Tuesday, December 31, 2019

John Schlitt returns with Go

After 10 years as frontman for Petra, John ventured forth with his first solo album, "SHAKE," in 1995. Following closely on the heels of "SHAKE," "UNFIT FOR SWINE" made its debut in 1996.
After more than 10 years, John's third solo album, "THE GRAFTING," was released in 2008. In 2012, John returned to his rock-roots with "THE GREATER CAUSE," combining elements of classic rock infiltrated with blues rock, rock anthems and heavy rock ballads overlaid with John’s signature vocal style.
In 2019, John goes back to the sound he's famous for in "GO," a heavy-hitting rocker that sports that classic John Schlitt feel, the kind of not-too-hard-not-too-soft-rock he's been belting out for three decades. "GO" includes hard rockers, melodious rockers, some acoustically based tunes and a ballad.

"Go" 2019 Credits

Produced and Engineered by Dan Needham, John Lawry, and Mark Lee Townsend.
Lead Vocals - John Schlitt
Guitars - Mark Lee Townsend, Scott Bernard, Paul Brannon, Jeff King, Jerry McPherson, Dave Cleveland
Bass - Jacob Lowery, Gary Lunn
Keyboards - John Lawry, Jeff Roach
Drums - Garth Justice, Chris Cooke, Cristian Borneo, Dan Needham

Album preview at: http://www.johnwschlitt.com/soundclips/goclips/GoMontage.mp3

Witterquick set to release new album in February

British modern rock band Witterquick will release their new self-titled album on February 25, 2020. Including the singles "Run" and "Violence and riots".

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Top 20 underrated Journey songs Part.1

Part 1, from 20-11.

The greatest Journey songs not featured on the Greatest Hits 1&2 compilations, failed to chart as singles, or simply put, songs that you rarely get to see in the band´s setlist live.

20.Tantra (Eclipse, 2011) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon, lead vocals by Arnel Pineda, produced by Kevin Shirley.
A beautiful song taken from the band´s latest studio album "Eclipse" that was a commercial failure, this emotional performance from singer Arnel Pineda was the peak of the album and a grand approach to the spiritual theme the entire album was wrapped up in.
Singles from Eclipse : "City of hope", "Human Feel", "Anything is possible"

19.Higher place (Arrival, 2001) 
Written by Jack Blades / Neal Schon, lead vocals by Steve Augeri, produced by Kevin Shirley.
A top-notch rocker with the signature sound of Journey and also released as a single from  "Arrival" that has become many fans favorite album through the years, the song remained in the band´s live set for a while but now it´s filed under the "lost and forgotten" songs. "Higher place" deserved a much better fate.
Singles from Arrival : "Higher place", "With your love", "All the way"

18.Faith in the heartland (Generations, 2005) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon / Steve Augeri, lead vocals by Steve Augeri, produced by Kevin Elson.
The opening track on "Generations" starts with an intro also used on the "Frontiers" tour, this AOR anthem had every potential of becoming a new classic, the band even re-recorded it for "Revelation" (2008) with lead vocals by Arnel Pineda. This brilliant song was given a second chance but still only lived in the band´s live set for a short time to make room for the hits. It´s also one of Neal Schon´s personal faves.
Singles from Generations : "The place in your heart"

17.Remember me (Armageddon Soundtrack, 1998) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon / Jack Blades, lead vocals by Steve Augeri, produced by Matt Serletic.
Most often, Journey´s contributions to Soundtrack albums meant definitive success like "Only Solutions" (Tron), "Ask the lonely" (Two of a kind) and "Only the young" (Vision Quest). But singer Steve Augeri´s debut with the band from the blockbuster motion picture Armageddon, stood in the shadow of Aerosmith´s mega-hit "I don´t wanna miss a thing" (composed by Dianne Warren). However, "Remember me" is Augeri´s finest moment with the band and a true AOR gem.

16.Edge of the blade (Frontiers, 1983) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon / Steve Perry, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Kevin Elson and Mike Stone.
While the A-side of "Frontiers" is considered one of the strongest in melodic rock, the B-side was more spectacular with it´s progressive touch where this song opened with Schon´s fantastic riff and Perry´s rather aggressive vocal-performance. A standout track that had it´s given place on the Frontiers tour and proof of that Journey was so much more than just AOR.
Singles from Frontiers : "Seperate ways", "Faithfully", "After the fall", "Send her my love"

15.Why can´t this night go on forever (Raised On Radio, 1986) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Steve Perry, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Steve Perry.
A wonderful powerballad from the 80´s from Journey´s most AOR-ish album, it should´ve been a hit because I would even go as far saying it´s just as timeless as "Faithfully" or "Open arms" but the song only reached #60 on the charts. It´s a mystery. What is not a mystery is the powerful effect the song had on love because 33 years ago, it was the boys night out and I met my future wife. This was the last song of the evening and I decided to ask her for a dance. We are still together.
Singles from Raised On Radio : "Be good to yourself", "Suzanne", "Girl can´t help it"," I´ll be alright without you", "Raised on radio", "Why can´t this night go on forever"

14.Frontiers (Frontiers, 1983) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon / Steve Perry / Steve Smith, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Kevin Elson and Mike Stone.
You can actually hear that drummer Steve "Machine gun" Smith was involved in the songwriting of this song when you hear the rhythm, it didn´t happen too often to hear fusion-influences during the Perry-era but the title track from Journey´s second best million selling album had traces of the early era, a reminder of how the pre-Perry albums sounded. With songs like this one, the band stayed away from being too mainstream.

13.Winds of March (Infinity, 1978) 
Written by Gregg Rolie / Neal Schon / Robert Fleischman / Steve Perry / Matthew Schon, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Roy Thomas Baker.
The magnificent "Infinity" album had everything from rockers and ballads to fusion and AOR classics, it also had this superb song co-written by Robert Fleischman and Neal´s father Matthew Schon who also provided arrangements on Journey´s magnum opus "Mother, father" from Escape. "Winds of March" is the closest relative.
Singles from Infinity : "Wheel in the sky", "Anytime", "Lights"

12.Happy to give (Raised On Radio, 1986) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Steve Perry, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Steve Perry.
Ballads are often sad or melancholic but this one in waltz-tempo, is a positive and moving song. A true celebration to life in a colorful soundscape where Perry shows why he is the greatest singer ever. "Happy to give" is pure magic.

11.Forever in blue (Trial By Fire, 1996) 
Written by Jonathan Cain / Neal Schon / Steve Perry, lead vocals by Steve Perry, produced by Kevin Shirley
We will probably never see the likes of this songwriting team again, the albums Escape and Frontiers turned them into gods, a decade apart wouldn´t change anything. Cain / Schon / Perry showed the world once again on the comeback album "Trial By Fire", that everything was back to normal and songs like "Forever in blue" put them back on the throne.
Singles from Trial By Fire : "When you love a woman", "Message of love"," If he should break your heart", "Can´t tame the lion"

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Just a small town kid livin´ in a lonely world

Stephen Perry was born on January 22, 1953 in Hanford (a small town in California´s San Joaquin Valley), the only child of Raymond and Mary Perry. "I remember growing up in a white stucco, two-bedroom house. I used to hang out with the kids who lived across the alley. I was an only child with no brothers to help me out, but Ifinally stuck up for myself, and they accepted me, then it was okay. I listened to a lot of radio; that´s where I heard music first; that´s where I heard the outside world coming into my little town, and I used to have dreams of going to that outside world. Every experience I can think of, even some we write about, still comes from there. It´s a pretty inspirational area to grow up in, and I still go home there all the time to look up old friends and get together".

Steve lists Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Marvin Gaye among his early musical influences. "My father was a singer in the Big Band Era and he won a contest that Frank Sinatra had done all the time to give away a free contract and a chance to make records. He was in the second finals, but didn´t follow through because he had family...he had this little runt running around. When I was 8 years old, I told my mother I wanted to be movie star. I´m a singer....I got close".
Steve´s parents divorced when he was young, and his mother remarried. "I was in boys´ choirs when I was in elementary school up until junior high. When I got into high school, I pulled out of choirs and started a band called The Sullies because I started playing drums. I was a drummer/singer for about 8 to 10 years and I still enjoy playing drums and singing".
While growing up, Steve worked with his stepfather Marv as a carpenter, but his dreams of becoming a singer prompted him to leave the small town life of Hanford for Los Angeles. He attended the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA, and though his band was approached by several labels, it just didn´t happen, and the group broke up. "I then went back to L.A and floated in and out of groups, ending up back in the valley where I worked with my step-dad as a construction worker".
In 1977, Steve hooked up with drummer and friend Craig Krampf to form a blues/rock group called Alien Project together with Stevey DeLacey on guitar and Richard Michaels Haddad on bass. "I was really excited about it and we were just about to sign a record deal with CBS, and then on the 4th of July weekend, the bassist was in a fatal car accident. That stopped my life again. It seemed the closer I got, the bigger something would have to be to knock out my chances. So I finally decided, I Quit!. I called CBS and told them, then I called my dad and moved back. Not long after, I got a phone call from CBS saying this band called Journey was looking for a singer"
The rest is history.

The Alien Project demo features the songs My My My*, Harmony*, Makes No Difference*,
If You Need Me Call Me+, Hold On
* was later released on the 2006 re-issue of Street Talk
+ was later released on the 1998 compilation Greatest Hits plus Five and re-recorded for the 2006 re-issue of For The Love Of Strange Medicine
Guitarist Stevey DeLacey is credited on the 1978 solo albums from Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and later went on to perform with Johnny Winter before he passed away in 2014.

Here is another pre-Journey demo with Steve Perry called "Get your face out of here".

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Best Songs of 2019

2019 is a great year when it comes to metal and alternative rock if you noticed my Top 20 album list but what about the best songs of this year? Well, it´s a first class progmetal anthem with elements of 80´s pop from down under at #1, followed by a supercharming new wave song by the amazing and sweet Chloe and her band at #2.
At #3 we find the best lyrics of the year from a band that says that we should bring the guitars and burn them and at #4 is an ultra-mega-original and artsy song from a Belgium band (the video is awesome), and finally at #5 : the electronic rock-disco rocket Tunnel vision from the Brexit country.

1.Voyager-Colours (Colours In The Sun)
2.Kitten-Memphis (Goodbye Honeymoon Phase)
3.I Fight Dragons-Artifact (Canon Eyes)
4.De Staat-Kitty Kitty (Bubble Gum)
5.Black Futures-Tunnel vision (Never Not Nothing)

Friday, December 20, 2019

Daughtry is alive

American rock singer Daughtry has released a brand new song called Alive, out now.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jazz-rock-funk-indie band Q-bizm release Black Truck music video

Q-bizm is a jazz-rock ensemble suffering from a permanent reunion syndrome, after releasing a demo album Q-bizm and Vivid, they performed live and took a 15 years hiatus because life is in the way. The band reunited in summer 2018 and will release a brand new album in 2020.
Q-bizm shares official video for their new song "Black truck" that will be available on December 20.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Best albums of the decade 2010-2019

When another decade has come to an end, every soul should go back and see what their absolute favorite albums are. So here are my best albums of the decade 2010-2019.

1.Steve Perry-Traces 2018
2.Rush-Clockwork angels 2012
3.Muse-Drones 2015
4.Simple Minds-Big Music 2014
5.Biffy Clyro-Opposites 2013
6.Carpark North-Lost 2010
7.Chickenfoot-III 2011
8.Kadawatha-The world of hypocrisy 2014
9.Alter Bridge-Walk the sky 2019
10.Rammstein-Rammstein 2019

11.Ghost-Meliora 2015
12.Sons of the Sea 2013
13.Muse-The 2nd law 2012
14.Ludo-Prepare the preparations 2010
15.Toto-XIV 2015
16.Winger-Better days comin´ 2014
17.Dizzy Mizz Lizzy-Forward in reverse 2016
18.Steven Wilson-To the bone 2017
19.Arcane Roots-Melancholia hymns 2017
20.The Who-WHO 2019

Best albums of the decade 2000-2009 (again)

Just as a reminder before I post my toplist of the best albums of the decade 2010-2019, here comes the toplist of the best albums of the decade 2000-2009. (posted a long time ago on Palace of Rock)

1.Flipp-Volume 2002
2.Brian McDonald Project-Voyage 2003
3.Bryan Adams-Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron 2002
4.Winger-Karma 2009
5.King´s X-Ogre tones 2005
6.Rush-Snakes and arrows 2007
7.Rammstein-Mutter 2001
8.Swirl 360-California blur 2005
9.Carpark North-Grateful 2008
10.Sparks-Lil Beethoven 2002

11.Tal Bachman-Staring down the sun 2004
12.Frost-Milliontown 2006
13.Tim Christensen-Superior 2008
14.Destrophy-The way of your world 2007
15.KoRn-See you on the other side 2005
16.Saliva-Blood stained love story 2007
17.Kip Winger-Songs from the ocean floor 2000
18.Moments in Grace-Moonlight survived 2004
19.Slamer-Nowhere land 2006
20.Loverboy-Just getting started 2007

Top albums 2019

And so comes another year to an end and also the end of a decade, that means toplists and more toplists. First out is the Top albums of 2019 where the three big ones are the album covers above.

1.Alter Bridge-Walk the sky
3.The Who-WHO
4.White Lies-Five
5.Biffy Clyro-Balance, not symmetry
6.Voyager-Colours in the sun
7.Lonely Robot-Under stars
10.In Flames-I, The Mask

11.KoRn-The Nothing
12.Cinder-The Machine
14.The New Shining-Elephant
15.Rick Springfield-Orchestrating my life
17.Cold-The things we can´t stop
18.The Mute Gods-Atheists and believers
19.Meytal-The Witness
20.Queensryche-The Verdict

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Rock Six Times

Easy Action - That Makes One re-issue with bonus tracks

Rarely has there been such a drastic change of musical style than that made by the Swedish hard rock band Easy Action when it came to the recording of their second album ‘That Makes One’ in 1985. While the band’s debut LP (1983) was an ahead of its time glam classic, Easy Action had morphed into a slickly melodic AOR group on the follow up record.
Kee Marcello, who later on joined Europe, was approached by Peo Thyrén (b) from the pop punk band Noice which were considerably successful at the time to sing but eventually ended up as their producer. Not willing to live the destructive lifestyle of the band, Kee and Peo founded their own band: Easy Action. The name refers to Marc Bolan who is considered the biggest rock star by Marcello. The band recorded a mini-album and got themselves a multi-million dollar deal with Sire Records. “I went from practically being homeless to being a young, stupid guy with loads of money“, Marcello recalls. Joining Peo and Kee in this early version of Easy Action were Zinny J. Zan (v), Fredrik Von Gerber (d, ex Noice) and Danny Wilde (g).
The band sounded like a blueprint for Mötley Crüe, Poison and the like and consequently wanted to go in a different direction with the follow-up. Several line-up changes came, most notably Peo eventually making way for Björn ‘Nalle’ Påhlsson and Tommy Nilsson being recruited to fill the vacant lead singer role after Zinny left. The journey together ended when Marcello was offered to join Europe - an offer to good to turn down.
Upon release in 1986 ‘That Makes One’ certainly gained its many admirers, but any success was short-lived due to Kee taking up that aforementioned offer from Europe to replace John Norum in November the same year to go on to record the ‘Out Of This World’ and ‘Prisoners In Paradise’ albums with the group. When that version of Europe went their separate ways, Marcello began a solo career in 1993 that continues to this day, alongside a lot of production for other artists.
The “glam rock variant“ of Easy Action reunited. Kee and Zinny J. Zan having recruited a first class team of players that included Simon Roxx (g), Micael Grimm (b) and ‘Grizzly’ Höglund (d) and played Sweden Rock in 2006. But the passing of Grimm in 2011 who was the driving force at the time ended the band activities, although some songs were written.
Yet in 2019 the “melodic rock version“ of the band got back together! Kee and Tommy, alongside Chris Lind (g), Björn ’Nalle’ Påhlsson, Björn ‘Grizzly’ Höglund and the band’s long-time live keyboard player Jörgen Ingeström reformed again earlier this year when Kee received another offer to play Sweden Rock. The band recorded a live DVD and presented themselves in excellent shape, for instance using no backing tapes and stuff.
This re-release is remastered by Chris Lyne and limited to 1000 copies. As a bonus there are rare b-sides “Eye For An Eye“ from the “In The Middle Of Nowhere“ single and “There Is A River“ from the “Talk Of The Town“ single.
AOR Heaven re-releases That Makes One on January 31, 2020.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Wang Chung member Jack Hues working on solo album Primitif

Jack Hues from Wang Chung and the one-off band Stricly Inc featuring Tony Banks from Genesis releases new single Whitstable Beach" from his upcoming solo album "Primitif".
Wang Chung is widely known for their 80´s hits "Dance hall days" and "Everybody have fun tonight".
Listen to the new song "Whitstable Beach" here:

Apocalypse and Chill with Delain

Dutch symphonic metal band Delain will release their 6th studio album "Apocalypse and chill" on February 7th on Napalm Records, including the new singles "Burning bridges" and "One second".
Watch the official video for "One second" here:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Introducing Ilne to the world

Kristoffer Hilmarsson is a promising artist currently working with the project -Ilne- , founded in 2019. Three songs have been released including "I wanna kill you in the shower", available below.
Two other songs, "Lovely name" and "Where you are" are streaming on Spotify.
Fans of ambient jazz-pop should really check it out.

Active rock time with Cavo and their new song Wolves

St. Louis rockers Cavo drops new single/music video Wolves.
Who said rock is dead?

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Veer Union cover Flyleaf on upcoming Covers Collection, Vol 1

The Veer Union are screaming into the holiday season with the release of a scorching version of Flyleaf's "I'm So Sick" ahead of the new "Covers Collection, Vol. 1" album, due on 12/20/19. This ultra-heavy version of the song is impacting out-of-the-gate with an add to Spotify's "New Metal Tracks" playlist, debuting at #7.

Talking about “I’m So Sick”, the band’s Crispin Earl says: “I remember the first time hearing this song when I was just starting The Veer Union - it just blew me away! Lacey Sturm's voice was like nothing I had ever heard in Rock/Nu-metal. I have always been interested in songs that can stand the test of time and there is no question in my mind that "I'm So Sick" is one of those songs!"

Stream "I´m so sick" here:

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Stitched Up Heart announce new album Darkness

Modern metal band Stitched Up Heart will release their new album "Darkness" on March 13,2020.
Check out the two new singles "This skin" and "Dead roses".