DARK BELOW: Tense Friday, 22 July 2022 19:35 by madseason
Dark Below - Tense

Dark Below is a hard-hitting heavy rock band that brings intense energy in their music and live performances while providing rhythmic songs that people can sing along to. Formed in Columbia, MO, the band signed with Nashville based JPS Productions in 2014.

The band has previously released their self-titled EP in 2017, and the single Halo in 2019. They have toured for the past 5 years, opening for Buckcherry, Saliva, Pop Evil, Smile Empty Soul, The Veer Union, and more.

Their new single Tense was produced by Jason Schrick and award-winning producer Malcolm Springer (Matchbox Twenty, Collective Soul, Fear Factory). After years of preparation, the band is ready to vault to the national scene and beyond.

The song features driving riffs and thunderous percussion backing smooth vocals that offer comfort amid the chaos of existence. Explaining the genesis of Tense, vocalist/guitarist Josh Campbell says "The song is about health anxiety/hypochondria and describes the feelings and struggles that are associated with the condition.  We want people to know it's OK not to be OK, and that we all have periods of stress, doubt and worry. We're lucky to have this creative outlet of music to help express those emotions and we hope it resonates with fans."

The video was directed by Juan Ibanez (Ashland, The Many Colored Death) and it was filmed at his studio in St. Louis, MO. Performance videos are commonplace these days, but Dark Below wanted to make Tense special. Here's Campbell take on the experience of making his first music video: "I think the main thing that stood out to me is how hot it was. Once everything was set up and ready to go, we had to wait a bit because it was so humid that it was actually foggy in the room. Going into production, I was pretty nervous since I hadn't been part of making one before, but Juan was really great to work with and helped put us at ease by just being laid back and telling us not to worry about making mistakes. I'll admit that making the video was a hell of a workout. With the heat and just having to play the song over and over, giving it everything I had, it was definitely not easy!"

A new full-length album is currently being recorded, which is also being produced by Schrick and Springer. The band is currently booking dates to begin playing live to support the new music in the fall.

FREEDOM HEARTSONG: The Humane Experience Friday, 17 June 2022 18:39 by madseason
Freedom Heartsong - The Humane Experience

Blues-rock artist Freedom Heartsong has released his newest album, The Humane Experience. The 11-track album combines the soulful lyrics of blues and the upbeat energy of rock to inspire listeners to find strength amidst intense suffering, to not only survive, but thrive and create the life they have always dreamed of living.

The Humane Experience intertwines themes of emotional vulnerability and optimistic persistence. Freedom Heartsong wrote the album as a response to immense tragedy. He had lost all of his livelihood and income simultaneously due to the pandemic. He spent a year fighting for his daughter and his rights as a father. His best friend and bandmate was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away three months later. A massive storage unit full of his tools and instruments needed to create his music and art was stolen. Through all of this, he kept writing the album as a way to stay alive, tell his story, make it through one more day at a time, and to ultimately create the life of his dreams. And he did, as he confidently states today, "I went through the most painful and beautiful times while creating this album, but I made it through and I am stronger, wiser, and happier than I have ever been in my life. The songs on this album are for anyone who has ever gone through or is going through intense suffering."

The tone of the album is set by previously released singles: Evil Grieves, an inspiring song about letting go of the bad to savor the good, and Warrior of the Light, an upbeat account of harnessing positivity and unity to overcome life's obstacles. Blending strong guitar riffs and upbeat drums with vulnerable and soulful lyrics, The Humane Experience "is a journey from darkness to light, a message of inspiration, courage, perseverance, and optimism to help make the human experience a little bit more humane,Freedom Heartsong confesses.

Freedom Heartsong's music is honest about both the good and the bad, infused with uplifting sentiments gleaned from both joyous and difficult times. The Humane Experience, is an authentic reflection of his journey through loss and rebuilding, and offers inspiration to anyone struggling to overcome life's challenges. The album was mixed by Benjamin Cunill of Left Coast Recording and mastered by four-time Grammy award-winning engineer Gavin Lurssen and is available to stream and download on digital platforms worldwide.

Don't Believe In Ghosts - This Is Paradise

Alternative rock band Don't Believe In Ghosts has just released their latest single, This Is Paradise.

The new song combines state-of-the-art indie-pop production with a modern rock sound, all surrounded by lyrics of finding freedom in losing yourself. Watch the music video for the song clicking on the image.

Currently, the band is featured on the soundtrack of the new Apple TV+ show WeCrashed starring Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto. Don't Believe In Ghosts is also featured performing on the show's third episode.

With their latest single, Don't Believe In Ghosts explores optimism in the face of difficulty and hopes to lift people with their infectious melodies. "This song is about the mental pitfalls of self-doubt and pushing yourself till you finally crack," explains lead singer Steven Nathan. The lyrics in This Is Paradise follow the idea of losing your mind, yet coming to terms with this lack of control. Intense guitar riffs are interspersed with electric synth chords to have listeners hooked from beginning to end.

"Don't give energy to the ghosts of your past," says Nathan when describing the meaning behind the band's name, "Worrying about what other people may think can be draining and debilitating." The band amplifies this theme throughout their music with an unapologetic and boisterous sound that demands your attention.

This Is Paradise is a creative collaboration of the four band members, headed by the writing and mixing production of Steven Nathan. The track was co-written by Morgan Rose from the rock band SEVENDUST. This Is Paradise was mastered by 4-time Grammy nominee Stephen Marcussen, who has worked with musicians such as The Strokes, Bruno Mars, and Nirvana.

This Is Paradise is a liberating rock anthem that demands to be played at full volume. The song, released through Imagen Records / Warner ADA, is available to stream worldwide on all platforms.

ROMERO: Turn It On! Friday, 8 April 2022 18:03 by madseason
Romero - Turn It On!

The debut full length from Melbourne, Australia's Romero is a burst of hard hitting, punk-laced powerpop. Well informed by the classics and every bit as relevant-as-it-is timeless, Turn It On! is a memorable party. An album that captures the vitality of a young band hitting their stride and doing it on their own terms without a single note of indecision. Much in the way that The Undertones, Blondie, and even Big Star debuted with a sense of purpose, Romero invite us to eleven tracks of soulful powerpop gold.

Sharp production across Turn It On! catapults the impressive guitar work of both Adam Johnstone and Fergus Sinclair to the front of the mix alongside Alanna Oliver's heart-pounding energy and show-stealing vocal prowess. Anchored by the smooth rhythm pocket of Justin "Murry" Tawil and Dave Johnstone, Romero waste no time in showing their hand on the quick-paced album opener Talk About It - recalling 80's powerpop rhapsodies. The title track beckons bodies to the dancefloor with a rich Runaways-like temper that naturally explodes into a fiery guitar solo. Meanwhile Halfway Out The Door and White Dress show off the band's adept ballad-writing, boasting truly emotional highs, lows and soaring choruses. Those hip to the incredible debut Romero single - Honey b/w Neapolitan (Cool Death, 2020) will be overjoyed to see these relatable anthems recast in the album's tracklisting.

Turn It On! reveals stories of personal striving, restarting, mulling-over the unsaid, resisting control, deteriorating relationships, the emotional throes of uncertainty and celebrating growth through all such experiences. The rollercoaster of life is mirrored by the sonic and lyrical turns Romero have crafted into their debut album - a hopeful tonic for whatever you're going through, and a dose of excitement for what's to come.

Turn It On! is now available to stream worldwide on digital music platforms worldwide.

ANTON BARBEAU: Power Pop!!! Friday, 25 March 2022 18:45 by madseason
Anton Barbeau - Power Pop!!!

Anton Barbeau is releasing his new album Power Pop!!! today, via Big Stir Records. The new collection features 19 tracks balanced between fully formed songs (including the lead single Rain, Rain) and a handful of fascinating interstitial miniatures.

The title of the album is archly ironic: Barbeau intends the album partly as a rebuke of the self-imposed limits of the titular genre. He's not sugarcoating it, either: "Put down your guns, you culture cops, there ain't no crime like Power Pop" is just one of the pointed barbs in the title track (which also happens to be as filled with hooks and grooves as anything Anton's ever done). The ongoing critique is amplified in The Sound, a driving psychedelic takedown of facile genre purism, and the garage/new wave ode to Julian Cope, a key Anton influence and fellow iconoclast equally known for blending melody and quirk into something utterly new.

But more than a sharp commentary laced with both kinds of acid, Power Pop!!! is very much about Anton reinventing the very wheel he's puncturing. "The concept is, early ABBA gets hipped to Krautrock, disavowing their Schlager roots. Drugs happen. Their tight, super-pop sound merged with the kosmische vibe catches the ear of young David Bowie who offers to produce their next record. They convince him to co-write and sing on the record, and the rest is alternate-history," says Ant. "Can’t say I lived up to that, but out of noble ambitions grow tiny Raspberries, I suppose!"

More than a broadside, Power Pop!!! sees Anton Barbeau charting his own path forward as always, inviting the adventurous pop-rock fans of the world to follow. He's aided and abetted in his work by like-minded luminaries like Donald Ross Skinner (known as Cope's longtime collaborator Donn-Eye), guitarists Kevin Allison and Charlotte Tupman, saxophonist Fred Quentin, multi-instrumentalist Rosie Abbott, and vocalists Karla Kane (of The Corner Laughers), Lara Miyazaki, and Julia VBHB, Anton's wife who's also the graphic designer for the album. It's a work so unfettered by genre constraints that it can only be seen as Anton Barbeau's next leap, with much to offer to longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Check it out now clicking on the image.

MAX CRUISE: City Lights Friday, 11 March 2022 18:39 by madseason
Max Cruise - City Lights

City Lights is the sophomore album from Max Cruise with nine original tracks inspired by the sounds and vibe of the '80s from up-tempo synth pop and synthwave-esque instrumental numbers to powerful heartfelt ballads.

This release features the vocal talents of Pat DiMeo (The Motion Epic), Alessandra Gonzalez and guitar extraordinaire Jesse "Sparkee" Allen. Produced by Benjamin Harrison and his wife Alessandra Gonzalez, the album was mixed by Ben Wood at Delta King Studios and mastered by Ben Feggans at Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia.

Max Cruise is a project by Australian multi-instrumentalist producer Benjamin Harrison combining his deep love of the nostalgic synth-driven sounds of the '80s with modern production values and epic saxophone/guitar solos.

Listen/buy the album here.

NICE VICE: Bloom Friday, 11 February 2022 21:30 by madseason
Nice Vice - Bloom

Nice Vice just released his debut single, Bloom. The single draws inspiration from 90s rock and features melodic guitars, heavy undertones, and honest lyricism. The single is released ahead of a music video that guides audiences through the storytelling and range of emotions that influence the track.

Seth Horst, who performs under the alias Nice Vice, spent the better part of two years writing and recording a slew of new songs for his forthcoming EP, First Dose. "Bloom was the first song written in a large batch of songs over the last year and a half. It was never supposed to be on the EP," explains Horst. "I had honestly forgotten about it. Sometimes you miss the beauty and potential in something at first; fast forward, and it's the debut single."

The indie-rock single is accompanied by a music video shot by Dirty Shot Clean, to be released next week. The visual showcases four friends as they embark on a road trip in an RV and the adventures that ensue along the way. Horst played and recorded every instrument on the single. "It took me a long time to teach myself how to record all of the instruments and really get the sounds that I was looking for." He recruited Zak Van Zeumeren to mix Bloom and Theodore Papadopoulos to master it.

Nice Vice got started in his hometown of Toronto and is currently located in Los Angeles. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Counting Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Jack White, Nice Vice has been able to capture and reinvent the sound of 90s rock and melodic acoustics, exemplified in the new single Bloom.

Horst's songwriting style is a culmination of these artists, along with his own honest and unique flair. Blending sounds of the new and the old, this first release gives the listener a broad range of what he is capable of. With smooth and surprising transitions from soft to heavy, the powerful voice and captivating lyrics touch on themes of new love, lost love, and introspection.

Bloom is now available to stream or download on digital music platforms worldwide. Keep an eye out for the music video on February 17th. Be on the lookout for Nice Vice's EP, First Dose, due out in 2022.

WILD GIANTS: Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me Thursday, 20 January 2022 21:54 by madseason
Wild Giants - Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me

Alternative-rock band Wild Giants have just released their latest EP titled Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me. On the EP, Wild Giants jump outside the usual songwriting box of topics like love, hard times, or partying and into the realm of subjects like science fiction, spirituality, and dream-state lyricism. The innovative new release is now available to hear worldwide on digital streaming platforms.

Produced by Dan Parker, the seven-track EP explores these traditionally unconventional topics in a way that emphasizes their sound and image as a group. With Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me, Wild Giants are able to elaborate on and inquire about these subjects while maintaining their grit, engaging melodies, and mature lyricism cohesively.

"In a slight departure from my past writing styles, this EP tends to be more extrospective. I wanted to tell the story of how I see the world and the people around me. These songs illustrate my struggles with my health, relationships, government, and religion," explains lead vocalist and guitarist Austin Walashek.

Fans of Wild Giants have already gotten a peek of the EP with the pre-released singles Souvenir, Why Aren't We Freaking Out?, and Sleep Is For The Weak. These guitar-driven, compelling tracks, and the remaining unreleased songs from Wild Giants, offer bold insight into the band's future. Songs like If God Only Knew and Hometown showcase a more vulnerable and raw perspective on personal reflection. Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me takes elements of the rock music we love from the '90s and '00s and uses a modern voice to give it a fresh, contemporary inflection.

Austin Walashek turned to music as his saving grace when he had to cope with the aftermath of a severe athletic injury. The harrowing event led to the destruction of his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. He formed Wild Giants in 2018 to expand his creative outlet and dive deeper into music. Wild Giants is a combination of talents between Walashek (vocals, guitar), Lyman Lipke (bass), and Cameron Agan (drums).

Wild Giants is defined by their unique formula of lyrical and musical inspirations. Drawing from artists like Nathaniel Rateliff and The Avett Brothers for their lyricism and bands such as Weezer and Kings of Leon for their musicality, this fusion of characteristics helps create the framework for Wild Giants' distinctive sound and aesthetic.

Hey There, Slow Down, Help Me is now available to stream worldwide on digital music platforms worldwide.