Everywhere is a fresh new UK band about to release their 2nd EP this September. If their new single “Some Other Dude” is any indicator of what to expect, I think fans are in store for a healthy serving of tasty pop rock.
My InBox was recently gifted with a fantastic new song from Indie rocker Terence Jack. I know it’s only the Spring, but “Eastern Rise” is quite possibly the song of the year thus far in 2016.
From the first time I heard these UK rockers and their distinctive piano driven Alt-rock sound, I’ve been anticipating the opportunity to catch them in person, anxious to see if their live show measured up to their fine albums. Monday night at The Social, I discovered that the band’s exciting live show was just as impressive.
Led by charismatic front man Robert Stevenson, this quartet makes a powerful and lasting impression. They are the complete package, tight talented musicians, affable personalities, energetic songs and a dynamic show. Surprisingly, they did not pack The Social, but the few hundred in attendance saw a young band about to break out big. I suspect their next time through Orlando is going to find them in a much larger venue.
The band’s songs are wonderfully constructed and highlight the group’s versatility. Stevenson, the lead singer and keyboard player had on-going dialogue with the audience and appeared genuinely appreciative of the crowd and their interaction. He joked with the fans throughout the evening and offered up some enjoyable commentary on Mickey Mouse and the whole Disney thing, including an impeccably timed “F – Mickey” at one point. Drummer, Spencer Walker also impressed. He offered up a powerful driving beat, solid background vocals, and an occasional emergency lead vocal, also sharing witty banter with Stevenson and the crowd.
Stevenson was battling a cold and shared that he was going to have a problem hitting some of the high notes. His honesty was refreshing, and endeared him to the crowd as he stepped up to the challenge (sometimes with mixed results). He handled those challenges with aplomb, a bit of humor, and a little help from his friend behind the drums.
The show kicked off with rousing versions of “Reaching the Potential” and “This Stage Is Your Life,” also the first two tracks off of the band’s 2012 hit album Sand & Snow. The latter cut featured excellent guitar work from Karl Bareham. The current album was heavily spotlighted throughout the show, but we also got a glimpse of two of the band’s earlier hits “You Will Leave a Mark” and the fantastic “Driven By a Beating Heart” off of their debut album The City That Sleeps.
The highlight of the show was the breakneck closing trio off of their current album. Three tremendous offerings, all with nice crowd interaction. “Love Takes a Wrecking Ball” was another spotlight for Bareham’s guitar and offered some tender moments from Stevenson before rocking to a close. Walker led the crowd’s singalong for the opening of “Harbour Lights,” a track that also features killer bass from Ali Hussain. They then closed with a flourish offering a fantastic version of their biggest hit “Danny, Dakota and The Wishing Well.” (RARA’s Farm’s #3 Song of 2012).
It was a great cap to an energetic, dynamic set from a band just beginning to build their legend.
Denver-based folk-infused rockers Churchill opened the show and offered a nice 40 minute set. Orlando fans were fortunate, as this was the only show on the tour where they the Denver-based band is opening for A Silent Film. They’re also a band with considerable potential, and offering up a diverse sound. They were led by boy/girl lead vocals Tim Bruns and Bethany Kelly and offered a unique touch with Mike Morter playing mandolin throughout the set. It was an excellent mix highlighted by a cool version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” and by the fantastically good “Change” and Kelly’s Duff-esque vocals.
Two excellent bands on their way up – a promising way to start the year.
See the setlist and link to the album below…
Reaching the Potential
This Stage Is Your Life
Driven By A Beating Heart
Queen Of A Sad Land
You Will Leave A Mark
Thousand Mile Race
Love Takes A Wrecking Ball
Danny, Dakota & The Wishing Well
2012 was blessed with some fantastic rock songs, and it has taken weeks to whittle down the long list of worthy songs to find the 25 best of the year. Not quite sure this is perfect, but damn sure that these are 25 great rock songs. Check out the list and see if you agree.
At the conclusion of the list, you’ll find a playlist on iTunes that links to all 25.
25. “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons: It’s Addictive. It’s always cool when the drummer is lead vocalist. It’s great to hear a viola in a rock tune. It’s good stuff.
24. “Bully” – Shinedown: Love the message in this one, and the song is pretty damn good, too. One of three bands with two songs on this year’s list.
23. “Little Talks” – Of Monsters and Men: It’s Mumford & Sons with a bit more of an edge from the amazingly talented band out of Iceland.
22. “45” – Gaslight Anthem: Great straight forward rock tune from the Garden State’s newest successor to the Boss. Also love the lyrics and the 45 metaphors.
21. “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen – Yup. still on top of his game. At times this reminds you of vintage E-Street band, but it also has a nice modern flair, and a big sound.
20. “Oh Love” – Green Day: What’s old is new again. this one brings back nice memories of songs from across the band’s past two decades. Billie Joe sounding great again.
19. “Love Interruption” – Jack White: The sparse arrangement works great. The guitar and Wurlitzer fling you back into the 60’s but the vocals and lyrics are totally 2012.
18. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers: Amazingly successful debut song from American Indie rockers that’s impossible not to singalong to and as a nice bonus, it features nice mandolin.
17. “Gold On the Ceiling” – Black Keys: Great organs, hand claps and a blast to listen to. Dan Auerbach channels his inner Paul Rodgers. Nice guitar solo, too. They had two songs on last year’s list and two more this year!
16. “Simple Song” – The Shins: Beautiful harmonies, chaotic guitar played off against sweet piano and James Mercer singing fantastically.
15. “Reboot the Mission” – Wallflowers: Jacob Dylan makes a killer comeback – with a ska single! And, joined by Mick Jones of The Clash. Super cool.
14. “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove: Another great song off of 2011’s Never Trust A Happy Song. It’s a blast to listen to with great boy/girl vocals and stellar music.
13. “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes: It’s an instant classic with such a comfortable Southern Rock feel, coupled with Brittany Howard’s soulful vocals that evoke memories of the great Janis Joplin.
12. “Burn It Down” – Linkin Park: The same roaring electro-power rock we’ve come to expect from the lads from Aurora, California – this time with even more memorable hooks.
11. “Breathing Underwater” – Metric: Excellent song in which Emily Haines offers up beautiful vulnerable vocals in a song about a relationship still struggling to survive against the odds. The only band with two in our Top Dozen.
10. “Default” – Django Django: A cool dance rock track that at different times reminds me of surf rock, classic T-Rex and 80′s new wave. Yeah, it’s a crazy mix, but it’s pretty damn fun.
9. Polarized – Luke Dowler – Great song about a relationship that just isn’t working. The music is excellent, but the lyrics are phenomenal. So many different scenarios where they are perfectly fitting. Every time I hear this, I think about our dysfunctional government (both parties) in the nation’s capital.
“He’s left, you’re always right
Polarized, You think he’s weak because he won’t decide
We’re disconnected – we’ve been infected
We’re building up defenses – protecting deadly interests”
8. “Kill Your Heroes” – AWOLNATION – My favorite inspirational lyric all year in a song that is both powerful and addictive. “Never let your fear decide your fate.”
7. “Little Black Submarines” – Black Keys: Really two songs in one love the tender opening, and LOVE the electronic jam on part two – sweet, powerful guitar and drums.
6. “Runaways” – The Killers: They’re back after a four year hiatus, this saga is a Springsteen-esque anthem that is pure old school Killers. Brandon Flowers at his best.
5. “What Makes a Good Man?” – The Heavy: Soulful rock from the Bath, England quartet with screaming guitar that would make Jack White proud.
4. “Youth Without Youth” – Metric: A great driving beat on a song that reminds me a bit of the most rocking Smiths’ tunes. This is a dark one about a young person who has grown up in a troubled environment and raced past their youth.
3. “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” – A Silent Film: It’s a grandiose rocker you’d have expected from The Killers. Love the keyboards, the vocals and the story!
2. Unity – Shinedown – Soaring melodies, Brent Smith’s superb vocals and fantastic guitar in yet another uplifting song from one of the year’s best albums, Amaryllis.
1. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees: OK, so, this is a wee bit overplayed – Got it. But it is an absolutely fantastic song. Tyler Glenn’s vocals are mesmerizing, and the guitar and drums are pure old school rock.
Let us know what you thought. Was your favorite on our list? Also, we’d love to see what you think about our 2012 Rock Albums of the Year.
Recently, I was talking to an old friend who grumbled that there was no good new rock music on the airwaves. Oh, how wrong he was. There’s plenty – you just need to know where to look. Hint: Sirius XM is a good start: XM Radios Starting at $29.99
In reality, there’s lots of damn good new music out there. Here are 10 new tunes that are clearly worth a listen, probably even worth digging $1.29 out of your piggy bank (follow the links to visit iTunes). Download these to your iPhone or iPod and begin to impress your friends. I’ve added in a few older tunes, too, for your consideration, giving you a nice Farmer’s Dozen.
Danny, Dakota & the Wishing Well – A Silent Film – This song is addictive. The first single from the band’s forthcoming second album reminds me a bit of the Killers. Great stuff from these lads out of Oxford, England. I have a feeling this one is destined to be one of those classic songs that ends up being a defining song of that summer.
Stay Useless – Cloud Nothings – Great Indie Rock out of Cleveland. This is pure, rough alternative with a punk flare. It’s a ton of fun, and unique in today’s marketplace. Want to sound cool to your friends, play them this song.
Away Frm U – Oberhofer – The Beach Boys meet Oingo Boingo. It’s a unique, cool sound from 21 year old Brad Oberhofer and his band. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, that’s impressive! Based on this first single, the band has a ton of potential.
Girls Like You – Naked and Famous – Another hip cool band out of New Zealand. This one has been out for a few months, but is just now starting to get airplay. Thom Powers’ vocals are fantastic and the synth-laden song is a perfect alt-rock dance track.
That Old Black Hole – Dr. Dog Fun, fun stuff from the suburbs of Philly. It’s got a reggae, ska, funky feel and is just a blast to listen to. Surprised this band has seen more success over the past decade. They are playing at the Hangout Festival in Alabama next month, with the next band…
Apartment – Young the Giant – The album is a year and a half old, but the third single is just now getting airplay. It’s as good as the two predecessors “My Body” and “Cough Syrup.” I’m truly bummed I missed the chance to catch these guys touring with Grouplove earlier this year. Highly recommend this one.
Simple Song – The Shins – They’re a guilty pleasure, this quintet out of New Mexico. They play kid rock (that’s, kiddie rock, not Kid Rock), alt rock and bubble gum pop, but it’s all pretty damn good. This one is a nice simple love song. I love it…
Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) -Silversun Pickups – I was a huge fan of these guys three or four years ago. They’re prolific, and continually release new stuff. Think it might be time for a break. I find this track to be absolutely mediocre. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree…
Rocky Mountain Way – Godsmack – It’s a nice cover. You’ll find a few of the staples from Joe Walsh’s original masterpiece as well as a few unique Godsmack-like touches.
Sirius XM’s Octane is featuring Egypt Central’s “Enemy Inside” as featured new music. It’s a great tune, that we featured last year. Check out Kerri’s review: White Rabbit
Life’s a Song – Jets Overhead – This one is about five years old now, but new to me. Love the sound of this Canadian Quintet. The lyrics are cool, too.
I Don’t Want to Grow Up – Ramones – It’s a timeless classic off of their Adios Amigos album. Probably the best guitar work on any Ramones tune.
Your Love – Outfield – This song crosses a few genres of Rock, and it’s really an under appreciated classic. Tony Lewis’s vocals on this 80’s hit are timeless.
There you go; thirteen tunes worth checking out, adding to your playlist and dazzling your friends, family, co-workers, and that dude at Starbucks. Guaranteed you’ll like at least seven of them. OK, there’s no guarantee, but you’ll like most of them. Trust me…
Rock On – Cretin