Archive for May, 2017

Willamena Release Inspiring “When You Close Your Eyes,” Off of Upcoming ‘Strong Enough to Last’ EP

Kalamazoo, MI, based Alternative Indie Rock Band Willamena has released the lead single off of their upcoming Strong Enough to Last, “When You Close Your Eyes.” Originally premiered on Paste Magazine, “When You Close Your Eyes” has already garnered extensive radio plays and praise across Mainstream Rock, Alternative, and College radio throughout the United States, Canada, and even Australia.

Click HERE to Download “When You Close Your Eyes”

Early Praise for “When You Close Your Eyes:”

Uplifting and Inspiring, this track is timely for a world that seems more focused on scandals and negativity, and a much needed respite from the darkness being thrown at us every day. But it’s not just the lyrics that make this track so special; “When You Close Your Eyes” is both refreshingly new but comfortably reminiscent of the best of 80s and 90s college rock.Paste Magazine

Clearly, Lucas Ross is a great rock vocalist, and carries dynamics the the Fred Neil did, and Rob Thomas and Bono still doK-Zap (KZHP, Sacramento)

Willamena creates a true audible experience that is both savory and delicious…With laser focused precision and pinpoint accuracy, Willamena delivers music that is destined to be in your arsenal of playlists.Rob Figarola (Daily Unsigned)

Click HERE to Pre-Order Strong Enough To Last

Willamena is a rarity — a nationally-charting genuine indie band. Strong Enough to Last (mixed by Grammy-winner Cameron Webb) is the band’s sixth studio effort, and advance single “When You Close Your Eyes (Radio Mix)” was on the radio even before the EP went to replication. So all the arrows continue to point “up” for the award-winning #1 Kalamazoo rock act (dubbed “the hardest-working band in Michigan” – music.AllAccess.com 10/20/15) whose music has aired from Japan to Montana to Greece.

Their fifth release, The Light Ahead hit the streets and the airwaves in January, 2015. Before the release date of The Light Ahead lead-off single, “The Other Side of Loneliness,” debuted at #5 on the Billboard AAA indicator most-added chart (1/17/15), started at #3 in AAA downloads and streams on radio-servicer PlayMPE.com (1/2/15), and jumped straight onto the FMQB AAA top-200 singles chart at #110 (1/20/15) – all without professional promotion or a publicist. “The Other Side…” peaked at #87 on the FMQB singles chart, stopped only by a lack of “promo” spending. The EP itself climbed directly to #1 on Amazon.com’s “Hot New Releases” Adult Alternative list (1/17/15) and cracked the top-100 on the FMQB AAA non-comm album chart. The follow-up single, “If This Is Love,” charted nationally as well, and third single “Way Back When” spun on over 200 radio stations world-wide. As RadioInfo.com observed, “… it’s definitely a marketable sound that makes for some hit triple-A playlists… and hot AC/AC stations that wait patiently for their turn …. We are keeping our ears on them. So should you.” (RadioInfo.com “pick of the week” 1/14/15).

But “The Light Ahead” was no flash in the pan. Willamena has been impressing programmers, critics and fans for years. The band’s 2013 CD Lost in the Shadows and its tracks charted nationally in six radio formats: Top 40, Hot AC, Triple A, Active Rock, Americana, and College. At least 180 terrestrial stations in six countries aired something from “Lost…” not counting syndicated-show affiliates that pushed the total well over 300. Several critics predicted the success of “Lost in the Shadows” from the get-go:

“… [U]ndeniably infectious rock…” “… [T]he standout tracks… could do some serious damage on U.S. radio in 2013. And that means there are songs on this album you’ll likely be humming in your sleep.” John Sinkevics, Revue Magazine and http://www.LocalSpins.com

“… [Lost… has] a very polished sound that suits their seemingly effortless radio-ready rock anthems perfectly… [It] should help… give them the national attention they… rightfully deserve.” – Justin Kreitzer

“Lost in the Shadows” followed 2004’s “Far From the Current.” “… Current” aired on then-emerging AAA stations from Seattle to Staten Island to satellite (XM Unsigned’s “most notable” and “most played” lists) on a near-zero budget and made its own mark in the music world:

“Willamena… turn the Northern superiority complex against itself with devastating results in ‘Rock-n-Roll.” Dave Queen, Village Voice 9/26/05 re: “… Current”

“I keep thinking, how could a band with this talent and sound not be on a big label… will these guys ever run out of hooks?” Bill Ribas, NYRock.com 3/5/2005 re: “… Current” 3/5/2005 re: “… Current”

“…[P]op rock, in the vein of Matchbox 20, Counting Crows, modern U2, etc… a familiar rock sound culled from decades past, [but] the sheer craftsmanship… in the music keeps [it] from coming across as a stale rehash… Comparisons aside, Lucas Ross is a great rock vocalist…” Alan Moore, LoveLaborMusic.com 6/14/2005 re: “… Current”

But by the time “… Current” was released, what became the music industry’s (and Michigan’s) unprecedented decline was already underway. For one snapshot of the milieu, a story in the Grand Rapids Press about “… Current” was titled “Willamena revives music scene in Grand Rapids.” (Tricia Woolfenden, Grand Rapids Press 2/5/04). Part of another writer’s review offers a clue, too:

“Perhaps the real risk for Willamena is writing a great album that no one will hear.” Nick Stephenson, Recoil, 2/04.

Simply put, after “… Current” came out, tough times got tougher. Willamena’s home base between the coasts and lack of industry connections (or cash) had always hampered the band; what turned out to be “the big crash” didn’t help. Neither did Napster, or NAFTA, or club closings, or slashed label rosters, or the cratered economy which scattered so many Michiganders, and the band, around the country seeking work. In mid-2009 the band went on a reluctant hiatus.

So despite winning the 142-band WBFX/Aris Hampers Rock Search in 2001… and despite making head-turning original rock like the 2002 CD Ghost of July which produced rave reviews like these:

“Willamena are the Derek Jeters of local music… Along with their kick-butt live shows… “Ghost of July” is putting these cats on the bus that says “Major League…” Buddah Worthmore, Music Revue, 5/2002

“’Ghost of July’ could be the most solid release from a local band this year – a sonically-superior recording showcasing emotional performances and… gifted songwriting… highly recommended…” Recoil Magazine, 6/2002

… and despite headlining at premier clubs from Milwaukee to Manhattan and outdoor festivals, and opening for national acts like Fishbone, The Why Store, and SR-71… and despite earning “… the reputation of being the hardest-working act in Michigan…” (The Buzz, TheIndustryResource.com 12/22/04)… and despite maintaining the title of “… the hardest-working band in Michigan…” (Carly Plank, Revue Magazine 6/20/13) years later… Willamena remained unsigned and, largely, undiscovered.

Undiscovered, that is, until the rise of internet radio, and LPFM, and the Triple A radio format, and accessible technology that brought Willamena’s music out of obscurity. Beginning in 2011, world-class recording pros including Gravity StudiosDoug McBride (Fall Out Boy, Rachael Yamagata, Veruca Salt), Grammy winner John Seymour (U2, Santana, Dave Matthews Band) and Grammy winner Cameron Webb (Kelly Clarkson, Social Distortion, Motorhead) began to take an interest in the band, contributing their talents on various tracks (and on decidedly non-major-label budgets). Throughout 2012, ‘13, and ‘14 radio stations all over the U.S. and internationally-syndicated programs latched on to Willamena’s hook-filled songs, and the stage was set for 2015’s “The Light Ahead.”

Music fans around the world have been figuring out what the major labels have missed so far: Willamena has the goods. Strong Enough to Last is another collection of original, radio-ready Midwestern rock n’ roll, and it’s set to line the band up toe-to-toe with major-label acts on radio playlists around the globe.

“‘… Clearly, Lucas Ross is a great rock vocalist, and carries dynamics the way that Fred Neil did, and Rob Thomas and Bono still do…” KZHP Sacramento

“There is plenty to like here and these guys should really make a splash on the music scene… Expect great things from Willamena. They’ve got the chops to achieve them… 4.5 stars (out of 5).” – G.W. Hill re: “Lost in the Shadows”

“… Their music is ready made to fill arenas…” John Verburg, WestMichiganIndie.com

Connect with Willamena:
Willamena Official
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Hogan’s Goat Releases Lead Single Off Of Debut Album

Nashville, TN based, Hard Rock Band Hogan’s Goat has released the first single, “Shit Kicker”, off of their debut, self-titled album. Due out July 18th, Hogan’s Goat was self-produced, mixed by Alex Gilson and Nathan Zensen at Gold Cassette and mastered by Tommy Dorsey.

“You might like it, you might hate it. I don’t know what you fuckin’ like.” – Wayne Michel (Drums)

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Named after a tale from Scottish folklore, the band initially formed in late 2014. As the story goes, a farmer (Hogan) owned a goat rumored to have an odor said to travel miles away. The goat’s been described as having patchy fur, an eye out of socket, and flies abound . For the band, this perfectly symbolized their unorthodox style, that which is anything but unnoticeable.

Their first show (at SXSW, on the rooftop of The Blind Pig) was part of an all Nashville (non-country) showcase. Soon after, HG returned to Nashville, competed in BMI’s “Road To Bonnaroo” (winning the fan vote) and played many other shows around the Nashville area. In March of 2016, Hogan’s Goat began recording their first LP, “Hogan’s Goat” which is set to release July 18th, 2017. The band looks to tour regionally, nationally, and globally.

Droids Attack Announce Midwest / West Coast Tour Dates

Heavy Metal Band Droids Attack have announced their 17 date North American Tour in support of their February 2017 released LP, Sci​-​Fi Or Die. Launching June 16th in Des Moines, IA and winds through the band’s first West Coast run, finishing up July 3rd in Chicago, IL, with Sweeper joining them on about half of the dates.

Droids Attack laid it’s first groove down in the small utility room of singer/guitarist Brad Van’s legendary vintage arcade Aftershock Retrogames back in the fall of 2000. Brad, and drummer, Tony Brungraber, had met at a video game resale shop years earlier, and had started jamming shortly thereafter. By this they time had finally found a bassist, Nate Bush, to join them, so everything was in place. They began writing songs, and focused on developing a sound for what was intended to be their long term project. Once a full set’s worth of material was amassed, the band was off trying to land as many shows as it could. As fate would have it their first show was booked by then Crustacean Records representative, and future Droids Attack bassist, Darwin Sampson. It was a chance meeting that would help shape the group’s progression in several ways. Darwin enjoyed the band’s set that night, and saw potential enough to convince him they were a project worth adding to Crustacean’s expansive roster. Their debut album, All Your Chicks Are Belong To Us was released in 2004.

The gears started shifting, and before you knew it Droids Attack became recognized as one of the best live shows around Madison. All Your Chicks Are Belong To Us was met with great acclaim, earning the band some excellent press, and a Madison Area Music Award for best punk album of 2004. Moving forward, Droids continued writing and expanding on their sound, getting more epic in scope and feel with their 2006 Crustacean Records release, “Fatal/Error.” This album saw the group traveling outside of their Midwestern territory as the road beckoned them forth, most notably to Toronto for North By North East, and a Crustacean Records showcase in Austin at South By South West. Shortly thereafter, another independent label, Round 13 Records, took interest in the band and a split twelve inch record entitled Thee 1987 Inch, was released with new label mates, Imperial Battlesnake, on the flip side in 2008.

As the band stayed busy on the road touring steadily in support of their Round 13 release, Crustacean Records clamped down on it’s Midwestern focus with the hopes of branching off into more national territory, kicking out releases from acts like KilldozerOff With Their HeadsPeelander ZThe Giraffes, and The Soviettes. Thankfully, the label continued to see value in their relationship with Droids Attack, and agreed to put out the band’s third full length album, Must Destroy, in 2010. A music video was released for their song, “The Great Wall Of ‘Gina,” and a buzz began, earning Must Destroy steady airplay on independent radio, and favorable reviews on metal blogs and international publications such as OutburnDecibel, and Giant Robot. This exposure opened up more opportunities, and the band was invited to play some heavy gigs, opening up for national acts like High On FireTorcheFloorPriestess, and performing at the nation’s largest independent music festival, Riot Fest. It was at this time that the group decided if it was to ever move forward from here, they had to go big or go home. They decided to take a shot, and began writing material for their fourth album, Sci-Fi Or Die, intent on giving it their best possible performance, and producing the best sounding recording they had ever achieved. Once enough new material was amassed, they began the process of demo recording.

Many challenges presented themselves to the band during this period of time, which culminated in a parting of the ways with Nate Bush in the midst of their demo sessions. It was a difficult hurdle to overcome, but in an effort to keep the project working steadily toward their goal, the band recruited Crustacean label mate, Dennis Ponozzo, bassist from Below The Sound, to fill in. The re-formed group hit the practice space, and before too long the band was back on it’s feet. The demo sessions were revisited, and the band resumed their busy road schedule completing several regional, and national tours over the course of a year. By then, the group felt confident in their performance, and ready to begin the final recording sessions for Sci-Fi Or Die. The process of seeking a studio and engineer to take on the final project had begun. But alas, it was not meant to be. Dennis could no longer afford to spend the time it would take to commit to seeing everything through, and had to step aside. Once again the project was stalled at a crossroads, but Brad had another capable person in mind.

Darwin Sampson, no longer affiliated with Crustacean Records, was now running his own venue in Madison, WI, The Frequency, and maintaining an active role in the local music scene handling bass duties for several bands in the area. A call was made, the invitation to join Droids was enthusiastically accepted, and it was evident from the very first jam session that this line up was a solid match. After familiarizing himself with the entire Droids Attack catalog, it was time to take another look at “Sci-Fi Or Die.” Once again, the demo sessions were dusted off and pulled down from the shelf. After everything was completed to their satisfaction, Droids Attack booked time with Mark Whitcomb at DNA Studios to record and mix the final “Sci-Fi Or Die” sessions. Once everything was a wrap, Roger Lian at Masterdisk put the finishing touches on it, and after much consideration the band was satisfied that they had achieved everything they had initially set out to accomplish. Sci-Fi Or Die was released on the independent Midwestern label, Riff Reaper Records, on February 26th, 2016.

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Fire From The Gods Release ‘Narrative Retold’ on Rise Records

Active rock/metal band Fire From The Gods has released Narrative Retold on Rise Records. The full-length album is a re-issue of their 2016 release Narrative and features two new tracks produced by Jonathan Davis of KORN. Listen to the full stream below on the Rise Records YouTube page.

“Folks are so heartless and calloused these days. We forget to feel shit because we are so obsessed with our own existence. Live for the common good of everyone. Do Not remain Voiceless.” – AJ Channer

The band will be promoting the new release all summer long on the Van’s Warped Tour, as well as appearing at Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH this weekend.

Click HERE To Purchase ‘Narrative Retold’

Heavy music deserves a heavier message.

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That’s what Fire From The Gods deliver on their second full-length album and first for Rise Records, Narrative. Speaking from a platform cast in heavy metal power, hip-hop consciousness, and even a little reggae spirit, the Austin, TX quintet—AJ Channer [vocals], Jameson Teat [guitar], Drew Walker [guitar], Bonner Baker [bass], and Richard Wicander [drums]—urge for change through conveying a story that’s both personal and universal.
That story stems directly from AJ’s life. Born in the Bronx to a single mother of Jamaican descent, he spent his childhood moving between London, New York City, Los Angeles, Norfolk, and even Ghana where he attended middle school. Drawing from this diverse experience, he speaks with unmitigated honesty about the state of the world.

“This album is the personal narrative of a minority man living in major cities and being American,” he explains. “There’s a socio-economic theme throughout the whole record that carries from each song to song. It’s all about the underdog. We’ve all had to fight for everything we have in this band. The political climate in our country is quite racially and socially charged. There are a lot of issues and energy people are expressing along with misguided hate and anger. I want to channel this in music that can resonate. This is where we come from and who we are as a band.”

In order to properly capture this vision, the boys retreated to House of Loud Studios in New Jersey to record with David Bendeth (ParamoreOf Mice & MenBreaking Benjamin). They spent a month in the winter of 2016 tracking what would become Narrative.

“There’s no crying in Bendeth’s dojo,” laughs AJ. “He really pushed us, and we grew in a short period of time. The band takes on a life of its own with this record.”

That growth stands pervasive in songs like “Excuse Me.” The vocalist spits a frenetic and frantic verse over a buzzsaw guitar and seesawing groove before eventually breaking into an airy dancehall break complete with a reggae-style plea, “Excuse me, Mr. Officer…”

“The essence of ‘Redemption Song’ influenced the hook,” he goes on. “I’m speaking my mind about the fact that people judge you based on looks. Police will violate constitutional rights because of it, and the law of the land makes individuals submit.”

Meanwhile, “Public Enemy” lands a one-two punch of aggressive screaming and a soaring unshakable refrain. “It’s a call-to-arms to be heard,” sighs AJ. “I’m targeting the epitome of tyranny on the lyrics.”

On the other end of the spectrum, “End Transmission” sputters out into a celestial hum, balancing an airy hum with pummeling crash. “You cut off the tether to reality and imagine yourself flying amongst the satellites and stars,” he reveals. “We equate the heavens with tranquility and peacefulness although space is very stark and it’s cold. It’s not being a hero to save the world, but finding that hero within yourself.”

Fire From The Gods have quietly built a rabid fan base through tireless touring across the United States. They’ve shared national bills with the likes of August Burns Red and festival stages alongside Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Judas Priest, Killswitch Engage, and more at KNOTFEST two years in a row and with Motionless In White and Underoath at South By So What. Now, their Narrative is on display in 2016.

“I want people to feel empowered when they listen to this record,” AJ leaves off. “Come out of the experience knowing somebody thinks like you. You’re not alone.”

Davey Suicide Release Official Music Video for “No Angel”

Blending “nu metal” and industrial rock, Davey Suicide is excited to release their brand new music video for “No Angel.” The song is featured on their third full-length album Made From Fire, which came out independently in late March & charted on Billboard.

“When Needlz and I finished writing this track, we knew we had something special here,” explains the frontman. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lived through these lyrics and fought this battle inside my head.”

Hailing from “Unholywood Killafornia,” the band consists of Davey on vocals, Niko Gemini on guitar, Drayven Davidson on drums, Needlz as the “keyboardist/audio terrorist,” and Derek Obscura on bass.

The video was directed and edited by Vicente Cordero, while Charles Kallaghan Masabo and band member Needlz co-produced it.

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An-Ten-Nae Releases Deep Bass, Full Length Album, ‘Medicine’

San Francisco based An-Ten-Nae releases new full length album, Medicine, and gets huge feature in The Huffington Post, Medicine debuted at #25 on the iTunes Electronic list, just under Flume and Bonobo, as well as top 10 on Bandcamp.

An-Ten-Nae has also revealed “Wildflower In Bloom,” an intricately layered masterpiece with deep underpinnings, and another reason the album Medicine is being so widely received.

Medicine is the 3rd album from Bay Area electronic music pioneer An-ten-nae, and pushes forth a new Deep Bass sound emerging from the west coast. Intricately balanced deep grooves flow under a cinematic landscape fused with deep captivating melodies and meticulous production values. The track listing itself leads you into a world where sound has deeper meanings. Medicine leaves behind the familiar Big Room EDM sounds found in over abundance in dance music today. Instead this album takes bass in a deeper, more thoughtful direction which can be compared to the difference between Big room versus Deep House. Polyrhythmic grooves accentuate deep, old school UK Dubstep bass layers woven with 808s in a modern aesthetic, that is quite unique and refreshing.

#MusicIsMedicine

Track List:
1. This Is My Life
2. Sweet Like Honey Suckle
3. Je T’aime
4. Dreams Will Come Just Be
5. Under a Star Filled Night
6. Stargazing Under the Moonlight
7. Walking with Wild Flower in Bloom
8. Kia Toa
9. Bang That Till the Sun Comes Up
10. And Then Came a Whistling Giant
11. Runnin With The Shadows (feat. Amelia)
12. Always Find the Hidden Path
13. I’m Not Free

Click HERE to Purchase Medicine on iTunes

An*Ten*Nae is one of San Francisco’s most sought after DJs and live performers. He has taken the art of live remixing to new heights with his own customized setup, that bends genres in ways seldom heard. This sound is called Acid Crunk, and there are no rules, no restraints in its quest for pure BASS devastation.

An*Ten*Nae is a low frequency emitter transmitting and remixing music on the fly, giving him the ability to transcend above the constraints of music rigidity and transmit bass heavy, crunked out beats of the highest order. HisGenre bending, “Acid Crunk compilations” have set the standard and has defined an era with over 1,000,000 downloads to date. Picking up steam in 2009 Acid Crunk Vol. 2 maintained the # 1 seller in Dubstep, Electronica and Chillout genres simultaneously while also having all 14 tracks in their respective genre top 10, as well as rocking the charts on iTunes, Juno Digital and a host of other sites. With an album in the works and the ever growing Acid Crunk series running at full steam, we see no end in site for the ever changing chameleon known as An*Ten*Nae.

“An-ten-nae goes for the lowest, loudest bass on this reworking of the track “Hold the Line,” which also features Santigold on vocals.” – XLR8R

“He produces the kind of stinkin’ Bass heavy beats that make you nod your head so hard it gives you a concussion. ” & “He’s come up with probably our favourite name to describe the sound so far, infact from now on it is Acid Crunk.” – Chrome Kids

“This Oakland/San Fransico based producer has been on the game for over 10 years, starting out producing everything from electronica, to breaks, to dubstep; and creating his own staple in the bass music realm dubbed “Acid Crunk”. He is what we call a “Trendsetter” in the world of Bass Music.” – Run The Trap

Connect with An-Ten-Nae:
An-Ten-Nae Official | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

Insatia Announce Upcoming Sophomore Album ‘Phoenix Aflame’

American/Canadian Power Metal band Insatia has announced the release of Phoenix Aflame, the highly anticipated follow up to their 2013 Asylum Denied. Produced by Fabio D’Amore (Serenity) and his partner Ivan Moni Bidin (Starsick SystemPathosrayLast Warning), Phoenix Aflame is due to release June 23rd via Pitch Black Records.

“It’s really a more interesting power metal scene in North America than I think most people are aware of, and it’s nice to contribute to it with this album that pays homage to the immense history of a genre that’s historically thrived in Europe.” – Zoe Federoff

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Insatia is an American/Canadian power metal band with female vocals. Founded in 2009 and fronted by Zoë Federoff, the band has released one self produced debut album and opened for multiple international acts, including Sonata Arctica and Dark Tranquility. In 2014 Fabio D’Amore (Serenity) and his partner Ivan Moni Bidin (Starsick System, Pathosray, Last Warning) announced their positions as producers on Insatia’s upcoming sophomore release, Phoenix Aflame. Joined by producer Staffan Karlsson, known for his work with Arch EnemyFirewindRoxette, and many other notable acts, Fabio and Ivan spent the first part of 2015 recording the album at St. Cecilia Studios in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with engineers Steven Lee Tracy and Robbie Williamson. The album’s production then went to Artesonika Studios, Fabio and Ivan’s home base, in Perdenone, Italy. In mid 2015 Insatia’s lineup was further enhanced by the addition of Dave Ablaze(Blackguard) on bass, as album production continued overseas. Kaelen Sarakinis and Daniel Millan were added on guitars and drums in 2016. Phoenix Aflame is set for a 2017 release and features Apollo Papathanasio (ex-FirewindSpiritual Beggers), Chris Amott (ex-Arch EnemyArmageddon), Christian Hermsdörfer (ex-Visions Of Atlantis, Serenity), and Erica James (The Erica James Band).
Fabio D’Amore and Christian Hermsdörfer appear courtesy of Napalm Records. Ivan Moni Bidin appears courtesy of Bakerteam records. Apollo Papathanesio appears courtesy of InsideOut Music. Chris Amott appears courtesy of Century Media.