Kicking off 2018!

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Welcome to 2018, people!

I think it is going to be a smashing year for rock music as I have seen a lot of exciting things happening already!

New Music

Bad Wolves – “Zombie”

First off I want to share a cover song with you that has captivated me for the past week. I have shared this song with everyone I know, because it pays homage to the original but the band solidified their stamp on it. The late Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) was meant to lend her vocals to this cover, but then news broke that the singer had passed away before that could happen. The band released their version that Dolores had approved of as a tribute and all profits will benefit Dolores’ three children.

This song affects me in ways that I can’t explain and I could probably write essays about this cover. Vext’s vocals are a major highlight for me, every nuance is perfectly placed and that goes for the instrumentation as well.

Major respect go to “Bad Wolves” for this one.

Story of the Year – “Bang Bang”

An energetic offering from Story of the Year and I find their latest song seamlessly combine different genres within one song. It jumps from an electronic-like intro straight to screamo to punk rock over to a rock chorus. The band’s fans are delighted about their return after their hiatus. Their latest album titled “Wolves” was released in December 2017.

Red – “Gone”

The title track from the band’s latest album is a solid rock song with some electronic beats weaved throughout the song. The lyrics question the legacy that we leave behind and the quality of the impact we made, that stay behind when we pass away.

A valid point to ponder.

 

Black Veil Brides – “Wake Up”

Black Veil Brides have returned! A politically charged video and theme run through the band’s latest single with a delicious guitar solo thrown in for good measure. It is an anthem for the majority to stand up against what they believe to be unfair, corrupt or unjustified behaviour. A great message to share considering the power that politicians/leaders wield.

 

Marmozets – “Run With The Rhythm”

An interesting song that I would never have expected to hear from Marmozets. The intro almost has a folk/indie sound to it, up until the chorus kicks in. The video is captivating and the cinematography is amazing. An artistic release in every way.

Pop Evil – “Colors Bleed”

A great concept for a video which leaves the viewer with more questions than answers and a reflection of today’s society or a reality we might still face. I’m loving every second of the heavier direction Pop Evil has taken.

Three Days Grace – “The Mountain”

It is so good to hear Three Days Grace back on the scene again. The lyrics are inspiring and is the best way to get your year started. Three Days Grace’s latest album “Outsider” drops on the 9th of March 2018.

 

Paddy and the Rats – “Join The Riot”

The strangest and most entertaining discovery I have made in recent history. I wouldn’t have taken this band seriously if they weren’t signed by Napalm Records and if I didn’t listen to their other songs. Different, exciting, funny and a carnival to your ears, enjoy me matey!

 

Jonathan Davis – “What It Is”

Surprise, Jonathan Davis just went solo! I think this will be a very interesting venture for non-fans and fans alike. I’m excited to see what is to come from him in the near future. I liked this song from the first listen which is rare for me. Straight-up good, honest rock music.

 

Local Events

There are some exciting concerts heading to Cape Town’s shores.

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There will definitely, without any doubt be a blog post about Mr Myles Kennedy when I meet him on the 6th of March 2018.

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Have a smashing week and I hope everyone had a good start to their year so far!

If not…we will have to take it up a notch next month!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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Best 17 Rock Songs of 2017

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Best Rock Songs of 2017

17: Imminence – Up

Imminence, a Swedish band which took me completely by surprise! The song starts out like any other modern rock song and then escalates, becoming more intense with each verse. The band’s material is diverse and their music often crosses over genre boundaries.

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16: Skarlett Riot – Warrior

A high-energy song that is enveloped by powerful female vocals and some truly impressive breakdowns that is enough to get you hooked on to the band’s material. The band incorporates hard rock mixed with a metal edge into their sound which creates a great experience for rock fans. This song stood out to me, because it has so much heart and the drumming creates a solid support base for the song.

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15: Avatar – A Statue Of The King

A truly theatrical experience, as we have come to expect from Avatar. A spectacle of metal perfection and phenomenal musicianship. Avatar is releasing their new album “Avatar Country” on the 12th of January 2018 and I’m salivating!

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14: I Prevail – Come and Get It

I don’t think the band could have compiled a better video to convey the amount of energy and passion they have for what they do. This live performance video montage conveys the raw energy that I Prevail possess. This song is incredible, because it is heavy but at the same time it has great rhythm to it. Throw me in the pit!!

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13: Papa Roach – Born for Greatness

A great arena rocker and a music video to match the energy of the song. Papa Roach delivers a solid crowd-pleaser with this song. An instant way to improve your mood!!

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12: Incubus – Nimble Bastard

Incubus deliver an undeniable groove with this song and lighthearted lyrical content. The video plays out like a meme and you can see the band members having a lot of fun with this one. A refreshing departure from the rock music genre’s heavier subject matter.

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11: While She Sleeps – Empire of Silence

The only way I can describe this song is by comparing it to a roller coaster, from the use of the strategic silences to the smashing drums combined with the switch between clean and unclean vocals. This song is a feast to any metal head’s¬† ears.

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10: Seether – Let You Down

The lyrics are melancholy and the hook tends to reel in the listener slowly but surely. I’m in love with the visuals of this video and it has been expertly crafted to be creepy while still leaving a lot to the imagination. Art house horror is the only way I feel I can describe the video.

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9: Escape The Fate – Empire

I made the mistake of reading some comments posted on YouTube below this video, which were very negative. I disagree with all of them. This song has grit, energy and fuels the need to head bang. It is a party song and can get you in the mood for the weekend from the first note. I don’t think fans should take it so seriously, it is not meant to be debated about. It is meant to be enjoyed.

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8: Asking Alexandria – Into The Fire

Asking Alexandria released a video for “Into The Fire” that plays out more like a scene straight from Sin City than a music video. I’m definitely not complaining, because I loved every second of it. The highlight of this song, in my opinion, is Danny’s vocals. The song really shows off his vocal range and versatility, not taking anything away from the band’s performance at all.

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7: In This Moment – Roots

The lyrics of the song is empowering and I can’t help but feel that this is an incredibly personal song to Maria Brink. A blistering chorus combined with verses that hypnotize the listener. A solid delivery by the band.

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6: Fozzy – Judas

A charismatic front man combined with an entertaining video supported by solid bass playing surrounded by flames and Marshall speakers, sounds like a recipe for success to me! This describes Fozzy’s latest music video in a nutshell.

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5: Marmozets – Major System Error

The Marmozets are back! A delicious bombardment of guitars, drums topped off with girl power in the form of Becca’s vocals. I can dance and head bang to this song, a rare combination. ūüėÄ

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4: Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger

I will start by admitting that I’m biased when it comes to Myles Kennedy. He has been working on his solo album since 2009!! It seems like his solo project will finally see the light of day. Year of the Tiger is different to any of Myles’ previous projects, but that was the goal. Myles loves blues and has incorporated that sound into his solo work. His debut album will be released on the 9th of March 2018. This song is refreshing and the lyrical content tells the deeply personal story of the emotions Myles went through as a child when he lost his father. I’m so proud to be a fan.

PS: Myles is launching his solo tour in my home town of Cape Town in 2018! I can hardly contain myself!

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3: Nothing More – Go To War

Grammy nominated rock song, just says it all, doesn’t it? The song is relevant to today’s current political climate and the chorus is incredibly powerful. Jonny Hawkins never holds back and you can definitely tell with this song, his vocal range is impressive as well. The band managed to nab 3 Grammy nominations and I couldn’t be prouder.

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2: Five Finger Death Punch – Gone Away

All of us are well aware of what Five Finger Death Punch are capable of, but I for one did not expect this. The band released a cover of Offspring’s song “Gone Away” and I’m in love with it. I was not aware that Ivan Moody’s voice was capable of the subtleties of this vocal performance. An immaculate performance by the entire band and an instant classic.

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1: Pop Evil – Waking Lions

I’m delighted with the approach that Pop Evil took with this song. The heavier sound compared to their previous album is a pleasant surprise. A soaring chorus framed by heavier verses is refreshing and I have to admit Hayley’s drumming is impeccable. Bottom line….we need more!

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Cheers to 2017!!

It has been a great year for rock music!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best 15 Rock Songs of 2015

 

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The year 2015 had a lot of amazing rock music moments. When I started to compile this list it was easier than it has ever been before!

Please take some time to appreciate the talented musicians featured here:

 

Number 15: In This Moment – “Sex Metal Barbie”

 

In This Moment have their own unique style and niche fan base. The song discusses the prejudice that women in the hard rock/metal music industry face. Maria Brink displays her flair and tenacity in this unique video.

 

Number 14: Apocalyptica – “Cold Blood”

 

Franky Perez joined Apocalyptica in 2014 as a touring member, but I think his voice compliments the band ¬†perfectly. “Cold Blood” delivers a visual feast combined with excellent instrumentalists. A rock performance with class.

 

Number 13: Trivium – “Silence In The Snow”

 

Silence In The Snow hits the ground running and Matt Heafy’s vocal delivery on this track is impeccable not to mention the mesmerizing video the band released.

Number 12: Breaking Benjamin – “Angels Fall”

 

Breaking Benjamin released an enchanting ballad and personally a song that I don’t think many rock fans will tire of.

 

Number 11: We Are Harlot – “Dancing On Nails”

 

In 2015 the metal world lost a talented vocalist and the rock industry gained a fantastic new band “We Are Harlot” with¬†charismatic vocalist Danny Worsnop. I had this video on repeat for weeks after I heard it for the first time. It is a great song to introduce the band to a new fan base and it makes you forget your inhibitions.

 

Number 10: The Fuel – “Revolution”

 

The Fuel got signed to¬†Record Label Suburban Records on the 8th of December 2015. I love discovering new bands that are relatively unknown and delivers quality production and songs I can sink my teeth into. The Fuel is one of those bands and one of my greatest discoveries this year. “Revolution” is a fantastic song and I can’t help lip-syncing every time I hear it!

Check out their Band of the Month feature on The Rock Riff here: https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/band-of-the-month-the-fuel/

 

Number 9: Highly Suspect – “Lydia”

 

This song was nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song¬†and after the song peaked at Number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock Songs chart I think we all know that this song has made a major impact on 2015. A great rock song that builds anticipation with a unique arrangement and the vocalist’s voice becomes more urgent as the song progresses.

 

 

Number 8: Halestorm – “I Am The Fire”

I had a difficult decision to make when I wanted to make a choice between “Amen” and “I Am The Fire” by Halestorm. The reason I chose “I Am The Fire” is in part due to the escalating notes that Lzzy sings at 2:45 in the video. My jaw just dropped when I first heard that part. We all know that ¬†Lzzy can sing, but she just took it to another level. The band creates a fantastic ebb and flow along with Lzzy’s vocals on this track.

 

Number 7: Bullet For My Valentine – “Venom”

The band’s new material took me by surprise, because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. A rock song that everyone can relate to about removing toxic people in your life and having no regrets.

 

 

 

Number 6: Nothing More – “Jenny”

This song didn’t strike me at first, but after I learned the story behind the song I was hooked. The song is very personal to lead vocalist Jonny Hawkins about his aunt “Jenny” who has¬†schizophrenia¬†and his sister Jenna who has bipolar disorder. The band partnered with many organisations to bring awareness to people suffering from mental illness. The band partnered with the following organisations:

To Write Love on Her Arms – http://twloha.com
The Jed Foundation ‚Äď http://www.jedfoundation.org
Bring Change 2 Mind – http://bringchange2mind.org
International Bipolar Foundation – http://www.ibpf.org
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk

 

Number 5: Papa Roach – “Gravity” ft Maria Brink

The style and variety in this song is appealing. Jacoby depicts his vulnerability in the song’s lyrics. Having Maria Brink from In This Moment perform on this track adds another dimension to the song and I feel it makes the song more relatable. I’m in love with the music video, it matches the title of the song as it adds a surreal quality to the track.

 

Number 4: Pop Evil – “Footsteps (Go Higher)”

An inspiring and unique offering from Pop Evil for their fifth studio album. I love the pop art/comic book look of the video and it is executed¬†flawlessly. A song that you will be singing for the rest of the day! ūüėÄ

 

Number 3: Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”

An epic stadium-sized rock song. I can just imagine the audience going crazy when this song is being performed¬†live. An empowering, electronic lyrical force that will make you believe the sky’s the limit. Prepare to hit the replay button!

 

Number 2: Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence”

I was flabbergasted when I heard this song for the first time. I couldn’t believe that David Draiman was singing, I have never heard him sing like he did on this track. A cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” was the last cover that I expected Disturbed to do. This song will definitely gain Disturbed a new fan base. I have witnessed friends on Facebook share this song and I know they don’t listen to rock/metal music. The art direction for the music video is superb and the viewers can get ready for some serious goosebumps. Enjoy!

 

NUMBER 1: Shinedown – “Cut The Cord”

I was super excited when Shinedown finally made their come back after two years of near silence from the band. Their fifth album “Threat To Survival” made its arrival on the 18th of September 2015. The lead single from the album “Cut The Cord” released on the 29th of June 2015. The song not surprisingly reached¬†No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The song has a positive message that encourages people to let go of whatever is holding them back and a reminder to all that we control our own destiny. This song pull no punches and the video reiterates that sentiment. The band’s performance¬†allows the viewer to appreciate their chemistry and makes you feel as if you have stepped¬†into their private rehearsal space.

 

Here is to 2016 and may there be many more quality rock moments!

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

Six Videos You Have To Watch… NOW!

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Recently I had the pleasure of watching a few interesting rock music videos, I just had to share them with my readers.

Enjoy and vote for your favourite video below!

Videos numbered in no particular order.

1. Pop Evil – Trenches ft DMC

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I just had to share this explosive collaboration between rock band and rapper, quite a combination!

 

2. Lindsey Stirling – Shatter Me ft Lzzy Hale

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Another interesting collaboration between Lindsey Stirling, American violinist, dancer, performance artist, composer and Lzzy Hale lead vocalist for rock band Halestorm. A visual treat which will not disappoint the viewer.

3. Adelitas Way – Dog On A Leash

Adelitas Way will be releasing their third studio album “Stuck” on the 29th of July 2014 and the first single off the album titled “Dog on a Leash”, the band released a video for. It has a creepy, dark feel to it and it is just plain awesome!

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4. Of Mice & Men – Would You Still Be There

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An adrenaline fueled song accompanied by a perfectly executed concept makes for an explosive video. The shot of the ballerina in the video is pure brilliance, view it below.

5. Black Stone Cherry – Me and My Mary Jane

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A sexy music video filled with tons of good-looking women, featuring BSC with their trademark twang, southern rock attitude and enthusiasm. A solid hard rock song which you can dance to.

6. Skillet – Not Gonna Die

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An empowering rock song that will make you gather the courage to face the hardships in your life with more conviction than before. A visually stimulating video which will linger in your mind for a while after you have watched it.

Enjoy your week, can’t wait for the weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

5 Rock Songs To Get Your Week Off To A Good Start

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We all know that Mondays’ are generally not a good day for a lot of people, so The Rock Riff has decided to be¬†the silver lining to your Monday blues. Here are 5 rock songs to headbang to¬†on your drive to work or on your drive home from work depending on where you live. Get rid off all that pent-up frustration!

1. Alter Bridge – Cry A River

This song never fails to get my blood pumping, its one of my favourite tracks to come from “Fortress”, Alter Bridge’s fourth studio album. Myles Kennedy puts in some stellar vocals as usual and the band pulls the song together effortlessly.

2. The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

Combine Taylor Momsen at her best, an interesting concept for a music video, a great band¬†and an infectious chorus, the result will be “Heaven Knows”. The video has already accumulated 1,235,903 views within only 5 days, you can see why by clicking below.

3. Skillet – Sick Of It

I feel this song describes my state of mind on some days perfectly and what is better than a band smack in the middle of a mosh pit? Nothing, is my answer. Whenever you had a bad day listen to this song and it will make you feel better instantly!

4. Korn – Spike In My Veins

I’ve only recently started listening to Korn¬†(believe it or not!) and I love their recent singles that they have released off of their latest album “The Paradigm Shift”. I particularly found their music video for “Spike in My Veins” interesting, I found the video quite creepy. It depicts the messages that we¬†are exposed¬†to by the mass media¬†on a day-to-day basis. The chorus¬†is amazing and the¬†slow-motion shots in-between the TV footage is fantastic.

5. Pop Evil – Deal With The Devil

A music video that might make your skin crawl, but will have you cranking up the volume at the same time. A fist-pumping chorus combined with some killer guitars and bad-ass drumming. This will give you an adrenaline injection to make you survive the rest of your week.

I hope you have a rocking week and before you can blink its the weekend, baby!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Pop Evil

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Pop Evil is a rock band which was formed in Muskegon, Michigan in 2001. The band initially consisted of Leigh Kakaty, Dave Grahs, Jamie Nummer, and Dylan Allison. The band grew out of pieces from other Michigan bands called TenFive.

In 2004 the band independently released album titled “War of the Roses” and followed the release with a 3-song EP “Ready or Not” in 2006.¬†“Ready¬†or Not” featured a concert staple “Somebody Like You”. The band filmed a music video for the song¬†released in 2006 featuring¬†Rossi Morreale¬†and Britt Koth. Guitarist Tony Greve¬†was added¬†as temporary studio musician, but was later invited to become a full-time member in early 2007. Around the same time Jamie Nummer¬†left the band personal reasons and was replaced¬†by Matt DiRito, formerly of Archangel and Before the Fire. In November 2007 the band signed a management deal with G&G Entertainment.

The band’s official debut album arrived on the 12th¬†of August 2008 on the indie label Pazzo¬†Music that is distributed by Universal Music Group subsidiary, Fontana Distribution¬†, it¬†spawned the radio-friendly songs “Hero”, “Somebody Like You”, “100 in 55” and “Stepping Stone”.¬†¬†In April of 2008 Pazzo¬†Music released their first national single “Hero” which¬†peaked inside the Top 25 at Active Roxk¬†Radio. Pazzo Music released “100 in a 55” to rock radio in November 2008.¬†¬†The band distributed a special edition of the album at their concert at the¬†Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI, on May 29, 2008 free of charge. The early success of “Lipstick on the Mirror” resulted in a record deal from Universal Music. It was announced at a live show in Cedar Rapids ,¬† IA, on the 6th of March 2009 that Pop Evil signed with Universal Records.

Shortly after signing the band re-entered the studio to remix and remaster “Lipstick on the Mirror”. In April 2009 the band¬†officially inked a deal with Cherry Lane Publishing.¬†In May 2009 the band released the remastered version of the album through Universal Republic Records. The re-release was engineered¬†and mixed by Chuck Alkazian¬†and mastered by Chris Bellman of Bernie Grundman Mastering. The album peaked at Number 12 on the Billboard Heat Seeker chart. The single “100 in a¬†55” peaked on the Active Rock charts at Number 8 making it one of the longest standing singles at Active Rock in 2009. The song was on the chart for 33 weeks!

In July and August of 2009 Pop Evil, along with Whitesnake, supported Judas Priest on the Judas Priest, British Steel (album) 30th Anniversary North American tour.

In July 2009 the band gave their fans the opportunity to choose their next single. After voting concluded the song “Breathe” was chosen¬†to be the band’s next single. The single peaked at No. 29 on the Active Rock charts.

In January 2010 the band announced that they would once again enter the studio, this time to record their second studio album which would be produced by Johnny K.

The band’s first single off of their 2010 album “War of Angels” peaked at Number 5 on the Active Rock Chart. The name of the album signifies the struggle people experience when trying to leave¬†their past behind.¬†In September 2010 the band debuted the first single from¬†War of Angels,”Last Man Standing”, in an exclusive video with UFC fighter Frank Mir. “Last Man Standing” peaked at No. 5 on the Active Radio charts.

War of Angels was originally expected to be¬†released on the 8th of February 2011, but in a press release on the 1st of February 2011 the band announced that the album would be delayed due to conflicts out of the band’s control. In a concert in Columbus, Ohio, in 2011 the band symbolically ripped up their recording contract with Universal Music¬†and announced a new deal with¬†eOne¬†Music. The same year drummer Dylan Allison had emergency surgery on his neck and was unable to perform¬†with the band for a some¬†time. Drummer Josh Marunde¬†(Chachi Riot) formerly of Seraph¬†took over his duties.

In June of 2011, the band released their second single from War of Angels called “Monster You Made” and the band filmed a music video for the song shortly after. “War of Angels” was released¬†at long last¬†on the 5th of July¬†of 2011 on eOne music. The album was also¬†released as a Deluxe Edition with 4 Bonus Tracks available only on iTunes and at the band’s live shows.¬†It reached Number 43 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and Number 8 on the Rock Albums Chart.

Over the course of 2011 the band toured with Drowning Pool, Trust Company, Anew Revolution, Papa Roach, Finger Eleven, Escape The Fate, 3 Doors Down, Theory of a Deadman and Puddle of Mudd.

The band is¬†big fans of the Michigan Wolverines football team , Pop Evil released a single “In The Big House”, the song title refers to the unofficial name for the Michigan stadium. The name refers to its status as the largest stadium in the United States and the third largest stadium in the world. The song was released on Amazon.com and the iTunes store on the 30th of August 2011. The song has also played at the stadium as a pump-up song for the players and the crowd.

In January 2012, the band released their third single from War of Angels called “Boss’s Daughter”and announced their world tour with Theory of a Deadman in April & May.

On the 6th of April 2012 due to personal reasons Tony Greve quit the band of his own accord and Nick Fuelling stepped up to fill his shoes.

On the 24th of April 2012, it was announced that the band would join the¬†“Trespass America Festival”. The tour ran from the 13th of July 2012 – 28th of August 2012. In May 2012 the band released the video for “Boss’s Daughter” which features appearances by Mick Mars from M√∂tley¬†Cr√ľe¬†and Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton. The single reached Number 8 on Active Radio Charts.

In June 2012 the band’s fourth single from War of Angels “Purple” was released. In October 2012 the band made their first appearance touring in Canada with Black Label Society. In November 2012 the band performed one tour date in Sweden with Seether and Avatar.

In 2013 the band entered the studio in Chicago, IL with producer Johnny K¬†just after New Year to record their thirs¬†studio album. The first single called “Trenches” from their upcoming album “Onyx” debuted online on the¬†28 February 2013. On the 11th of April 2013 the band debuted a second single from “Onyx” called “Goodbye My Friend”. It was announced¬†via Twitter that on the 3rd of March that “Onyx” will be released on the 14th of May 2013.

In June 2013, Pop Evil achieved their first national¬†#1 on Rock Radio with the single¬†“Trenches”.

In February 2014 the band signed a deal with Eleven Seven¬†Music for distribution of their current and forthcoming material in Europe. This will see “Trenches” released on the 17th of March 2014 and the album sometime in the first half of the year. In addition, their first European live dates will be in support of label mates¬†Five Finger Death Punch from March into April.

You can follow Pop Evil on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/PopEvil

Rock Regards,

Lauren K