Author: Michael D. Vogel Genre:

– Rock Formats Music Reviews (10.18.10)

By: Michael D.Vogel

© October 18, 2010. Michael D. Vogel. All Rights Reserved.

Published in:

Free GothamNovember 12, 2010

Examiner.comNovember 10, 2010



Song: “Love, Hate, Sex, Pain”

From the release: The Oracle

Label: Universal Republic

Members: Sully Erna (vocals), Tony Rambola (guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), Shannon Larkin (drums)

Producer: Dave Fortman & Sully Erna

Origin: Boston, MA


What you should know: – Formed in Boston, in 1997, Godsmack have always been an exhilarating force at rock and alternative radio, fast and furious with a no holds barred approach to their music. The first offering from the bands current album, The Oracle, exemplifies the essence of these New England natives. Sully Erna’s vocals deliver with his customary vibrance and conviction. Setting the mood, “Love, Hate, Sex, Pain” begins with a ripping guitar and drum attack, building to a penetrating crescendo of rock & roll intensity. Always a favorite at rock radio, G’smack is back after a 4 year hiatus with their trademark sound – thick, heavy and rockin’ down to your core. ^m^

Alpha Rev

Song: “New Morning”

From the release: New Morning

Label: Hollywood

Members: Casey McPherson (vocals, guitars, keys), Alex Dunlap (bass, vocals), Tommy Roalson (drums), Brian Batch (violin, vocals), Dave Wiley (cello, vocals), Derek Morris (keys, vocals) and Derek Dunivan (guitars, vocals)

Producer: David Kahne

Origin: Austin, TX


What you should know: – The trend at Alternative radio these days seems to be a mixture of hard rock, emo-rock, alternative-metal and pop-alternative. Alpha Rev fit firmly into the latter category, blending delicious texture of ringing acoustics, twangy electrics and melodies delivered in a sophisticated and intoxicating fashion. New Morning is the junior outing by this Austin, TX based group of players assembled from the far reaches of music-land. Produced by David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes, Stevie Nicks, Regina Spektor), the album leads with “New Morning” as its first radio track. With lush orchestrations and playful acoustic guitar interplays, “New Morning” is no mere jaunt through pop-land though – it has the feel of an accessible pop-rock track without losing its wit and charm that personifies much of today’s alternative music landscape. ^m^

We Are The Fallen

Song: “Sleep Well My Angel”

From the release: Tear The World Down

Label: Universal Republic

Members: Carly Smithson (vocals), John LeCompt (guitar, mandolin, programming), Ben Moody (guitar, programming, piano, percussions), Marty O’Brien (bass), Rocky Gray (drums)

Producer: We Are The Fallen and Dan Certa

Origin: Little Rock, AR


What you should know: – After a split within the ranks of Evanescence, guitarist Ben Moody began talking with fellow band-mates John LeCompt and Rocky Gray about moving in a different musical direction than was first conceived with Evanescence. Adding to this potent musical equation is former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson, who thoroughly enjoys showcasing her vocal range as a hard-rock crooner. The end result became We Are The Fallen, a reference to Evanescence’s 2003 album, Fallen, proving Moody’s vision of a female fronted hard rock band was not just a one time thing, and that lightning does indeed strike twice. The band originally planned to release two songs for free over the internet every two months and later-on compiling them into a record. There was such an overwhelming response, that the band caught the eye of and ultimately signed with Universal Republic, and an album was released. “Sleep Well My Angel” is the first track from that album Tear The World Down, a flame-throwing cannonball of intensity, driven by gigantic proportions that blasts through the speakers with its gritty vocals and blazing guitar grooves. ^m^


Robert Plant

From the release: Band Of Joy

Label: Esparanza/Rounder

Members: Robert Plant (vocals), Buddy Miller (6-string bass, guitar), Darrell Scott (accordion, banjo, guitar, mandolin, pedal steel), Byron House (bass), Marco Giovino (drums, percussion), Patty Griffin (vocals), Bekka Bramlett (vocals)

Producer: Buddy Miller and Robert Plant

Origin: Birmingham – Black Country Hills, England


What you should know: – Robert Plant’s Band Of Joy is a Top 10 radio album, plain and simple. Whether its’ a “Tall Cool One” or being “Dazed and Confused,” Robert Plant gets radio airplay for one simple reason, because today’s musical audience identifies his name with one thing – quality rock and roll! Choosing the name of his first band as the album title for his 9th solo effort, rock music’s signature voice follows up his Grammy winning collaboration with Allison Krauss, with Band Of Joy, an album that sings with pleasure. The new CD rocks a little harder than its predecessor, offering more infectious, hook-laden ear-candy that is sure to get you reaching for the volume knob and your wallet when this Band Of Joy visits your town. This is an album where Mr. Plant can compliment his amazing vocals with a showcase of outstanding musicians, including; Buddy Miller on the guitar and 6-string bass, Darrell Scott taking care of accordion, banjo, mandolin and pedal steel, while Marco Giovino holds down drums and percussion and Byron House rockin’ the bass. Adding to this All-Star cast are the smooth vocal stylings of Patty Griffin and Bekka Bramlett. Filled with rockin’ gems that will surely be staples in Robert Plant’s 40+ year musical career, Band Of Joy features many tracks the exemplify the essence of this group. Songs “Falling In Love Again”, “Even This Shall Pass Away” and “The Only Sound That Matters” showcase the multi-cultural influences that Plant has infuse in his music throughout his career both in and outside of the mighty Zeppelin. The album as a whole guides the listener through a music journey of hope and optimism. Band Of Joy is an upper demo delight that is tailor-made for radio airplay as well as your personal music collection.

Favorite Tracks: – “Angel Dance”, “House of Cards”, “Monkey”, and “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”. ^m^

Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils

From the release: El Sonido Nuevo

Label: Spark & Shine

Members: Ian Moore (guitar, vocals), Matt Harris (bass), Kyle Schneider (drums)

Producer: Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils

Origin: Austin TX, via Berkley, CA now residing on the Island of Vashon near Seattle, WA.


What you should know: – Ian Moore has always been a player’s player. Ask any six-stringer and they’ll verify it. Those that have seen him light-up a stage from (insert your city here) all the way to Austin and back, know exactly what it’s like to see a man become one with his guitar, and the beautiful music that comes forth from such musicians efforts. Ian has developed a reputation as a master practitioner of the fret board as well as an unparalleled performer, be it acoustic or electric, tracing back to well before he was selected as Joe Ely’s guitarist. Ian’s 8th solo effort, El Sonido Nuevo continues the efforts he started with the Got The Green Grass CD, a transformation from blues-rocker to singer-song-writer. His much acclaimed guitar work hasn’t been abandoned though; it is just no longer the sole force driving Moore’s songs. This metamorphosis has allowed Ian to push the envelope of his own music comfort zone. As such, El Sonido Nuevo give the listener great insight into the musical brilliance that happens when Ian puts pen to paper by picking up a guitar. Not to be over-looked are The Lossy Coils – who, in their own right, back-up Roky Erickson; Matt Harris (the go-to-guy when the Posies tour) on bass and Kyle Schneider behind the drum kit, who are not a mere back-up band by any means. The album is a demonstration of tremendous musicianship and the result of the melodious magic that happens when Ian puts fingers on his guitar and writes music. Never one to adhere to music styles or trends, Moore has always followed his own muse, which in turn has helped him gain the recognition and favor of such notables as Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (aka Double Trouble), the Rolling Stones and ZZ Top, as well as Jason Mraz, who has enlisted Ian’s six-string prowess as his guitarist on his most recent tour. Released as two EP’s as well as a complete album, El Sonido Nuevo is nothing short of amazing, documenting Ian’s constant growth as an artist since 2007’s To Be Love. For a singer/song-writer that deserves to be in the upper echelon of guitarists, this new album is a fitting chapter next chapter in the constant evolution of Ian Moore.

Favorite Tracks: – “Secondhand Store”, “Birds Of Prey”, “Hilary Step”, and “Tap The Til“, “Let Me Out” and “Salt Mines”. ^m^

© October 18, 2010. Michael D. Vogel. All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as the entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.

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