Getting reacquainted with Led Zeppelin

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(Photograph by Heilemann/Camera Press/Redux)

     I’ve been spending a lot of time with Led Zeppelin lately. I have been listening to their albums with a new ear. With an 184 mile commute round trip I have the time. My focus has been on different aspects of their albums with each listen. From Led Zeppelin to Coda  a new appreciation has grown within me for a band that has been a part of my life for a very long time. I mean how many of us used to draw the four symbols on everything we had?

     The production and engineering on these albums was way ahead of the time. There is a magical depth to the music Led Zeppelin gave us. The lyrical content combined with the music expands the mind and transports us to worlds far from the ordinary world.

       Led Zeppelin took us from blues to hard rock to reggae, sometimes on the same record. I often hear traces of them in many other bands throughout the years.

     Thank you for the journeys Robert, Jimmy, John, and Bonzo for the friendship and joys you have given me.

     it’s loud, it’s wonderful, it’s Led Zeppelin!!!

     the Hellion

Should keyboards be used in metal?

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Ahhh keyboards in rock music. I have always been a fan of keyboards in rock n’ roll, I mean John Paul Jones in Led Zeppelin, John Lord in Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman in Yes, Freddie Mercury in Queen, the list goes on and on. And then on December 21st 1983, a day that lives on in infamy to me,  Van Halen released the single “Jump”, wait…what just happened? My hard rock driven guitar band released a song with a sickly poppy sounding keyboard in it? If you can’t tell I was sorely disappointed in the boys. People were labeling the song as “pop rock” or “synthrock”, I was aghast a this. I eventually overcame my lament and forgave Van Halen for this travesty (again this is my opinion).

Today on my commute home I heard “Jump” on the radio (no I still don’t like it) and thought to myself I wonder what others think about keyboards in hard rock and heavy metal. I know bands like Sonata Artica, Kamelot, and Nightwish use them, but what are your thoughts?

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, i might as well JUMP!!!

-the Hellion

My top 10 Rock songs that never get old for me

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There are songs that you have heard a million times and you can’t take them anymore (Post about those songs another time), and those that remain eternally epic. This is my list of those songs I consider most epic.

10. “Tombs Ov Oblivion” – Crowned By Fire

     9. “Back In The Saddle” – Aerosmith

     8. “Breakin’ Down” – Skid Row

     7. “More Than A Feeling” – Boston

     6. “Now I’m Here” – Queen

     5. “Dance The Night Away” – Van Halen

     4. “River Of Deceit” – Mad Season

     3. “No Quarter” – Led Zeppelin

     2. “Love To Love” – UFO

     1. “Spirits In The Night” – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

     These are the ten top songs which I could listen to over and over without them wearing out on me. I guess of I were to make a Hellion Rocks greatest hits CD these would be the ten songs that would make the cut for me. Why these ten songs? They each represent to me musical craft at its best. I can listen to these and be carried away on musical adventures in faraway lands. I encourage your feedback and responses with your own definitive top ten list.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

 

Covers! Covers! Covers!

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Ahhh the old cover issue again. I have been asked to revisit covers so here it is. I have stated in the pas that there are good, and there are bad, very bad. As I am writing this I am reminded of classic rock songs that are ruined by rap/hip hop artists. I am of the opinion that some artists cannot come up with something of their own so they cover an already successful song and others choose to pay homage to the artists which inspired them.

There are songs out there that achieved little or no attention by the original artists for example:

“I Love Rock ‘N Roll” which was written and recorded in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows.

     And then there is the Joan Jett cover from 1982 which the world knows and loves.

  

     I am probably one of the few people who actually prefers the original but Joan stayed true to the original vibe of the song.

     “New York Groove” was written by Russ Ballard and first recorded by Hello in 1975.

     Then the world famous version by Ace Frehley of KISS in 1978.

     Ace stayed true to the original as well and, in this case, I prefer the Ace version.

     “Space Truckin'” by Deep Purple is one of my favorite songs in the world and was written in 1972.

     Tesla decided to take  on this hard charging track on their ambitious Real To Reel release in 2007.

     Tesla crushed this cover and kept to the original Deep purple vibe, but I still prefer the original.

     Now to the covers which leave me less enthusiastic. I have heard some people talking about these songs as if the covers were the original tracks which makes me nuts.

     Let’s go back to 1934 where Clarence “Tom” Ashley and Gwen Foster recorded an old folk song called “House Of The Rising Sun”

  

     This song was made popular by the Animals in 1964 and is probably the best known version of the track.

     which has led to the version Five Finger Death Punch recorded in 2013.

     While I happen to dig the vibe of the earlier versions I think the FFDP version is an abomination and shows no respect to the original song. I am embarrassed for the band and their version of it.

     “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin was recorded in 1968 and was a blast to the ears and mind.

     While I was an early Godsmack fan their 2007 version was a miss for me.

     

     I think it’s obvious that the Led Zeppelin version wins out for me.

     Ok, so all of this is just a matter of opinion for me and I mean no disrespect to anyone. Please share your opinions with me and the readers as we would love to hear them.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

That one song…

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Here’s something I’ve been wondering about. Are there any songs out there that you just can’t listen to anymore? I mean songs that you once couldn’t get enough of but now cringe and change them when they come on . There are a couple of great songs that I am completely burnt out on and I’m sure I’ll catch hell from some people about them and here they are: “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, and “Dream On” by Aerosmith. I know, I know, they are iconic songs by iconic bands but listening to them makes me nuts. It could be that I was over exposed to them when they were on regular rotation on FM radio. Let me reiterate, these are great songs but are worn out to me. What are your thoughts, and songs that just don’t do it for you anymore?

-the Hellion

Kyng To Release New Studio Album Burn The Serum On April 15th On Razor & Tie; First Song Stream On Revolver Now‏

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KYNG TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM BURN THE SERUM ON APRIL 15TH ON RAZOR & TIE
 Hear First Track “Burn The Serum” Now On Revolver
(New York, NY) – Southern California rock trio Kyng will release their new studio album, Burn The Serum (Razor & Tie ) on April 15th.  Burn The Serum was produced by Andrew Alekel(Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Queens of The Stone Age, Clutch) and James A. Rota (Sound City) and was recorded at Grandmaster Recorders LTD and Sword & Shield in Hollywood, CA as well as at Studio 606 in Northridge, CA.
Hear the first song off the album “Burn The Serum” now at Revolver.
Kyng’s Eddie Veliz explains the song, “Burn The Serum is one of the best songs that the guys and I have written so far. It’s extremely honest in the subject matter and the riff.”
On their second full-length album and first for Razor & Tie, the band harks back to the essence of heavy rock ‘n’ roll, forging thunderous percussion to lightning hot riffs driven by a divine vocal howl. At the same time, they keep their eyes wide open towards the future. Kyng find grandiosity in simplicity. The Los Angeles outfit may only boast three members—Eddie Veliz [vocals/guitar], Pepe Clarke [drums], and Tony Castaneda [bass/backup vocals]—but their collective roar could easily tip the Southern California Richter Scale.
Formed in 2008, Kyng broke out of the City of Angels in 2011 with the group’s independent debut Trampled Sun.  The album landed shining critical acclaim for its “California Heavy” sound merging the metallic meanderings of Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age with the timeless scope of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. They hit the road with everybody from The Sword and Clutch to Trivium and Megadeth—even being picked to play at Metallica’s first-everOrion Music + More festival. Loudwire raved, “a hard hitting fusion of rocking goodness,” andUltimate-Guitar added, “if they keep churning out records as good as Trampled Sun, they will be mentioned right up there with Mastodon and the like.”
KYNG wrapped up 2013 with the Hellpop Tour with In This MomentMotionless In Whiteand All Hail The Yeti and will hit the road in 2014 to support of Burn The Serum (tour dates below).  .

 

KYNG Tour Dates
April 26 – Fort Meyers, FL – Fort Rock
April 27 – Jacksonville, FL – Metropolitan Park
May 2 – Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live
May 3 – Concord, NC – Charlotte Motor  Speedway
May 10 – Bangor, ME – Darlings Waterfront Pavilion
May 16– Columbus, OH – Columbus Crew Stadium Rock on The Range

THE GROUND BENEATH -“SELF TITLED” CD REVIEW

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1. Choke
2. Say It
3. Signs
4. It’s You
5. Blame
6. The Passing
7. Lost In Me
8. Blind
9. Memphis
10. RLS
11. Back Door Alley Girl
12. Disappear
13. Mine
14. Flounder Piano
15. Burjay

The Ground Beneath is:
Steve Civerolo – Vocals/Electric & Acoustic six & Twelve string guitars, Brian Scott – Drums, Hunter McCoy – Bass guitar

Guest Musicians on “Self Titled”:
Brian Ostrom – Four string bass guitar on “Memphis”, Paul Civerolo – Guest lead electric six string guitar on “Lost In Me” (Paul appears courtesy of Howlin’ Dog Records), Laurie Selby – Cello on “It’s You”/”Blame”/”Not Me” (Laurie appears courtesy of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra), Jonathan “Jonny Law” Jonah – Guest lead vocals on “Burjay” (Jonathan appears courtesy of Rancho Relaxo Records), Rick Fusco & Kenny Davis – gang vocals on “Mine”

     I have had this CD for a couple of weeks now. The official release is going to be on January 17th 2013 at the Launchpad in Albuquerque, NM.

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Let’s get into the CD itself. The Ground Beneath is one of those bands that just plain and simply gets it. Steve Beneath is one hard-working SOB, always at shows, doing radio guest spots, texting about upcoming shows, anything it takes.  That tenacity shows in the latest release from The Ground Beneath “Self Titled”. “Self Titled” is actually the name of the new CD, a little bit of humor from the band.

Let’s get the technical stuff out-of-the-way first. The CD is clean and I mean CLEAN, the production quality is top-notch. The mix is great and the sound is not muddied in any way. Kudos for the guys on their attention to detail. This CD is meant to be played LOUD and is sounds great at those ear bleeding volumes.

Now for the fun stuff! I have been listening to this CD pretty regularly and this just so happens to be my third rewrite of this review. I keep coming back to this CD and discovering more stuff that I like about it. I love it when a band makes music that is inspired by other artists and yet sounds new. Let me explain, I know Steve is inspired by bands like Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Pantera, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, HELLYEAH, Strapping Young Lad, Deftones, U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Damageplan. You can hear elements from all of these bands in the music and yet it remains distinctly The Ground Beneath.

“Self Titled” is , dare I say, a groovy record. While the world must be obliged with the obligatory single, which is “Blind”, I think the CD needs to be taken as a whole. The flow of the songs is just that good. I actually forget this is a local band out of Albuquerque, New Mexico when I am listening to it. Which leads me to ask “Why isn’t stuff like this being played on national radio?”

Steve handles all of the writing of the lyrics and music which is a testament to his talent. The band as a whole plays the songs that Steve has envisioned with a fervor and passion that will quickly infect you. Steve’s vocal work and guitar skills are right on par with some of the music world best. Brian “Bearface” Scott goes from flat-out pound your skull in drumming to tribal like beats keeping the band anchored with a solid back beat. Hunter McCoy anchors the package together with some bass lines that will have your heart pounding trying to keep up.

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In conclusion “Self Titled” is a record chock full of solid Rock N’ Roll tunes, pinch harmonics, throbbing bass lines, pounding drums, melodic compositions, hypnotic vocals and yes even a cello. Solid 10 out of 10 in my book, definitely a necessity in everyone’s music collection.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s THE GROUND BENEATH

– the Hellion