Category Archives: Uncategorized

Machine Gun Kelly Releases His Debut Album, ‘Lace Up’

On Tuesday Cleveland’s hometown wild boy released his debut album. Machine Gun Kelly, better known as MGK released his album entitled Lace Up through Bad Boy and Interscope Records. Fresh off of a tour with Tech N9ne, anticipation was building over the release of MGK’s first album and for MGK to take the big first step from EP to LP.

The 13-track album is already found in the three spot on iTunes, and is gaining more credit by the day. The album’s lead single is his hit song “Wild Boy” that was released last year on his EP, Half Naked & Almost Famous. MGK got his name on the map after the Wild Boys Remix was featured on the soundtrack for Project X. Prior to the drop of the album was the release of the music video for the track “Invincible” featuring American singer/songwriter Ester Dean. Lace Up is full of sick beats which MGK has been notorious for on his previous EPs which makes the album even more impressive.

MGK is also known for his rapping ability and for how tight his rhymes are which separates him from other rappers nowadays. One of the other featured bits of Lace Up is the extent of collaborations and features on the album. The album features artists like DMX, Young Jeezy, Twista, Lil John, Tech N9ne, and even M. Shadows and Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold. Working with all these artists gives the album depth, which is hard to come by in a rap album. Make sure you check out the tracks “Wild Boy,” “Save Me,” ‘D3MON,” and my personal favorite track “Edge Of Destruction.”

Over the past few years I’ve been listening to MGK’s mix-tapes and have always thought he was different from other rappers. Make sure to check out his mix-tapes and EPs, which include Half Naked & Almost Famous and EST 4 Life. Be sure to check out Lace Up and support this American wild boy.

-M. Tozeski

 

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Necessary Listening: Lissie

About this time last year myself and a good friend stumbled across singer/song-writer, Lissie. Not only were he and I impressed her voice and songwriting abilities, but also by her amazing covers, and the ability to make those covers her own. One of those covers was Metallica’s, “Nothing Else Matters.” Not only was it the most beautiful arrangement of the song I had ever heard, but it was also so unique that it sounded like something she had written. The next cover I heard was Kid Cudi’s, “Pursuit of Happiness” I was so in awe of her talent. To take a metal song and a rap song and make them your own, now that’s what I call talent. But that only was the beginning of me looking more into her amazing work.

Lissie was born in 1982 in Illinois. She took up music quite early, and took a roll as Annie in a local production of the musical. In high school she dug more into music, and used it as a crutch to deal with the drama around her. Eventually however the drama around her unfolded, and during her senior she was expelled. She eventually successfully finished her high school career and earned her diploma. At that time she decided to go to college in Colorado, but did not finished. While in college she did open for many touring bands though promoting her first self-titled EP. This exposure lead Lissie to her first big tour opening up for, Lenny Kravitz.

Eventually Lissie entered the recording studio and released her second EP entitled, Why You Runnin in 2009. The EP was released via Fat Possum, and the production was bone by Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses. This lead to her getting signed to Sony Music UK’s Columbia Records and the recording of her first full length, Catching a Tiger. The album was released in June 2010, and featured 12 tracks, three of which appeared on her Why You Runnin EP. In 2011 Lissie released an EP of cover tunes called Covered Up in Flowers. This included those two amazing covers I mentioned earlier.

At the current moment Lissie is finishing up work on her next full length which will come out early next year. Be on the lookout for that. I know we will!

-B. Harlow

Check Out Lissie Play her song, “Everywhere I Go” Live in London

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Progressive Music’s Past and Future

What is it about progressive music that makes me tick? Is it the musicianship? Is it the songs? Is it the respect I have for the bands? All these factors add up into a love of progressive music. Since my childhood I’ve been listening to bands like Genesis, Yes, and Pink Floyd. But it wasn’t till my late teenage years that I really developed a love for the music after I discovered Coheed & Cambria, Mastodon, and Tool. All of these bands were influence by the great prog masters, but what they did was meld it into their own style. I enjoyed this music more and more, and eventually start digging back further to bands like Rush, King Crimson, and Emerson Lake & Palmer.  I love progressive music, but I wonder what its current state is? Will it last? Will it survive into the next generation? All valid questions if you ask me.

When listening to music that came out in the early 60’s you get this real feeling of simplicity. Then by the late 60’s the music started to get more complex. It was at this time you could tell people were fed up with the same old pop bands, thus bands like Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd and King Crimson started to emerge. Listeners wanted something more complex, something they could sink their teeth into. Bands also started writing more concept records.

Bands also were starting to use more complicated arrangements thus adding to the listener’s experience. Musicians like Genesis’ Steve Hackett were digging into odd time signatures and classical influences. Hackett also made many innovations such as inventing finger tapping.  Genesis added so many new things to progressive music like dynamics, light and shade, which made their music stand out from the other music of the time. Also making them stand out was front-man, Peter Gabriel. Its Gabriel’s odd mannerisms and terrific voice that made them stand out.

Then there was Yes.  The musicians in Yes were pretty much an orchestra composed of five people. Whether it was Howe’s nimble fretwork, or Rick Wakeman’s keyboards, Yes took the required musicianship in progressive music up a whole notch.

Then you have King Crimson. King Crimson was one of the first bands that really went overboard with experimentation. You didn’t know whether King Crimson’s music was mush or plain musical brilliance. You can listen now and see how overwhelming and innovative they must have sounded. They were one of the first bands that really experimented, and for this we can thank them.

 

One of the key things in progressive music was the album, and more importantly the concept album. The undisputed kings of the concept album are Pink Floyd and their album, The Wall. It was within that double album that musicians got to hear what a true concept was. They even followed it up with a movie of the same name. It also showed the importance of writing great songs, that even though were still progressive in nature were understandable and listenable by the general public. Songs like “Hey You,” “Mother,” and “Comfortably Numb” do just that.

One of the most important bands that needs to be mentioned when talking about progressive rock is Canadian power trio, Rush. Rush took the influences of British progressive music melded it with their other favorite hard rock bands. By doing this, Rush made a new sound that was a little heavier and more majestic than bands that came before them. Rush took musicianship and songwriting to another level that not many have reached.

In the 80’s as music was getting heavier, so did prog. Bands like Queensrÿche which was a very straight ahead metal band who eventually moved into progressive music with the release of their pivotal album, Operation Mindcrime.

When Queensrÿche started to lighten their sound they left a void in the progressive world. Thus the proverbial torch was passed again. This time it was picked up by the Berklee schooled musicians, Dream Theater. It was this combination of early prog influences like Yes mixed with the thrash metal of Metallica that made Dream Theater amazing. They opened a whole new realm and legitimized progressive music so that bands like Tool could come to the forefront.

In the early 2000’s two of the most important bands that came out were Atlanta’s, Mastodon and New York’s, Coheed & Cambria. These two bands are now holding the proverbial torch. Both of these bands took the influences of Genesis, King Crimson, and Rush and added more heavy influences. Both of these bands also started embracing the concept album that had been neglected since the late 80’s. Coheed even embraced a concept saga consisting of six albums so far.

But who will hold torch for progressive music in the future? Could it be Periphery the Bethesda, Maryland based prog-metal band? Could it be Georgia’s, Baroness? It remains to be seen, but I do know progressive music will continue on, as a very important part of our musical landscape.

-B. Harlow

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Mayhem Festival 2012- Comcast Center 8/3/12

For the last four years I’ve attended the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Over those four years it has become one of the highlights of my summers. Mayhem Festival is a great experience all around. From the time doors open, to the time the last band finishes concert goers get to hang out, listen to great music, and enjoy time with their favorite bands and their friends.

This year definitely featured one of the better lineups, which included: Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Asking Alexandria, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, and The Devil Wears Prada. Needless to say, I was impressed by all of them especially, Asking Alexandria whom I had never seen live before.

The first band I saw this year was The Devil Wears Prada. I was blown away by their tremendous stage presence, especially Mike Hranica who put on an amazing show. They played some great material including: “Born to Lose,” “Danger: Wildwan,” and “Mammoth.” I was also blown away at how tight all five musicians where onstage, all were playing in the pocket which in a band with very rhythmic music is very complicated.

Next up were the amazing, As I Lay Dying. Not once during their set did anyone in the audience look bored. Front-man Tim Lambesis put on a great show, as he screamed through many of the bands classics including “Nothing Left,” “Confined,” and “The Sound of Truth.” Bassist Josh Gilbert did an awesome job, providing the clean vocals throughout the set. Guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso were also awesome, and put on a fire work show.

One of the best things I ever heard was when Anthrax asked to headline the side stage, where there would be no seats, and their fans would be able to ‘Wardance’.  They started their set off very strongly performing the classic, “Caught In a Mosh.” They followed this up with the awesome, “Got The Time.” Then they threw in one of my favorite newer songs, “Fight Em’ Till You Can’t.” Both times I’ve seen Anthrax perform this song live it brings the crowd up a notch. Next up was the Trust song, “Anti-Social,” which the band covered on 1988’s State of Euphoria. The band closed their set with the classic songs “Indians,” “Mad House,” and “I Am the Law.” The band was excellent, especially lead singer Joey Belladonna who sounds just as he did on those early records.

Opening up the main stage was, Asking Alexandria. I missed most of their set, but caught the last couple songs and snapped a couple of pictures. The band seemed to know how to work the crowd, especially their female fans who kept screaming throughout their set.

Next up was Motorhead who always put on a great show. Lemmy came on stage, and immediately said “We’re Motorhead, and we play Rock and Roll.” After that awesome mission statement the English three-piece was off to a fast paced start launching into the classic tracks “Bomber” and “Damage Case.” After those two songs guitarist, Phil Campbell asked the crowd if they wanted it louder. The unanimous answer was, yes. The band then closed their ten song set with the classic track, “Ace of Spades.”  Sadly the band didn’t play one of my favorite tracks, “Overkill.”

As night and darkness approached, hell awaited behind a white curtain. When this white curtain dropped Slayer blasted into their song, “Disciple.” The whole amphitheater went absolutely crazy, and the people in the pit started moshing. The band’s stage set-up was great, it featured two inverted crosses made of Marshall cabinets and Slayer’s symbol in the middle. The band also had full pyro which added to their ominous stage presence. The band led by lead singer/bassist Tom Araya charged through a set of classics including; “Angel of Death,” “South of Heaven,” and “Raining Blood.”

Headlining the night where the eight men of Slipknot, who put on a set packed full of energy. Corey Taylor led the band like a ringmaster through a set that contained 14 songs. The band started off with rhythmically intense “(Sic).” Next up was “Eyeless” a fan favorite from Slipknot’s first album.  “Sulfur” was up next, and this got a tremendous response from fans. But the song that probably got the strongest response was “Wait and Bleed.” You could tell that the crowd was in the bands hand as soon as Taylor sang the song’s lyrics. “Before I Forget” was up next and the pit really started to open up.

The highlight of Slipknot’s set was eleven songs in when Taylor stopped the set and gave a speech about the late Slipknot bassist, Paul Dedrick Gray. Then Taylor asked the audience to sing the song “Duality” in memory of Paul. I don’t think anything during the rest of their set topped that.

Mayhem fest was a great time, I enjoyed all the bands I got to see, and I think that the rest of the fans felt the same way.

-B. Harlow

Check Out this Video  Highlighting The Events of The Day:

Check Out This Gallery:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60588824@N04/sets/72157630925666624/show/

Top 10 Albums of 2012’s Second Quarter

1.       Jack White- Blunderbuss

Jack White’s first solo record Blunderbuss has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year. It seems everything White touches turns to gold whether it is with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or the Dead Weather. Blunderbuss is thankfully no exception to this.  White is a genius and throughout this album you see how he very skillfully melds his many diverse influences into 13 unique tracks.

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2.       Alabama Shakes- Boys and Girls

If you took the Blues, Country, Soul, and Rock n’ Roll and then put them in a blender you’d get the amazing mix that is known as, Alabama Shakes. Alabama Shake’s is a great four piece from Athens, Alabama, and features soulful Vocalist/Guitarist Brittany Howard, Bassist Zac Cockrell, Drummer Steve Johnson, and Lead Guitarist Heath Fogg. They started very organically and wanted to obtain a certain sound that mixed James Brown and Ottis Redding with AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. What they got was a gritty, foot stomping, good time band.

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3.       Slash- Apocalyptic Love

Slash was the man with the top hat that saved the Music Scene in the 80’s with his signature Gibson Les Paul and Marshall combination. He and his band, Guns n’ Roses were at the top of the world, until Slash left the band to work on his various side projects. Not much was heard from Slash until 2004 when he started Velvet Revolver with members of; Stone Temple Pilots, Wasted Youth, and his previous band Guns n’ Roses.

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4.       Rush- Clockwork Angels

Initially thought of as a Canadian Led Zeppelin, Rush has proven over the last 38 years that they are much more than that. With the release of their new album, Clockwork Angels, Rush has also proven something else. That after 38 years creativity and musicianship can remain, and that they can yield a great product.

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5.       John Mayer- Born and Raised

Over the last twelve years the world has seen John Mayer go from relatively unknown singer/song writer, to one of the biggest artists of our time. How has he done this? Well I have to think it has to do with his musicianship that was honed at one of the finest music institutions in America, Berklee College of Music. These ‘chops’ have lead Mr. Mayer to share the stage with many prominent musicians including; B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. It has also led him to various other projects including, The John Mayer Trio which was a blues trio featuring bassist Pino Paladino and drummer Steve Jordan. KEEP READING

 

6.       Storm Corrosion-Storm Corrosion

Starting in 2010 Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson have been collaborating on the joint effort that became Storm Corrosion. Storm Corrosion released their self-titled debut album yesterday (May 7th), and no surprise to me it is one of the most unique and technical albums I have ever listened to. Running at 47 minutes, Storm Corrosion is an impressive album, with six uniquely composed tracks.

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7.       Grace Potter –The Lion The Beast The Beat

Vermont exported one of their greatest talents in 2005 when Grace Potter and the Nocturnals released their debut album Nothing But the Water. Since then Ms. Potter and her motley crew put out three records and on June 12th they released their fourth studio record, The Lion the Beast the Beat. This album is an 11 track rock record that features mellow songs that still rock.

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8.       B.o.B- Strange Clouds

B.o.B’s song “Airplanes” was one of the biggest hits of 2010, and went quadruple platinum. This solidified the 23 year old rapper in the world of music. Recently B.o.B released a fifteen track albumStrange Clouds that features a great number of collaborations. The album also features tremendous production from various producers including Dr. Luke, Jim Jonsin, and B.o.B himself.

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9.       Brendan Benson- What Kind of World

On the same day that fellow Raconteurs’ band mate Jack White put out his solo debut albumBlunderbuss, Brendan Benson put out his fifth studio album since 1996.  The album is entitled What Kind of World, and is a collection of 12 tracks that vary from straight up country, to Benson’s early rock roots.

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10.   Of Monsters and men –My Head Is an Animal

Of Monsters and Men is a six piece from the giant isolated island of Iceland. More specifically they come from Garður, a small town of 1,452 people. The band itself consists of singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, co-singer/guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, piano/accordion player Árni Guðjónsson, and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsso. Together they create an intriguing mix of pop and folk music.

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Our Top 10 Albums of 2012 (SO FAR)

  1. Van Halen ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ :1978, a ceremonial changing of the rock gods, American rock behemoths Aerosmith were on a cocaine fueled melt down, and Kiss was about to drop a disco album. British bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones seemed like dinosaurs. Enter Van Halen, kings of the Sunset Strip. Discovered by Kiss’ Gene Simmons in 1976, Van Halen produced their first demo later that year and in 1977 got signed to Warner Brothers Records. By 1978 America had Van Halen fever with teenage guitar players trying to copy Edward Van Halen’s signature tapping riffs found on the track‘Eruption’. Skip ahead six years to ‘1984’ the last year and album with lead singer David Lee Roth. (KEEP READING)
  2. Andrew Bird ‘Break It Yourself:Many people can call themselves Multi-instrumentalists, some of the notable multi-instrumentalists are Prince, Stevie Wonder, and the great Madman Frank Zappa. But none are more unique in this generation than, Andrew Bird. Bird’s technique on violin and guitar are truly his own, and add a certain flare mostly seen in bluegrass and country music. Did we also mention Bird is an excellent whistler, yes that kind of whistler. (KEEP READING)
  3. Bruce Springsteen ‘Wrecking Ball’: Let me begin by explaining the headline of this story. On Bruce Springsteen’s current Wrecking Ball Tour, he brings with him an entirely different “E Street Band” than any concert-goer has ever witnessed. Two obvious differences are the lack of the late Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, the former having been gone the past couple tours or so. Filling in for the “Big Man” were two saxophone players, some random dude no one knows and Clarence’s nephew, Jake Clemons. Additionally, there were horn, drum, and string sections, back-up singers, the E Street regulars, and of course, “the Boss.”(KEEP READING)
  4. First Aid Kit ‘ The Lions Rawr’:In a world where dub-step is considered a valid type of music, many music fans wonder when true music will come back with instruments and no laptops. Enter Johanna and Klara Söderberg two Swedish sisters, which form the group First Aid Kit. The album’s title is ‘The Lions Roar’ (Wichita)and boy does this album show a great deal of musician ship. Each song is carefully crafted and the fibers of each song carefully come together to create a tapestry of sound. (KEEP READING)
  5. Lamb of God ‘Resolution’:One band that flew the flag of true metal in the early 2000′s was Richmond, Virginia’s finest Lamb of God. Comprising of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler, Lamb of God puts down their own signature mark with influences of metal, hardcore, and rock. ‘Resolution’ (Epic) their seventh studio album is no different, melding their influences and style into 14 amazing tracks.Starting off with opening track ’Straight for the Sun’ and ending with ‘King Me’, Resolution never lets up on the brutality factor and there is not one weak track on the album.(KEEP READING)
  6. Shinedown ‘Amaryllis’ :Shinedown’s fourth album ‘Amaryllis, picks up where 2008’s rousing ‘The Sound of Madness’ left off. Released on March 27, 2012 the album has already climbed to number three on the iTunes album charts. The album features a 12-track assembly of heavy and more radio friendly songs like their previous albums have done. (KEEP READING)
  7. Lana Del Rey-‘Born To Die’ :25 year old American songstress Lana Del Rey has a voice that sounds like it could have been on pop records in the 1960′s. Lana Del Ray has made her arrival known in 2012 with her major label debut ‘Born To Die’ (Interscope). Born Elizabeth Grant in 1986 Lana Del Ray made up her stage name do to the sound it made when spoken. But after listening to her you realize that it’s not just her name that sounds mysterious, but her music too. (KEEP READING)
  8. Soulfly- ‘Enslaved’:Max Cavalera: mad man, genius, or both? Since Starting Sepultura in the 1980’s, we’ve seen a truly unique technique and sound come from Cavalera. Now in 2012 we see an extension on this sound with the new Soulfly record, ‘Enslaved’ (RoadRunner). The album which was produced by Max and Chris “Zeuss” Harris is truly unique to Soulfly’s sound, in that it has a very different vibe. The nice thing about it though, is that it’s a change, but it’s not so far off in left field and it fits into their catalog, very well. (KEEP READING)
  9. Everytime I Die ‘Ex-Lives’:Every Time I Die a five piece from Buffalo, New York is set to release their sixth studio album on March 6th via Epitaph Records. The new album entitled ‘Ex Lives’ was recorded during the summer of 2011 and features eleven tracks, and three bonus tracks. The album also features unique cover art that was sent to the band via twitter. The artwork is a photo taken of a protester that was rallying at the G8 conference, and happened to be wearing an Every Time I Die t-shirt.(KEEP READING)
  10. Odd Future ‘The OF Tape Vol. 2’: The past few years have proved to be quite a large change in the rap world, spawning the rise of new rappers like: Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, and Tyga. In Los Angeles, California another group has taken the public eye with both shock, and awe. The group is called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, also known as OFWGKTA, or simply Odd Future. (KEEP READING)
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Review: The Boss and An E Street Band (TD Garden, Boston, MA: Monday, March 26, 2012

Let me begin by explaining the headline of this story.  On Bruce Springsteen’s current Wrecking Ball Tour, he brings with him an entirely different “E Street Band” than any concert-goer has ever witnessed.  Two obvious differences are the lack of the late Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, the former having been gone the past couple tours or so.  Filling in for the “Big Man” were two saxophone players, some random dude no one knows and Clarence’s nephew, Jake Clemons.  Additionally, there were horn, drum, and string sections, back-up singers, the E Street regulars, and of course, “the Boss.”

Now that the title is all smoothed out, let’s talk about the show itself.  The band took the stage at just about 8:15 PM, breaking right into the single off of Springsteen’s latest CD,Wrecking Ball’, ‘We Take Care of Our Own’  As everyone in the Garden must have heard this song on the radio by now, the crowd went crazy.  This rocker was followed by a more mellow song, titled ‘Wrecking Ball’, also featured on the new record.  While this is a good song, I would not have put it as the second song of a 24 song set.  Still, the overall set was pretty awesome, as you can see later on this page.  It was an interesting show, to say the least.

One major highlight of the night was Jake Clemons’ performance.  He nailed his uncle’s parts in each song on which he was featured.  Of course, Jake is no Clarence, but he is definitely the next best thing.  Another highlight was the woman featured on ‘Rocky Ground’ coming out to perform that particular song with Bruce, doing a great job with her little rap bit halfway through the track.  ‘Rocky Ground’ is another song off of 2012’s ‘Wrecking Ball’, which is very different from what you may expect from the Boss.  The CD features a weird combination of types of songs.  It also includes new approaches for Bruce, such as overdubbing and that little rap verse on ‘Rocky Ground’.  There are quite a few very Irish-sounding songs on the new CD in addition to some very Gospel-ish stuff.  It may sound weird, but it really works.  There is some good stuff on ;Wrecking Ball’.  Anyway, let’s get back to Monday’s concert.

Other highlights include Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band performing a duet with Bruce on ‘Raise Your Hand’ during the encore, the five minute-long cheer in honor of the “Big Man” halfway through ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’, the sheer emotional power of ; ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’, and of course, the crowd participation in ‘Thunder Road’ and ‘Born to Run’.

Apparently, they’re coming back to the area in August at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, but I think I’ll pass.  This will probably be the last tour Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform together.  I was sure that was the case in ’09, but I was proven wrong, so I don’t know for sure.  However, if that is the case, I would be fully content with having Monday’s show be my last memory of seeing the Boss live.

-T. Shaw

Set List

  1. We Take Care of Our Own
  2. Wrecking Ball
  3. Badlands
  4. Death to My Hometown
  5. My City of Ruins
  6. Thundercrack
  7. Jack of All Trades
  8. Jackson Cage
  9. She’s the One
  10. Easy Money
  11. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
  12. The Promised Land
  13. Apollo Medley
  14. American Skin (41 Shots)
  15. Lonesome Day
  16. The Rising
  17. We Are Alive

    ENCORE

  18. Thunder Road
  19. Rocky Ground
  20. Land of Hope and Dreams
  21. Born to Run
  22. Dancing in the Dark
  23. Raise Your Hand
  24. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

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Tackling the Issues: Shinedown’s new album ‘Amaryllis’

Shinedown’s fourth album ‘Amaryllis, picks up where 2008’s rousing ‘The Sound of Madness’ left off. Released on March 27, 2012 the album has already climbed to number three on the iTunes album charts. The album features a 12-track assembly of heavy and more radio friendly songs like their previous albums have done.

The Amaryllis flower is oddly enough is defined as a pink or white flower of the lily family. The peculiar title for the bands fourth album is not as “pretty” as one might think. On January 3, 2012, in conjunction with the highly anticipated release of the title came the song’s lyrics to their first single ‘Bully’. This song hits on the mammoth issue of people being bullied. The lyrics to this song in particular show the raw power and emotion that fans of Shinedown have appreciated through the years. The lyrics “All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully. Make another joke while they hang another rope so lonely” convey a message to the listener like no other. Shinedown has been known for speaking their minds and convey a touchy topic in society where other bands have feared to go.

Many fans were unsure as to how Shinedown would live up the monumental expectations set by their previous album ‘The Sound of Madness’ which went platinum and sold over 1.3 million records worldwide. Amaryllis has lived up to fan expectations divided between seething rock and true rock ballads. Listening to the heavy tracks shows that Shinedown has stayed true to their roots and delivered what the fans want to hear. The heavier tracks to check out include the first single ‘Bully’, ‘Enemies’ as well as the first track on the album ‘Adrenaline’. On the other hand the band also has delivered, in my own opinion, the same lyrically moving and uniquely sounding completion of songs. Songs to check out are ‘Miracle’, ‘I’ll Follow You’, ‘For My Sake’ as well as ‘Through The Ghost’ that ties the album together.

 Though it is still early in the year, Shinedown has is on pace to have another fantastic year. Shinedown will be one of the headliners at this year’s Rock on the Range along with Incubus, Rob Zombie, and Megadeth. The band has also signed onto the Avalanche Tour with Adelita’s Way. After being blown away by this new album, I hope to watch for the new music videos Shinedown has promised their fans. Shinedown has officially set the bar for the rest of the rockers in 2012.

-M. Tozeski

Check out the new music video for their first single ‘Bully’ below:

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