinion, it is quite challenging to find a good duet nowadays and not to mention a good duet in the rock genre. Tommy kicks off the song with some tender vocals that he doesn’t get to show off on the band’s other tracks. 

The song describes a relationship between two people that escalate due to the emotion, passion and tension that exist between them. The opening lyrics from the male singer is asking the female singer, to help him up from the depths that he finds himself in. The male singer, doesn’t want his life to be meaningless and he wants the other singer to give him something to live for. He wants her to make him grow as a person.

This song describes the moment where a new romance is starting to develop and the implications or importance thereof.

 

2. Deaf Havana – Holy

I literally have not been able to shut up about this band since I discovered them. I can literally relate to each song  on their latest album “Rituals” and their music has been helping me through a tough time. I feel like the songwriter has been going through the same things that I have experienced recently.

James Veck-Gilodi kicks off this track with his honey soaked vocal style. The singer starts off admitting that he was a liar and that he was not as holy as he was claiming to be. He admits to running away from the way he wronged the person in his life. The lies he told haunts him and he finds it easy to hide away from it on his own. The singer finds it hard to break the cycle that he has created. He tends to reach out to this person whenever he needs him/her.

I find that the band is able to deliver heavy emotional topics in a palatable way, which makes the song enjoyable yet still has a powerful effect on the listener.

 

1. Myles Kennedy – The Great Beyond

I know what my loyal followers are thinking, of course I will choose Myles’ song as the number one track of the year. In my defense, there have been many reputable rock publications who named his album as one of the top deliveries of the year. 

This song has always stood out to me since the very first time I heard it. It depicts the type of musician Myles Kennedy is, all in one track. It is epic in its nature with the added instruments of the violin, cello and viola which is the only track on the album to feature this arrangement. It shows off the nature of Myles’ vocal range almost in its entirety. 

It kicks off with some moody drums and soars with the violin, followed by the intricate chords of the acoustic guitar. Myles follows with his soft vocals and soars into an incredibly high note literally into “The Great Beyond”.

The entire album is autobiographical in nature as Myles struggles to deal with the passing of his father at the age of four. Myles father was of the Christian Science religion and it argues that sickness is an illusion that can only be cured through prayer alone.

 

This has been another great year for rock music and I know that it will be the same for next year.

Thank you for reading.

See you in 2019!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)

 

 

 

Rock songs for the soul

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I know that there have been many controversies regarding music streaming services, but at the moment I can’t imagine my life without Spotify. That might sound a little dramatic, but it has given me the opportunity to discover bands that I never thought I would. I’m a huge advocate for the artists and that they should be properly remunerated for their material, but Spotify has given me so much to be excited about.

I have this innate need to share music that I love with people, therefore I would like to share some of my discoveries here.

 

Deaf Havana – “Sinner”

I never expected to like this song as much as I do. The lyrics and melody are contrasting and I tend to love that in a song. It delivers itself as a religious song, but the narrator is berating himself because he doesn’t believe that anyone or anything can save him from his sins. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who is asking for forgiveness, but he is not sure if he deserves it.

 

Deaf Havana – “Hell”

 

As you can tell, I’m obsessed with this band at the moment and their latest album “Rituals” is incredible. The reason I’m featuring this song, is because it really hit home for me. I can relate to each lyric in this song. The narrator admits that he did wrong by his significant other, he confesses that his behaviour hurt the person he was in a relationship with. He seems to want to shift the blame onto his significant other by telling him/her that they were blind to his faults and he never made any promises about his intentions.

 

Hands Like Houses – “Overthinking”

 

I think many of us can relate to the title alone! The narrator is beating himself/herself up for holding onto someone, even though they know better. The narrator is dealing with a lot of doubt and self-criticism instead of letting go of the situation/person that is causing all his/her distress.

 

You Me At Six – “Straight To My Head”

This song reminisces about the trials that two people have gone through and how the lyricist wouldn’t know how to replace the relationship if it ever had to end. It is a song about a strong bond between two people and the adventures they have shared together since they were young.

Normandie – “Dead”

The songwriter ponders death through his lyrics and marvels at what happens when we “leave”. He wonders what all the doubt and fear we experience during our lifetime means, in essence we leave them behind. A song that leaves you feeling a little empty afterwards, because the thoughts of the songwriter are transferred to you and you are just left wondering what life is about.

 

Daughtry – “Death of Me”

The songwriter is overwhelmed by a situation in his life and he can’t seem to cope or find his way through it. The storyteller would like to protect his heart from feeling anything, because if he gives in to this feeling he is afraid of what will happen. This situation is causing him immense anxiety, but in the end he believes that love will prove to be stronger than his doubt.

We all have our personal battles to deal with on a daily basis and this is mentioned in the song.

“Another day, another battle
We all have a cage to rattle”

 

Badflower – “Ghost”

This video/song deals with a very heavy topic. It deals with cutting (self-harm) and eventually suicide. The song starts out with the protagonist wanting to feel some sort of release and wanting someone to notice that he is in emotional pain. There is an extreme feeling of emptiness and despair from this character when he cuts himself again.

The protagonist is crying out for help at this point and the chorus indicates that he is capable of rational thought even though he is in distress.

“Take the blade away from me
I am a freak, I am afraid that
All the blood escaping me won’t end the pain
And I’ll be haunting all the lives that cared for me
I died to be the white ghost
Of the man who I was meant to be, yeah”

The protagonist cuts himself again and he went further than he meant to. He ends up regretting his actions which hurts even more.

He cut a little deeper and ended up passing away without leaving a letter behind. He expresses deep regret because of this and how he was never a good son to his Mother. He found his life overwhelming and he wasn’t able to cope with it.

This song is extremely powerful and reminds us to look after one another and not to be blind to what someone else is going through.

Please bear in mind that my interpretations of these songs are my personal opinions, based on my own experiences. Therefore feel free to interpret them in your own way.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)

James Concert Review – Cape Town, 24.11.2018

It was a beautiful evening when I arrived at Kirstenbosch Gardens and the enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the winding queue portrayed.

We entered the venue and managed to find a little spot atop the hill of the venue, with an incredible view of the city and the stage below us.

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Watershed started their set at 19:00 and it is always lovely to be able to watch a local staple perform at Kirstenbosch. It allows us to appreciate our local talent and show our support.

James is an English rock band from Manchester, which was formed in 1982. Lead singer Tim Booth departed from the band in 2001 and the band became inactive. In 2007, the band reunited and went on to produce six more albums.

Tim Booth is a very entertaining frontman, with a ton of energy, but with no tolerance for cellphones. He expressed his desire for the audience to “live in the moment” instead of taking videos/pictures to post on social media later on. He performed two songs amidst the crowd, but didn’t want to spend time with “one-armed people”. Considering the world we found ourselves in, it is refreshing to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around social media.

“Getting Away With It All (All Messed Up)” was a true crowd pleaser as it should be. It is an enigmatic song and one of the band’s most popular tracks.

“Say Something” was another hit with the audience and they were very happy to perform backing vocals to the entire song.

“What’s It All About” is a song from the band’s latest album, “Living in Extraordinary Times”. I love the vibe of this song, it deals with a serious topic, but the melody is extremely catchy.

“Hank” was another track that the band performed from their latest album and the drumming on this song in particular was impressive.

“Leviathan” is a compelling song about two people’s journeys coming together as one.

“Many Faces” closed the band’s set and it was a beautiful experience. As Tim ended off the song slowly, the crowd took over chanting the last verse;

“There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here
There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here”

It was absolutely magical, while the full moon was high up in the sky, the audience came together as one in that single moment.

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I thoroughly enjoyed James’ performance and I can say that for the first time the studio albums don’t do the live performance of the band justice. I have never said that about a band’s material before, but I mean it as a massive compliment.

I will admit that I wasn’t familiar with the band’s material before, but I loved every second of their set. My friend and I were standing the entire time, which locals will know is not the norm for a show at Kirstenbosch Gardens. We were dancing the whole time!

Shout out to We Are Live! for the free tickets!

Thank you to James for a memorable night!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Our Last Night – Cape Town, 17.11.2018

We arrived at a sold out Mercury Live show on the 17.11.2018 and our tickets had been purchased months prior, due to the popularity of the band on South African soil.

Later on another show was added to accommodate more fans. There was a lengthy lineup of local talent prior to Our Last Night’s set.

Treehouse Burning was up first and I was taken by their energy on stage. It might not be the type of music that I normally listen to, but I really enjoyed their set. What stood out to me the most was the use of the electronic sound. It really impressed me so much, that at times my mouth hung open. The use of intermittent silence really intensified this feeling.

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OneDaySky was up next and they have an interesting dynamic. The band originates from Johannesburg and started their journey as a band in 2008. The lead vocals range from clean vocals to unclean vocals which create an interesting dynamic between Chris Watts and Eric Barnfather.

 

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Set For The Sky was brimming with energy when they came on stage. The lead singer’s enthusiasm is infectious and the crowd got swept up in it immediately. I enjoyed this band’s set a lot and I would love to see them again.

 

 

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As Time Divides was up next and there were definitely a few hardcore fans in the crowd, that is for sure. The band came on full force and didn’t let up until the end of their set. As Time Divides was founded in 2016, so they are relatively new on the scene and I’m sure we will see a lot more of them in the future.

 

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We waited almost an hour for Our Last Night to come on stage, but when they finally did it was a moshpit from start to finish. They opened with “Same Old War”, an older song but definitely a favourite amongst fans.

“Tongue Tied” was performed next and this is one of my favourites. It is heavy, interlaced with tender moments and then you get punched with Trevor’s screams on various occasions.

 

“Ivory Tower” really took the established moshpit to the next level and the crowd went absolutely bonkers when this song was being performed. It is definitely one of their heavier tracks and the crowd took full advantage of that.

It was super entertaining when Woody, the bass guitar player crowd-surfed over to the bar, crowd-surfed to the sound tech and back on stage with four beers and a guitar in his hands!! What a feat!

“Dark Storms” is exactly what is described in the title. It consists of a dark, broody melody and ominous lyrics. The chorus is great to sing along with and is a Our Last Night staple.

It wouldn’t be a Our Last Night show if they didn’t perform some of their signature cover songs. “Humble” took center stage and I always find it intriguing to see how the band interpret popular songs.

“Home” is a great rock song from the band and it was followed by one of my favourite tracks and from what I can tell a solid fan favourite….”White Tiger”!

“Soul Speak” is one of the latest tracks from the band and it is sonically diverse and captivating. “Prisoners” from the album “Younger Dreams” was up next followed by the very popular “Broken Lives”. “Broken Lives” is a motivational song, speaks about the fact that we all suffer in some way and how we need to take responsibility for our decisions.

“Ghost in the Machine” and “Road to the Throne” featured on the playlist thereafter.

The band performed their cover of 1-800-273-8255 originally performed by Logic. The crowd just loved the band’s version of this song.

“Reason To Love” appeared on the set list and this track was from the band’s “Age of Ignorance” album.

“Sunrise” is a really special song and great to sing along to, so it made sense that the band would close the show with this one. The love the fans have for this song was evident in their reaction when the first few notes hit the air.

Our Last Night returned for their encore with “Common Ground” which was a fantastic choice to end the gig with. The atmosphere was electric!

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The entire evening flew by except when we were waiting for Our Last Night to come on stage. This crowd meant business and they were there to have the best night, there is no doubt about that. Our Last night’s performance was a blur, because it went by so quickly and with incredible intensity. Luckily my friend snapped a picture of the set list, which made my job a lot easier!

I sincerely hope Our Last Night grace us with their presence again soon!

Thank you Jampacked Productions for bringing them to SA!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Daughtry Cape Town Concert Review – 25.10.2018

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I arrived at the venue 2 hours prior to the start of the show and going through the motions that is required by a dedicated music lover. This includes queuing for what seems like forever, standing for hours on end, feeling exhausted the following day and having body aches for the next 48 hours. It really sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but my point is, all of that is worth it through and through.

Jesse Clegg kicked off the evening with some favourite local tunes and it was the first time in two months that he has been back in South Africa. The venue means a lot to him, because of his father, Johnny Clegg’s history of performances at the Grand Arena.

Jesse proved that he could captivate the audience with the subtlety and honesty of his performance.

Jesse ended his set at 20:30 and the crowd waited with bated breath for Daughtry to take to the stage. In the meantime there was some entertainment in between sets which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. The audience members in the Golden Circle had no idea what was happening, but the seated crowd got entertained by a man who could not resist dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” which was blaring from the speakers. The crowd who could witness his smooth moves, couldn’t stop cheering for him.

 

Daughtry finally came on stage and by this time the anticipation had been palpitating. Unfortunately I’m not able to access the set list, so I will recall the songs that were performed from memory. The band kicked off with a song from their latest album titled “Just Found Heaven“. A very intimate song, which describes the narrator being so happy that he found a special relationship, that he doesn’t care what happens to him when he dies.

Feels Like Tonight” is about a person who made a mistake and has made a decision to make up for it at that moment.

I have to say that an unexpected highlight for me was Daughtry’s performance of “Battleship“. Chris delivered the vocals so passionately and with so much energy, I was completely mesmerised.

Crawling Back To You” seemed to be quite a hit with the crowd and it was amazing to hear it live. The band really shined on this track.

One of my favourite tracks from the band’s “Cage To Rattle” tour, has to be “Backbone” the lyrics hit home and the melody of the song is on point! The timing of the track feels different to the band’s other material and I find that the song makes quite an impact, which the listener can’t deny.

Deep End” is the band’s latest single off their new album, it is about taking a chance on love or a new relationship by going “all in”. Elvio shines on the keyboards on this track and it has a feel good quality to it.

 

After that, Chris moved on to an acoustic set, with just him and the guitar on stage. A classic Daughtry track “Life After You” kicked off the acoustic set and it feels as if you just heard the lyrics for the first time in your life, because of the way it is being delivered.

As You Are” is a track from the latest album and Chris revealed that his wife wrote this song with him. It is about true love, dedication and having to accept your significant other as they are in order to make it last. It is about appreciating the other person too.

Chris encouraged the audience to sing along with one of Daughtry’s first singles when they started out, “Home“. It was a beautiful moment as the crowd got out their phones to light up the arena. My phone was terribly confused as it kept going out of focus, but I think I captured the “feel” of the performance at least.

 

The band took it up a few notches after the acoustic set by performing “White Flag“, a hard-hitting, energetic rock song delivered with power and conviction. I loved every second of the band’s performance of this song.

Daughtry entertained the crowd with their performance of “It’s Not Over“, the song that catapulted the band into the charts. It’s not a Daughtry show, if this song is not on the set list.

 

Over You” followed after and the crowd got an opportunity to show off with Chris allowing us to fill in the blanks, so to speak. It is about the narrator getting over a tough breakup and coming out stronger on the other side of it.

The band left the stage after that and we cheered for an encore.

 

The audience members beside me in the Golden Circle had been anticipating the performance of “Waiting for Superman” the entire evening and the band finally performed it. I never realised how popular the song was among fans until now.

 

We provided the backup vocals for “No Surprise” and Chris layered his vocals over it, it sounded incredible.

September” was performed thereafter and the crowd lapped up every note of that song.

The best surprise was when Chris suddenly launched into a cover version of “Purple Rain“. It stunned the audience into silence for a few seconds, before that turned to screaming. Chris left the stage at one point and the band continued playing the song, when Chris suddenly returned much to my delight after having caught that moment on video. It was a surreal moment in the best way possible.

I watched Daughtry performing in Cape Town exactly 8 years ago, so it was really special to have the opportunity to see them again. Adding to that it was the first concert that I had ever been to. I really hope it won’t take another 8 years for them to return.

I have to say that I had the most pleasant Golden Circle experience ever. I had enough space to stretch my legs and no one pushing against me the whole time.

 

Chris’s vocal abilities are hard to compare to anyone else, he has a powerful set of pipes. That doesn’t mean I take anything away from the band’s performance. Josh Paul is always entertaining to watch on the bass guitar. Elvio Fernandes provides some impressive backup vocals and he is great on the keyboards. Josh Steely is on lead guitar, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar and together they make a great team. Brandon Maclin played his part on the drums and even provided us with a short drum solo.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Tantalising New Rock Tracks

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Beartooth – You Never Know

This band is intense, there is no doubt about that. I love the first verse to this song, with that wonderful bass line that entices the listener. The song escalates to a roaring chorus and takes the song to the next level, but at the same time it creates a great contrast.

 

Rival Sons – Do Your Worst

The Rival Sons are back and I couldn’t be more excited after listening to their latest track. It delivers a groovy rock song with their signature flavour sprinkled on top. The melody and timing of the song has an addictive quality to it and the drumming is tasty, indeed.

 

Thrice – Only Us

An electronic sound permeates this song and forms the melody which is supported with the electric guitar. Dustin Kensrue’s vocals are impeccable on this track and I’m in love with the grittier undertone that he possesses.

 

Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA

The video for MANTRA raises some interesting social questions regarding modern society and the images that we are presented with on a daily basis. The song feels very current and like it belongs in 2018. It is a commentary on our current societal norms and what we accept without question.

Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Mind Your Manners

The notes Myles hits in this song is basically superhuman and Todd’s backing vocals just adds to the magic. Slash’s guitar provides an undeniable rock ‘n roll groove that won’t allow you to forget this song anytime soon. The band’s latest album, “Living The Dream” released on the 21st of September 2018.

Make sure to check it out!

 

Asking Alexandria – Alone In A Room

This song’s lyrics resonate deeply with me and I’m surprised that the subject matter would mean so much to me. The song’s structure is different from the band’s other material. There are tender moments contrasted with a heavier chorus. I really love this song!

 

Smash Into Pieces – In Need Of Medicine

I find the composition of this song is what caught my attention. The genre of the song might be debatable if you wanted to get into that.  I found it easy to relate to the lyrics and the duet is refreshing as well.

Red Sun Rising – Stealing Life

Powerful subject matter is addressed in the music video for this song and I think the message is conveyed in a gentle manner. Mental illness is a very real, but rarely discussed subject in society and music has a way of addressing these issues in a powerful manner. I love Mike Protich’s vocals on this track, powerful yet subdued.

 

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Great Rock Albums released in 2018…so far

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Due to studying and life running away with my time I have not been diligent in keeping the blog updated, but hopefully this won’t be a problem any longer. In the past few months I have listened and discovered new music by some talented artists and I even discovered artists that are in a different genre. I absolutely love discovering new bands/music, it makes me want to share it with the world.

Shinedown – Attention Attention

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Shinedown – Attention Attention Album Cover  Copyright: Shinedown / Atlantic Records

Released on the 4th of May 2018, this is a concept album depicting an individual who is overcoming negativity and being reborn as a new person with a healthier mindset. Shinedown always provides us with hard-hitting, in-your face rock music with honest lyrics. They don’t shy away from the uncomfortable truths. Shinedown is able to craft songs that blend different techniques seamlessly. I was blown away the first time I heard their first single from this album “DEVIL”. The drums shine on this track as well as Brent’s intense vocals. “PYRO” is stellar. It builds up through the intro to launch into full on mayhem, especially that chorus! Zach’s guitar riffs provides the basis for this track which is a treat. “HUMAN RADIO” is an interesting commentary on the current state of the world we live in, which I found fascinating. The concept for the video is thought-provoking in the best way possible and memorable. I highly recommend this album as there is not a song on here that I didn’t enjoy.

 

Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger

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Year of the Tiger – Myles Kennedy Album Cover Copyright: Napalm Records

I have wanted to do an album review of YOTT for such a long time. I have to admit that it has been something that I have found quite daunting. As most of you know by now, Myles holds a special place in my heart and mind, as a human being and as a musician. I was in awe the first time I heard the title track, I was surprised by how much I loved it. This might sound strange, but I had no idea what to expect from Myles’ solo album. I would struggle to categorise this album in a specific genre, which to me is actually a good thing.

The day the album was released I was already well acquainted with the title track already. First off, I have to mention that I’m very reserved when it comes to expressing my emotions, except if something gets me really excited. I sat in my car, listening to the album and when “The Great Beyond” came on, my jaw literally dropped. The intro is very theatrical and I was in absolute awe. If you want to know the calibre of the musician that Myles is, then that is the track you need to listen to. His skills on guitar is impeccable and the note that Myles hits in that chorus amazes me every time I listen to it. You can hear the passion in this song and it reminds me a little bit of Spanish guitar combined with theatrics.

“Devil on the Wall” has a great storyline and it has some country swagger to it. “Ghost of Shangri-La” was a neat little surprise tucked away amongst the other songs and despite the lyrics, it has an uplifting feel to it. “Haunted by Design” will haunt your ear, that is for sure. An easy listening song where you can appreciate the lyrics. “Love Can Only Heal” takes you on a sonic, atmospheric journey encapsulated by Myles’ ethereal vocals. This song is definitely a fan favourite.

I had the privilege of seeing and meeting Myles on the first show of his solo tour, read my review here: Myles Kennedy in Cape Town 2018

Tremonti – A Dying Machine

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Tremonti – A Dying Machine Album Cover No copyright infringement intended

It is pretty apparent that this band improves with every album they release. I think there is more variety on this album and the guitar technique/skills always stand out, but that isn’t the only focus. The band has grown and incorporated solid lyrics, vocals and diversity in their sound compared to their other releases. The timing on “A Dying Machine” creates a good contrast to make the chorus stand out, with a more subtle guitar solo in the bridge. “Throw Them To The Lions” is a hard hitter of note and that signature Tremonti sound shines on this track. “The Day When Legions Burned” is a masterclass in drumming, Garrett’s technique on this track is undeniable. I absolutely love “The First The Last” and this track took me by surprise. Mark’s vocals on that track really makes you sit up and take note. This shows how much Mark’s vocal ability has grown these past few years. “The First The Last” tugs at my heart-strings.

“You are the heart that beats within my dying core” – What an incredible lyric.

A solid album for the hard rock/metal lover with a few pleasant surprises in between.

 

Bad Wolves – Disobey

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Bad Wolves – Disobey Album Cover

I probably don’t have to tell you that I heard about Bad Wolves the first time I heard their now extremely popular cover of The Cranberries’ Zombie.

What I didn’t expect was how hard I was going to fall in love with this band. I love the melodic verses surrounded by some serious heavy metal screams/distortions. They have managed to create something that is pleasing to the ear, even if you are not a heavy metal fan. They manage to get the combination just right. “Disobey” and “Learn To Live” are quite heavy and punchy, but they are lifted by melodic choruses. “Remember When” tells the story of Tommy Vext’s childhood and the tragedy that caused him to land up in a hospital bed. I would like to elaborate on this story on the blog soon. It is a powerful song and one of the stars on this album. The bass line on “Better The Devil” reels you in and takes you on a journey that attack your senses. “Hear Me Now” is a tender moment on the album and features hard rock chick DIAMANTE. It is a stellar performance and even the version with only Tommy on vocals is outstanding.

 

Pop Evil – Pop Evil

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Pop Evil Album Cover

Pop Evil knocked it out of the park with this album. This is a hard rock fan’s dream come true. Solid song writing, utilising instruments in a balanced mannner complimented with powerful vocals. The Rock Riff ranked “Waking Lions” as the Number 1 song of 2017, which means the expectations were high for this album. “Art of War” and “Be Legendary” are lyrically captivating and melodic.  “Nothing But Thieves” starts with an interesting intro which incorporates an electronic sound, but you can’t help being intrigued and waiting to hear what will happen next. The inspiring track “When We Were Young” will make you reminisce and have hope for the future. Leigh’s smooth vocals have the ability to transport you to another place, the best example of this is on the track “Rewind”. Hayley Cramer is magic on the drums, especially on “Colors Bleed”, this girl doesn’t need to stand back for any drummer.

 

Honourable Mentions

Turnstile – Time & Space

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Turnstile – Time & Space Album Cover

The intro to “I Wanna Be Blind” is stellar and it is an energizing song with elements of classic rock and funk thrown together. The album is an interesting mix of various styles. The band didn’t hold back on this album and they are not afraid to take risks. They maintain an intense tempo throughout the entire album. This album is more suited to the average punk rock fan.

Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree

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Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree Album Cover

I love this band! I love their sound, because I find it so refreshing. Chris Robertson’s southern drawl is unmatched. This album had some surprising tracks on that I was a little surprised about. “Bad Habits” is the first song off the album and I think it represents the signature Black Stone Cherry sound perfectly. I feel that there needs to be a track on an album that is a classic representation of that specific band’s sound. They have incorporated a slightly more dominant country sound, especially on songs like “Carry Me On Down The Road” and “I Need A Woman” and even some blues on “James Brown”. The album does seem to take on a slower pace overall, but I think the band is developing their sound and trying new things. You have to admire that.

The Temperance Movement – A Deeper Cut

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The Temperence Movement – A Deeper Cut Album Cover

A fantastic band that I discovered on the airplane on my trip back from London to Cape Town. A British band that embodies the groove of true Rock ‘n Roll. You can’t help but be caught in the infectious beat and groove they emit. Their songs inspire me and instantly improves my mood. “Built-In Forgetter” is the one that got me hooked in the first place. “Backwater Zoo” really makes me feel like I have heard this song before, a few decades ago, it is like the song pays homage to classic rock bands in the 70s. The smooth guitar chords layered on top of “Love and Devotion” makes you want to grab someone to dance with. “Beast Nation” is an emotional song that soothes your soul with gritty vocals in the verses and THAT guitar solo in the bridge! The passion of the band members are evident on every track. “The Way It Was and The Way It Is Now” is another standout, the guitar hook on this track is incredible.

Hopefully I have more time to share more music with you.

I can’t wait, I’m excited!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K