Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EP Review: Ryan Link - Reverberations

Alternative country rocker Ryan Link has released his latest EP, Reverberations, and it is a work of art. Concerning this EP, the beauty is in its brevity. While most EPs released today contain five, six, or even seven songs, Link went with the pure definition of EP and released a magnificent 4-track album. The terse amount of tracks makes each song much more powerful and the EP definitely leaves the listener wanting more, which should be the desire of any great musician.

“Under The Rug” kicks off Reverberations and makes it hard not to listen to this song multiple times before moving on to the next one. An alt-country, foot stomping, twanging guitar, grandstand of a great time, “Under The Rug” is one of the best songs I have heard in 2015. The guitar work is brilliant, especially the solo in the middle of the track. Link’s voice sings with an urgency that makes you feel the music as well as hear it. By the end of the track, fists are flying in the air, and listener vocal chords are strained from singing along as loud as they can. “Under The Rug” is a masterpiece.

The rest of the EP follows suit in its greatness and ability to deliver wonderful music. “Not Going Anywhere” is a mid-tempo beauty with strong lyrics and incredible music. “Reverberations” is a fun tune that shows off Link’s musical talent and changes the style up just enough to keep the listener hooked. And the final track, “Maladjusted,” leans heavy on acoustic folk, rounding out the album perfectly.

And while “Under The Rug” steals the show, the other three tracks do their best to keep up. Each song has its own uniqueness that sets them apart from the rest. If I wasn’t such a lover of heavier songs, “Maladjusted” would be my favorite song without a doubt. However, I’ve always preferred foot stomping, fist pumping songs to guitar picking folk songs. That isn’t a knock on “Maladjusted,” it’s more of a testament to “Under The Rug.”

Simply put, there is not a bad song to be had on Reverberations. Even though there are only four tracks to enjoy, it’s certain they will be enjoyed multiple times. What more can you ask from an EP? If Link can continue to produce music this grand, I have a feeling that he will be very well known in a short amount of time. Get on board early and grab a copy of Reverberations. It’s going to be hard to find a more enjoyable collection of music this spring.

Ryo’s Rating: 9 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Under The Rug
Not Going Anywhere

Monday, April 20, 2015

Swanky Tiger - Glamorous

Regular readers know that I really got into Swanky Tiger this year. I was fortunate enough to have their latest video for “Glamorous” sent my way and I just had to share.

Swanky Tiger…you rock!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Incubus And Deftones Announce Co-Headlining Tour

Alternative Rock heroes, Incubus and Deftones, have announced they will set out on a co-headlining summer tour visiting nearly 20 cities throughout the United States with more to be announced. The tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off on July 22 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich. and take the two bands to New York City, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Dallas and more before wrapping up on August 30 in San Diego, Cali. Death From Above 1979 and The Bots will join the tour as special guests. Tickets go on sale beginning April 24 at

Special guests include Death From Above 1979 and The Bots
All dates, cities and venues below subject to change.
All shows on sale April 24 unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Clarkston, MI
DTE Energy Music Theatre*
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Tinley Park, IL
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre***
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Cincinnati, OH
Riverbend Music Center
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Holmdel, NJ
PNC Bank Arts Center
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Wantagh, NY
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Friday, August 7, 2015
Mansfield, MA
Xfinity Center*
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Camden, NJ
Susquehanna Bank Center
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Charlotte, NC
PNC Music Pavilion
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Atlanta, GA
Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Tampa, FL
MIDFLORDIA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Friday, August 14, 2015
West Palm Beach, FL
Coral Sky Amphitheatre
Sunday, August 16, 2015
New Orleans, LA
Bold Sphere Music at Champion's Square +
Monday, August 17, 2015
Austin, TX
Austin360 Amphitheater
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Houston, TX
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion pres. by Huntsman**
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion**
Monday, August 24, 2015
Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Amphitheatre*
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Mountain View, CA
Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sunday, August 30, 2015
San Diego, CA
Sleep Train Amphitheatre
* - on sale April 25
** - on sale May 1
+ - on sale May 8
*** - Death From Above not on this show

Megadeth Working On Their 15th Studio Album

PledgeMusic is excited to announce their partnership Megadeth. The band has entered the studio to begin recording their 15th album and they want to bring you along for the ride.

Megadeth is a thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1983 shortly after Dave Mustaine departed Metallica. A pioneer of the American thrash metal scene, the band is credited as one of the genre's "big four" with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer, responsible for thrash metal's development and popularization. Megadeth plays in a technical style, featuring fast rhythm sections and complex arrangements; themes of death, war, politics and religion are prominent in the group's lyrics. As of 2014, Megadeth has sold 50 million records worldwide, earned platinum certification in the United States for six of its fourteen studio albums, and received eleven Grammy nominations.

For the first time, Megadeth is going to bring you into the studio to be a part of the recording process, and give you a window into the world of Dave Mustaine, Kiko Loureiro, David Ellefson and Chris Adler. Some of the exclusive items available when you pledge are a pre-order of the album digitally, on CD or vinyl, a signed copy of Dave Mustaine's book, a signed copy of David Ellefson's book, a 2-hour guitar lesson with Dave Mustaine, a day in the studio with Megadeth, signed guitars, Chris Adler's drum kit, a disposable camera with one-of-a-kind photos from the studio, a jam session with the band and much more. Go here to pledge: 

No matter what you order, you will get access to a variety of behind-the-scenes content such as photos and videos from the writing and recording sessions. You'll get full access to the process in real time.

Mustaine's message to Megadeth fans about the campaign - "We've always wanted you to be 'a part of' and not 'apart from' us in the studio. Now, with PledgeMusic, you can be here with me and the guys and watch history being made with our 15th record. Check back often... you don't want to miss anything!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Greatest Album Is...Women And Children First

Every band that has been around for a while and released great records runs into this debate; what is their greatest album? The greatest album is…is a column dedicated to tackling that age old question. What is the greatest album recorded by Van Halen? Join with us now as the question is answered and arguments are made that the greatest Van Halen album is Women And Children First. 

After releasing one of the greatest debut records in rock and roll history and following it up with an exciting, yet not as spectacular, sophomore effort, Van Halen had a lot riding on their third release. So when the band decided that they weren’t going to produce more of the same, I’m sure that certain record executives got nervous. Fortunately for the fans, Van Halen did not let that hold them back. Decidedly different and amazingly original, Van Halen’s third release, Women And Children First, is a masterpiece in its own right.

Almost any casual fan of the band would certainly pick a different record for the greatest album Van Halen has ever recorded. Most diehard fans would have a tough time debating between the eponymous first record and the last (until recently) with David Lee Roth at the vocal helm, 1984. And while strong arguments could be made for either of those records, it is Women And Children First that rises above all other Van Halen releases to take the title of the greatest album in their vast catalog.

By the time the band recorded Women And Children First they were road tested and battle worthy. They had released two records, were more in tune with the process, and arriving at the peak of their creativity. They also weren’t afraid to take chances. There was nothing that was going to hold them back and the music was much deeper and thought out because of that.

The record opens with the mystifyingly unique sound of a Wurlitzer being phased through an amp, that most fans always believed was Eddie Van Halen working some new magic on his guitar. And based on what he already achieved to that point, it is completely understandable why people felt that way. Openings aside, “And The Cradle Will Rock…” is an amazing song from start to finish that thrust a new light on the band, moving them in directions they had not gone before, both musically and lyrically. While past albums focused on women, booze, and rocking, Women And Children First showed the world a new side of Van Halen, delving into family life, emotional stratospheres, and darker components of the world.

“Everybody Wants Some!!” pushes the limits even further and rallies for the title of best Van Halen song ever recorded. From the opening pounding of the tom toms by Alex Van Halen, the cheetah screeching by David Lee Roth, the thumping bass from Michael Anthony, and the crackle of the guitar in the always amazing Eddie Van Halen’s hands, “Everybody Wants Some” is pure musical bliss. It is an absolutely flawless song that could never be duplicated. “Everybody Wants Some!!” is one of a kind.

Women And Children First found David Lee Roth really coming into his own persona. His scats on the vocals for “Fools” and delightful howls on “Everybody Wants Some!!” continue on several of the other album tracks. On prior albums, this version of Roth wasn’t as evident, and for the most part, was practically nonexistent. Yet, on Women And Children First David Lee Roth lets his freak scat fly---and the world of music becomes much better off because of it.

There is also the often overlooked gem of “Could This Be Magic?,” the first all acoustic number that Van Halen recorded, and for some reason has pretty much forgotten exists ever since. “Could This Be Magic?” is a fantastic song that deserves more attention than it has ever had. A harmonious blend of acoustic bliss and delightful vocals, “Could This Be Magic?” is one of the most vastly underrated songs in the entire Van Halen catalog.

What truly makes Women And Children First worthy of the title of greatest Van Halen album is the originality which is contained on the record. Songs like “Loss Of Control,” “Could This Be Magic?” and even “And The Cradle Will Rock…” may not have been attempted by an earlier incarnation of the band, and certainly wouldn’t even be dreamed about in today’s version of Van Halen. Women And Children First is probably the only place that a fan can find that much originality and brilliant creativity.

There has never been another Van Halen record like it, and there probably never will be. If the band were to take this entire album out on their next tour, it would almost guarantee sellouts at every stop. The greatest album is… Women And Children First.

Vital Statistics
Produced By: Ted Templeman
Release Date: March 26, 1980
RIAA Sales: 3x platinum
Peak Position On Billboard Chart: 6
Nicolette Larson sang backing vocals on “Could This Be Magic?”

And The Cradle Will Rock…

Track Listing
And The Cradle Will Rock…
Everybody Wants Some!!
Romeo Delight
Tora! Tora!
Loss Of Control
Take Your Whiskey Home
Could This Be Magic?
In A Simple Rhyme                 

Band Members
David Lee Roth – Vocals
Eddie Van Halen – Guitars
Michael Anthony – Bass
Alex Van Halen - Drums