Tag Archives: Hard rock

ALBUM REVIEW: RIVAL SONS – HOLLOW BONES

RivalSons-Denver_2015-02-15

Background
Based in sunny Los Angeles, California, Rival Sons formed in 2008, the quartet of Scott Holiday (guitar), Robin Everhart (bass), Mike Miley (drums), and Jay Buchanan (vocals) captures that massively huge, guitar-driven classic rock sound, with rock-solid drumming and a riff-oriented approach to songwriting backing up Buchanan’s soaring vocals.

Continue reading ALBUM REVIEW: RIVAL SONS – HOLLOW BONES

ALBUM REVIEW: A GIANT DOG – PILE

a_giant_dog_table_sean_daigle

Background
Forging their friendships in the crucible of their Houston, TX, high school, Sabrina Ellis (vocals), Andrew Cashen (vocals, guitar), and Orville Neeley (drums) first got their start covering AC/DC, The Ramones, Joan Jett, and the finer points of the Back to the Future soundtrack at school dances under the band name Youth In Asia. Reuniting in Austin in 2008, they enlisted their pals Andy Bauer (guitar) and Graham Low (bass) and christened the act A Giant Dog.

Continue reading ALBUM REVIEW: A GIANT DOG – PILE

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL – CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

15 Aug 1993 --- Rock Band Nirvana --- Image by © Jesse Frohman/CORBIS OUTLINE
© Jesse Frohman/CORBIS OUTLINE

Will we ever see a band like Nirvana again? It’s hard to believe that the Nevermind album – which changed the face of the music industry in the early 90s – is now 24 years old! And since the decline of rock ‘n’ roll music in the late 90s, no other rock band has come remotely close to replicating the impact of Nirvana. Yes, we have had successful rock bands since viz. Nickelback, The Strokes, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay et al BUT relatively speaking, these have been minor successes when compared to the seismic pop culture impact of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce and the like. Artistically as well, most of these aforementioned bands have failed to deliver.

Curiously enough, the last time critics declared the demise of rock ‘n’ roll was in the late 80s, when Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston ruled the roost, but as the wheel turned rock bands like R.E.M., Nirvana and the Seattle grunge scene ascended to the top of the charts. Well, it’s almost 25 years now and there appears to be no sign of rock ‘n’ roll ever returning to those levels of influence in the mainstream pop industry.

Still, that does not mean that good rock ‘n’ roll music (whether in the guise of pop-rock, indie pop, hard rock, electro-pop, blues rock, garage or punk) wasn’t being made in the last 15 odd years, it’s just that the environment of the music industry has been altered so drastically that it is virtually impossible for what happened in the early 90s to occur once again. The decline in record sales, the rise of singing contests (American Idol, X-Factor etc) and the ubiquity of Youtube, has meant that the major labels have had to hedge their bets and cynically control the musical output and fan appreciation thereof.

This has resulted in the most basic pop formulas viz. hip-hop/R&B accounting for the lion’s share of the chart action. These are 3 of the top 5 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 right now.

The one main thing connecting all three singles is a highly designed discipline to present the melody/rhythms as simplistically and repetitively as possible so that the hooks are very easy to remember. A deliberate lack of musical sophistication that dumbs down to the lowest common denominator creating an audience that is not able to appreciate anything that does not sound like what it hears on a non-stop basis on the radio. The perfect marketing tactic.

In fact, guitar rock is totally absent for the Top 20, with the nearest example being Maroon 5, and even though the music video for “Sugar” shows the band with guitars, it does not sound like there are any guitars on the song itself! In fact, it adheres greatly to the hip-hop/R&B formula with Adam Levine’s vocals heavily auto-tuned. Talk about soul-less! Going down the rest of the chart will depress any fan of rock ‘n’ roll with the genre’s utter lack of representation.

So, are the rumours true? Is rock ‘n’ roll dead? Well, not at the grass roots level of course, as both in the USA and the UK, there continues to be scores of bands who create great rock ‘n’ roll music, it’s just that even with the oft assumed ability of the internet to connect bands and fans, it’s the major labels leveraging on radio stations, streaming services and Youtube (again!) who will have the attention of mainstream music fans.

There’s the rub. If the major labels feel that the new rock ‘n’ roll have the fan base to make them sit up and notice, then they might feel the need to throw money that way. The question is — will the youth of today ever get tired of the formulaic pop stars being paraded before them? Will they ever hunger for something different enough to alter their listening habits? The signs have not been encouraging. The irony is that whilst the internet is always being trumpeted as the champion of free and alternative choices, the harsh reality is that the internet is still ultimately the tool of our corporate masters to dictate what food we should eat, what clothes we should wear and of course, what music we should listen to.

However, for those of us who are able to think critically for ourselves, the internet provides a means of escaping these corporate shackles and we can only do this by supporting the bands that do not conform to the grand masterplan of our overlords. Then, these bands might have the opportunity and liberty to create the kind of music we desire and love. So, is rock ‘n’ roll in a crisis? Not if rock ‘n’ roll fans continue to support the right bands and be evangelistic about the music they love.

Yes, PoP visitors, the ball is in YOUR court…

In the meantime, check out the Power of Pop playlist at Spotify highlighting 30-odd British guitar rock bands you should be supporting! Please FOLLOW!

… still there’s more … 

KOJI PRESENTS RAW HARD ROCKIN’ TRIBUTE TO PULP FICTION

Koji

If there’s one inescapable fly in the S-ROCK ointment, it’s the lack of meaningful lyricism, the fear of exploring concepts beyond the purely emotional (the ‘affairs of the heart’ cliche). Thankfully, that is not the case with Koji’s new free track – “Mrs Mia Wallace” – which functions as a tribute to the Pulp Fiction characters famously played by Uma Thurman in the Quentin Tarantino classic.

There’s something wonderfully shambolic about the quartet’s hard rockin’ agenda – channeling Wolfmother via Led Zep – although the quality of the vocals might need sprucing up. But one cannot quibble too much with the infectious riffs that dominate “Mrs Mia Wallace” and that is one memorable take-away. Download the track for free now!

Check out the lyric video also!

Connect with Koji!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KojibandSG

THE SPIDER SESSIONS

According to its press release, The Spider Sessions came about as a response to a lack of paying gigs for musical artistes in Singapore. Which is in itself, an excellent cause, of course and the folks behind this initiative should be commended.

Apart from organizing more paid gigs for indie bands, “the Spider Sessions aims to build a strong community, holding networking sessions prior to events in order to allow featured artistes to build rapport with each other as well as to facilitate pooling of fan bases. Similar avenues will be provided for the audience to interact with the artistes both during and outside of the events”.

Which is also to be applauded as the sense of community within the local music scene can definitely be built upon. The inaugural event will feature boxchild, Koji, Knightingale and Orange Cove. Ranging from melodic hard rock to grunge to pop punk, these bands represent the lesser-known albeit up and coming modern pop-rock scene in Singapore.

Venue: Pink Noize
Date: Saturday, November 15th 2014
Time: 7 PM to 10 PM
Ticket Pricing: $10
(inclusive of a complimentary non-alcoholic drink)

PoPTV

POPTV

Whenever we can, we strive to remind you – kind visitor – what Power of Pop is all about. Sweet pop music, 60s/70s styled is definitely on the agenda. Bring it!

THE CANYON RAYS – “The Sunshine Growers”

Here’s the new single from Californian pop enthusiasts The Canyon Rays as visualized by director Justin Slade McClain. The track will appear on their upcoming West Coast Babes LP later this year.

Listen to/download from Bandcamp

MONOMYTH – “Patsy”

Canadian quartet Monomyth pride themselves as being slightly left of centre as new single “Patsy” and its seriously weirded out video proves. Their debut album, Saturnalia Regalia!, comes out on July 22nd, 2014 on Mint Records!

Listen to/download the Monomyth eponymous EP from Bandcamp.

BLACK MOTH – “Blackbirds Fall”

And ‘classic’ hard rock is always part of POP POWER equation! Britain’s young new heavy rock heroes Black Moth release the first single and video from their forthcoming new album Condemned To Hope coming this fall. Horns up!

Official Site

… still there’s more …

DIO: LIVE IN LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO 1993

Apart from his somewhat diminutive stature, the late great Ronnie James Dio was the quintessential metal frontman, even laying claim to pioneering the use of the ‘horns-up’ gesture (though a certain Gene Simmons would quibble with that claim). Little doubt though that Dio, with bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, was responsible for some of the most iconic hard rock songs ever. And this is clearly evident on this previously unreleased concert film from two decades ago, which documented a reformed Dio performing in support of its Strange Highways album.

The quality of the concert film might not grainy but it is exciting to watch Dio not only play its best known numbers like “Stand Up and Shout”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Holy Divers” but throw in a couple of Black Sabbath (“The Mob Rules” and “Heaven and Hell”) and Rainbow (“The Man on the Silver Mountain”) tunes as well. There’s a bonus of behind the scenes the footage which is perfunctory at best.

Absolutely essential for hard rock lovers!

 

 

 

SINGAPORE ROCK FESTIVAL – SET TIMES [NEWS]

SRF Band Set Timings

 

Six rock bands over two nights. Not strictly ‘metal’, more like ‘hard rock’ – the distinction I make is that there is more melodic content in these bands – Alice in Chains even has harmonies! But there’s gonna be speed, riffs and heavy heavy vibes throughout. Hope you’ve got your tickets! See you there!

Horns up!!

Tickets available from SISTIC.

 

 

SINGAPORE ROCK FESTIVAL [NEWS]

SRF Artwork

Here’s a festival specially made for all you metalheads out there.

ROB ZOMBIE!

KORN!

Tickets for the first night on March 5 is on sale now while tickets for the second night on March 6 goes on sale 9:00 AM on January 10 at www.sistic.com.sg

Early Bird Doubleshot Package: $198 (both nights)
Early Bird Single Shot: $118
Standard Single Shot: $128
At the door: $148

Sistic booking fee not included.

To Book tickets in Singapore:
Online: www.sistic.com.sg
By Phone: +65 6348-5555
Agents: At all authorized Sistic outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Tickets can also be purchased through the SISTIC Mobile and iNETS mobile apps.

SISTIC Mobile is available at the Apple App Store, Google Play store or Samsung Apps. Download iNETS mobile through the Apple App store or Google Play store or SMS to 76387.

BLURB-O-RAMA

BOB

Here we go – your weekly dose of capsule reviews.

COLORWAY – S/t

Rock n’ roll will never die! This just might be power trio Colorway‘s manifesto on this eponymous debut. Rollicking numbers like “I’m Still Running” and “Live With Me” get the point across very succinctly. But singer-songwriter F Alex Johnson is also able to shake things up somewhat with the the sweet lullaby “Go Back to Sleep”, the acoustic instrumental “For the Birds” and the luscious ballad “A Temporary Occupation”. Highly recommended.

Continue reading BLURB-O-RAMA

ALICE COOPER – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

(Press Release)

This will be Alice Cooper’s inaugural show in Singapore and we are in for quite a treat. As an artist, he has both been influenced by and then influenced horror movies and garage rock to pioneer a spectacular theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock and Alice Cooper is the master of the genre.

His fans range from Salvador Dali to Bob Dylan to Foo Fighters – Dave Grohl and Johnny Depp, who took the stage with Alice Cooper and his Band at the legendary “100 Club” in London last month. Without Alice Cooper the world would never have seen Bands like the New York Dolls, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Motley Crue, Slipnot or Rob Zombie, all of whom have been considerably influenced by the legendary Alice Cooper.

There has been much take place in his ever evolving life since his last World Tour, among which have been many awards and accolades, with one of the most memorable being his induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at an unforgettable event in New York City, which saw Alice arrive with a giant albino boa constrictor wrapped around his neck.

Much more than just a successful rock star, musician and performing artiste, he is a visionary trail blazer whose influence persists today in rock, metal, pop, punk, theatre, television and film. He is among the revered few who are invited to play the finale shows of American Idol, which Alice did in 2010.

As an interesting side bar, he is a prolific golfer who plays daily and is considered quite a master of the game, helming his own celebrity golf tournament annually.

The beginning of the Tour coincides with the long awaited and very much overdue release of his latest album “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” which is the sequel to his multi-platinum classic “Welcome to My Nightmare”. The release will be through Universal Music Singapore, island-wide this September 20th.

Details –

WEDNESDAY 5 OCT 2011

THE COLISEUMHARD ROCK HOTEL ® SINGAPORE RESORTS WORLDSENTOSA

Doors: 7pm Show Time: 8pm

TICKETS ON SALE TODAY! TUESDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

General Admission $120 Standing Tickets Only

(Sistic $3 Booking fee applies)

www.sistic.com.sg

Tel Bookings: (65) 6348 5555

 

WHITESNAKE – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

When singer David Coverdale left Deep Purple in the late 70s to start up Whitesnake, I wonder if he could have ever imagined that his new band would be one of the biggest rock groups in the mid-80s and a staple of the ‘hair metal’ generation. Whitesnake fans in Singapore can finally rock out to classic songs like Here I Go Again, Fool For Your Loving and Give Me All Your Love when Coverdale and co play Fort Canning Park on 1st November from 8pm.

Concert promoters LAMC Productions has kindly offered a pair of tickets for Power of Pop to give away. All you need to do is to follow us at Twitter @powerofpop and RT the entire tweet concerning this giveaway offer. Deadline – 11.59pm Wednesday 7th September. NB. You must follow @powerofpop to be eligible.

So look out for that tweet and in the meantime, here’s Whitesnake live in London in 2006 with Here I Go Again.

Tickets for the concert are on sale at SISTIC.

 

WHITESNAKE – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

(Press release)

Singapore, you asked for it… and now you’ve got it.

WHITESNAKE, the legendary rock ’n’ roll legacy founded and formed by renowned singer/songwriter David Coverdale, plans on making a huge splash on this side of the pacific on the Asian leg of the 2011 ‘FOREVERMORE’ Tour, playing at the historic Fort Canning Park in the beautiful and exciting city of Singapore on November 1 at 8pm.

WHITESNAKE are touring the globe in support of their brand new storming Snake statement, their 11th studio album – “FOREVERMORE.”

Tickets available at SISTIC

Stay tuned for the Power of Pop – Whitesnake Ticket Giveaway coming soon.

 

DEEP PURPLE

DEEP PURPLE Phoenix Rising DVD (Eagle Vision)

Eagle Rock has been paying attention to the lesser known aspects of legendary British hard rockers, Deep Purple. Having recently re-issued the first three albums of the original lineup, Eagle Rock has now released (through Eagle Vision) Phoenix Rising: The Untold Story of Deep Purple Mark IV. This covers the brief period during which founding member Ritchie Blackmore had left Purple to form Rainbow and guitarist Tommy Bolin was brought in to fill Blackmore’s considerable void.

This DVD basically covers features a 30 minute previously unreleased live concert video filmed at the Budokan Hall in 1975 and a 80 minute documentary basically chronicling the numerous problems that beset this lineup of Deep Purple, including drug problems (bassist Glenn Hughes and Bolin) and especially a disastrous tour of Indonesia.

The live concert video is really purely for historical purposes as the quality (sound and vision) is rather poor, especially when compared to Mark II’s triumphant Made in Japan LP. Equally so is the documentary which feature in-depth interviews with keyboardist Jon Lord and Hughes where the focus is very much on the excesses of 70s rock. Both of these videos will probably only interest diehard Mark IV fans.

I guess Eagle Vision themselves sensed that what was on offer was a little light and so what does make the DVD intriguing are the two collectible booklets reproducing an original Deep Purple 1976 magazine and rare photos as well as original vintage Purple articles. Again, for fans only.

Buy Phoenix Rising at Amazon

SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…

I am a 70s kid. Meaning I become a teenager in the early 1970s, when bell bottoms were in… AND the popular cutting edge music then was HARD ROCK. Not metal (have never really been comfortable with that word). Simply, it’s rock (without the roll) and it was hard – meaning it was played loud and fast! The first hard rock band that I really got into was the legendary Deep Purple. Purple fans all agree that the second incarnation of the band was probably the best viz. Ian Gillan (vocals), Richie Blackmore (guitars), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass). Like many of the bands of that era, Purple started out as a psychedelic/garage rock band and simply got harder. My favourite Purple album is undoubtably Deep Purple in Rock, which contained classics such as Child in Time, Flight of the Rat and Speed King (see live version below)

Continue reading SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE

HEAVEN AND HELL

HEAVEN AND HELL 30 Years of Heaven and Hell – Live in Europe (Eagle Vision)

Well, that title is a little misleading, isn’t it? Technically, the metal band Heaven and Hell, consisting of Ronnie James Dio (vox), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums), were only in existence from 2006 to 2010, a mere four years. Of course, this band is actually one of the numerous incarnations of metal maestros Black Sabbath, with the “30 years” reference pointing to the number of years passed since the Black Sabbath album, Heaven and Hell (when Dio made his debut as Sabbath vocalist), was released. Iommi insisted on the name change so as not to confuse the public over the Ozzy Osbourne-led Sabbath version.

Continue reading HEAVEN AND HELL

RUSH DVD

RUSH Classic Albums: 2112/Moving Pictures (Eagle Vision)

This is not the first time, the Classic Albums DVD series features two classic albums by one band/artist. Previously example would be Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe & Over-nite Sensation albums. Does that indicate that the band/artist in question cannot fill up an entire episode with one classic album and thus two is required? It does seem a little odd. On the other hand, for the consumer, it does mean a two-for-one deal, which is always good. Cup half empty or half full? Well, you decide.

Whatever.

Continue reading RUSH DVD

MELTGSNOW

MELTGSNOW Black Penance (Pulverized)

Singapore’s metal scene has been thriving for awhile now with bands like Rudra and Impiety making their mark outside our shores. Likewise, Meltgsnow, whose debut album was released in the USA back in 2003. After seven long years, the band has finished its sophomore effort – Black Penance – and it’s certainly worth the wait!

Continue reading MELTGSNOW

PoP10 – KARNIVOOL

(Answers by Mark ‘Hoss’ Hosking)

1. Why play music?

Music resonates with people much more than anything I have experienced. It sometimes feels like a fast track to emotions and feelings that can take years to uncover or appreciate without music. Plus it’s an incredibly challenging and invigorating way to live a life! Don’t really know or can’t imagine life without it.

Continue reading PoP10 – KARNIVOOL

KARNIVOOL

KARNIVOOL Sound Awake (Sony)

It’s so refreshing to listen to a rock band that refuses to stick to one style or one “genre” to connect with its listeners. Which is the case with Karnivool, a progressive rock band hailing from Perth, Australia. Revolving around the nucleus of Andrew ‘Drew’ Goddard on lead guitar and Ian Kenny on lead vocals, Karnivool combines memorable tunes, intricate instrumental sections and challenging songwriting to deliver music to cut across the great divides of rock that have arisen in the last twenty years or so.

Recently released in the USA, Sound Awake is the band’s sophomore effort and to these ears, it’s a delightfully accessible rock album that will appeal to all kinds of music lovers, casual or obsessive. There’s enough flexibility and slack between songs like the anthemic New Day and the frenetic Set Fire to the Hive to convince rock and metal fans that Karnivool is the real deal.

Add to that the soulful pop sheen of All I Know and dynamic old-school prog/world music hybrid of the closing Change and you have an eclectic brew that begs close examination. If like me, you love bands and music that get you to dig deeper and to mull the twists and turns, the songwriters/musicians have poured into their craft, then I’ll say it – Karnivool’s Sound Awake is absolutely essential.

And… since they’re based a mere four hours away, can someone please bring them to Singapore?

Myspace

Buy at Amazon

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000NDIB5A[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000FILOIO[/amazon-product]