Tag Archives: shinedown

Artist of the Week [10/4/13]: Ra

Named after the Egyptian sun god, hard rock band Ra has been around for over a decade. Ra used to be somewhat of a household name for hard rock bands, but have since seemed to go off the map.  They are currently in the process of making their comeback.  Their new, fan-funded album, Critical Mass, is slated for an October 15th release.  The band previously released the album’s first single, “SuperMegaDubstep.”

Having owned all of Ra’s releases, with the exception of 2009’s digitally released B-side compilation, Black Sheep, since 2005 or so, it can be said that Ra’s music is well worth the financial investment.

It is very unfortunate that Ra essentially lost the fame they had gained over the lengthy span of their music careers.  However, it looks like they will fight for it back, and anyone who wants to win a war against the current state of the music industry should enlist on Ra’s side.

Anyway, the band is comprised of four very talented musicians, two of whom have kept very busy during Ra’s downtime.  Lead singer and band founder, Sahaj [Ticotin] released a solo record in 2012, titled Another Minute.  It was much softer and calmer than a lot of Ra’s material.  It leaned more toward singer/songwriter acoustic rock rather than hard rock/alternative metal. Sahaj also acts as a record producer, having recently worked with up-and-coming hard rockers Downstait.  As for the other members of Ra, guitarist Ben Carroll has his own side project called The Hollow Glow, who have seen moderate success among the underground rock scene.

Ra incorporate a variety of styles into their music, allowing for a diverse fan base.  For instance, on “Faulty Information,” from 2008’s Black Sun, Sahaj spits a brief rap during the bridge. They also provide an excellent cover of Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” on 2005’s Duality. With Sahaj’s unique and versatile vocals, Ra will be unstoppable once they resurface.  This should not be a problem, now that the original lineup is back in action together.

Fans of Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Seether should definitely check out Ra.  Key focus tracks include “Faulty Information,” “Easier Than This,” “On My Side,” “Got Me Going,” and Ra’s cover of “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”  The first two tracks are off of Black Sun, “On My Side” is from 2002’s From One, and the last two are featured on Duality.

For more information on Ra, visit their website and/or Facebook page.


[REVIEW] Lansdowne – “No Home But The Road”

Up-and-coming Bostonian hard rockers Lansdowne released a six song EP titled No Home But The Road on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 as the follow-up to their debut album, 2011’s Blue Collar Revolver.

According to the band’s Facebook page, this new EP, consisting of five new tracks and a re-recorded version of “One Shot” from the debut, acts as a music autobiography of life on the road. Lansdowne toured relentlessly for two years, often performing for U.S. military troops at locations such as Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Kurdistan.

No Home But The Road is a response to the consistent feedback on the band’s debut album and how fans wished the material were as strong on record as it was live.

The first track off the new EP, “Burn Brighter,” brings the listener back to 2008 with a sound reminiscent to Shinedown’s  “Sound of Madness.”  The chorus is comparable to that of a Sevendust song. Comparisons aside, Lansdowne vocalist Jon Ricci has a much more easily accessible singing style than those of the aforementioned, better-established singers.

In a similar fashion, “New Day” sounds like a Theory of a Deadman song, but catchier than anything Theory of a Deadman could ever write.

“Frankenstein,” which features Dan Donegan of Fight Or Flight and Disturbed, is the reason that Lansdowne have a bright future ahead of them. Both “Frankenstein” and “Mississippi” represent everything being done right in modern hard rock.

Lastly, “My Disaster” contains all of the elements for a smash hit, minus the F-bomb, which can be easily edited out for radio.

Overall, No Home But The Road proves that Lansdowne have perfected the formula for a successful hard rock release.

MusicTalker’s rating: 5/5

[REVIEW] Shinedown – “Enemies” [MUSIC VIDEO]

Earlier this week, hard rock band Shinedown released a new music video for their song, “Enemies,” which comes off the band’s latest effort, Amaryllis.    This particular video was quite interesting.  While the song itself is a little bland yet still catchy, the accompanying short film maintains its grasp on the viewer, whether or not the viewer enjoys the song.

The video begins with all four band members entering a function hall-type room with four chairs set up in the middle of the room in a square format.  Once all four men sit in their respective seats, a subtitle saying, “BAND MEETING…2:15…MONDAY” pops onto the screen.  Once the lyrics kick in, vocalist Brent Smith starts yelling the lyrics at bassist Eric Bass while drummer Barry Kerch and guitarist Zach Myers watch.  Brent and Eric yell the lyrics back and forth for a minute or so before they start putting up their fists.  As soon as Eric smashes the coffee pot on Brent’s head, you know that it’s getting real.

Meanwhile, Zach is taking pictures on his phone of this fight and laughing at the other two with Barry.  Eventually, all four guys end up throwing fists at each other, along with objects like the chairs, the coffee pot, etc.  After the climax of this group-wide hysteria , the four friends/”enemies” get up off the floor, sit back in their chairs and shake hands.  As they exit the room, Brent pulls Zach aside and the screen fades to black as Brent starts to hit Zach.

This video was simple yet well-executed.  At one point, there is some awesome camera work with a spinning overhead shot of the room.  Other than that, though, the video production and editing was pretty straight forward.  However, it was not choppy and it looked very professional and aesthetically pleasing.

Check it out for yourself:

Artist Spotlight: Under the Flood

Under the Flood is a hard rock band that I have been following for a few years now.  They have put out three full-length albums, one of which is strictly in digital format.  This digital release is actually their most recent effort, titled A Different Light.  A Different Light was released online just a couple of weeks ago.

I currently own their debut album, The Witness, on CD.  I will definitely invest in their second and third records as soon as I  am able to scrounge up the small amount of money required.  However, the point of this post is not necessarily to write a review, but to honor the band for their talent, promise, and exceptional studio efforts.

Under the Flood’s lead singer, Dave Nadolski, may look like Chris Daughtry, but their voices are very different.  I personally love Daughtry’s voice.  At the same time, though, Nadolski has some pipes with a very unique timbre and strong vocal range.  When these guys finally achieve some exposure, it will be easy to differentiate Under the Flood from the rest of the mainstream rock landscape.

This band’s music is very powerful, both lyrically and acoustically.  It would definitely fall into the category of hard rock, but these guys are something else.  This band brings something very refreshing to the increasingly monotonous sub-genre of hard rock.

Formulate your own opinion:

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