Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #604 - Luke Underhill

I remember a time when people felt that rock n roll and earnest songwriting was going to be a thing of the past. They said that during the height of the boy band era and they are saying it now in the JUSTIN BIEBER/NICKI MINAJ era. But when we see a fresh faced twenty year old take his songwriting queue from the likes of BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN we have to wonder if there is any validity to all of this doomsaying. Earlier this year, said "fresh face twenty year old" LUKE UNDERHILL released his album ATLAS - a punchy little pop-rock album that hits all of the right targets for mainstream radio airplay yet pulls at the heart strings without coming across all sentimental. Now UNDERHILL has released an interesting follow up - an eight-song EP of acoustic renderings of songs from the ATLAS album titled ATLAS - UNPLUGGED. The songwriting truly shines in  these stripped down acoustic performances. LUKE UNDERHILL is a name to remember the next time the subject of the future of songwriting comes up.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #603 - Nick Peay

The days of music telling a story as compelling as any that you see on TV are long gone but that hasn't stopped singer songwriter NICK PEAY from using the EP format to brings about songs that paint a vivid picture in ones mind of the struggle of addiction. Surprisingly, PEAY relates to us that he himself has never struggled with addiction which is strange given the intimacy in the lyrics of his latest EP SOBERING. While the struggle of putting down and laying off the sauce makes for a stirring listen the music and the lyrics both thankfully steer clear of sensationalism or righteousness and instead treat the subject of addiction with the humanity that such a subject deserves. At the very least the track PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN could be the new theme for INTERVENTION. Isn't it about time that show retired FIVE STEPS by THE DAVENPORTS?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #602 - Red Velvet Crush

Before the establishment of the band RED VELVET CRUSH, front woman JILLIAN RISCOE had made a little bit of noise as a solo artist but the idea of being a part of a band was more enticing to the young singer songwriter hailing from Kansas City, Missouri. Teaming up with guitarist and songwriting partner DANIEL MENDALA, RED VELVET CRUSH was formed and has since stunned listeners and live audiences with their potent mixture of pop smarts and guitar driven tunes that could easily find their way onto most modern rock radio formats. The proof of this can be heard on the band's 2013 EP SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Now RED VELVET CRUSH are gearing up for what they are dubbing their "coming of age" album. The plan is to work with producer JOSH GLEAVE out of Nashville and the band has started a KICKSTARTER to raise funds for this ambitious endeavor. The campaign expires October 15, 2015 and if an endorsement from ROCKWIRED means anything, we must say that this band and it's front woman are most definitely worth it. 


Rockwired Radio Profiles #601 - Ships Have Sailed

It isn't often that we do double duty here at ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES but in the case of SHIPS HAVE SAILED releasing a remix album on the heals of their flawlessly produced alternative pop album MOOD SWINGS, we needed to make a exception. Released in March of this year, MOODSWINGS is that breezy, feel good release that you find yourself listening to all Summer long. Right now it makes us a little sorry for that fact that we are just getting around to these guys on the very day that Autumn has begun. The singles DRIVE (not too dissimilar from THE CARS' classic pop ballad of the same name) and the punchy SUMMERTIME stand out by a mile on a CD that knows how to boast clever hooks and melodies that get stuck with you for weeks. Now, SHIPS HAVE SAILED have released their aptly titled RE:MIX EP where four songs from the band's already  effervescent catalog become even more effervescent in the hands of some ace dee-jays. The band's penchant for pop song craft is undeniable.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rock Is Red #14 - Jana Mashonee

There is this perception out there that independent artists don't make any money and that they never will unless they get themselves signed to a major label. For years now Lumbee recording artist JANA MASHONEE has taken matters into her own hands without major label interference and has managed to secure a couple of GRAMMY nominations and a couple NAMMY award wins. Her musical ambitions know no bounds as she is all to happy to have us know in her uplifting new single ROCKET LAUNCH. Accompanied by a playful, sexy new video MASHONEE is making a splash like she's never made before and it's got us more than excited for some of the new tunes that are on the horizon. Evidently, being the captain of your own ship is the only way to go in this new musical climate. 

Rock Is Red #13 - Wolf Saga

The pristine and precise synth sound that typified 1980's new wave  was a sound that has never left me. As a child of the REAGAN-era, the music that I listened to was the antithesis of the 60's/70's styled sensibilities of my parents generation so I find it funny how a kid who is half my age is out there and making music that exemplifies all that I loved about the music of my "growing up". WOLF SAGA is a project helmed by Anishinaabe  musician and songwriter JOHNNY SAGA who has just released his newest EP AUBURN NIGHTS and the radiant four song collection definitely deserves it's place on the shelf between MGMT's "CONGRATULATIONS" and THE STROKES' "ROOM ON FIRE". Grounding WOLF SAGA's iridescent electronica is an undeniable punk sensibility which comes through loud and clear on the tracks ALL IN and WALLS. In my interview with JOHNNY SAGA he states that he will be heading back to the studio to work on new material whcih is a good thing. He's got me wanting to hear more. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #600 - ShaManic

It is the 600th edition of ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES and what do we do? We break away from tradition and profile a hip hop artist. SHAMANIC is a young man with a story to tell and that story is vividly illustrated through rapid fire rhyme and unrelenting beats on his debut LP THE ARTIST. White guys in rap are nothing to shake a stick at in this post-MARSHALL MATHERS musical climate but what should get people talking is SHAMANIC's long and winding road of survival. Haunted by a life marred by mental illness and a horrifying tenure in a mental hospital SHAMANIC has takes a few at his demons on this mesmerizing debut with such tracks as the penetrating first single MINDLESS, BA DA DA DA (the albums one moment of levity) and the chilling MR. ANDERSON. There is no artist out there that is comparable at the moment so in the meantime you're going to have to file this one somewhere in between MARSHALL MATHERS and the most intense WILLIAM FRIEDKIN movie that you can think of.   

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #599 - John Taglieri

When ROCKWIRED first became acquainted with JOHN TAGLIERI he was a breath of fresh air. He was proof that a male singer-songwriter could rock and not conform to the oh-so-sensitive stereotype that have permeated the industry post-JOHN MAYER. Even better - he doesn't have that phlegm-y sounding voice. Yes TAGLIERI was a rocker with a rather refined pop sensibility but on his previous two releases the bald troubadour took a more genteel, Nashville-styled approach to his music that saw some action on the charts but had us wondering when we were going to hear that hard-edged sound that made him stand out  from the crowd. With the release of his new EP TRUE BELIEVER, JOHN TAGLIERI - the rocker - has returned but he's older, wiser, and more capable than ever of  issuing the sort of music that can make you think all while banging your head just a little. The tracks DON'T ASK WHY and MAD, MAD WORLD demonstrate a true return to form and have made us believers once again. 

Rockwired Radio Profiles #598 - Vermillion Road

Sex, drugs and rock n roll has always been one hell of an enticing package. Lord knows ROCKWIRED has built our reputation on celebrating the kind of music that speaks to the darker side of love and life. So when something comes our way that is described as positive and uplifting there might be a little bit of hesitation on our part but after giving PALACES - the new release from the Denver-based band VERMILLION ROAD - that hesitation was unwarranted. Just check out the baby faces on this band of twenty-somethings! What they lack in age they more than make up for in musicality and an innate sense of what makes a song work. With PALACES they've got an album full of finely crafted pop rock with a heart as big as it's sound as evidenced by the electrifying rockers TREAD ON ME and THESE LIES and the stirring balladry of the album's title track. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #597 - Bonz

No one needs to tell us that rock n roll is hard work and no one knows that better than BONZ. The former front man for STUCK MOJO launched his own self-titled band two years ago and ROCKWIRED was one of the first outlets to fill people in on it. Earlier this year they released their album BROKEN SILENCE and if you look in the latest edition of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE you'll see that BONZ himself made our GUYS OF ROCK list. However there have been a few pitfalls. A tour was canceled recently due to their buses engine catching fire. While some new dates have been booked the band is looking to purchase a new bus. Outside of that, the past has come back to haunt BONZ due to a recent interview that STUCK MOJO guitarist RICH WARD gave to the TALKING METAL PODCAST regarding BONZ' contributions to the band.  "I never tried to be a funk guitar player; I was a metal guy. It was just how my influences cross-sectioned with our funk/reggae bass player and our rapper, who couldn't sing anything, 'cause he had no idea about melody. He was just a pissed off black guy who had a rough life, who had been in prison, who just had… he had a story and had an outlook on life that I just had no idea even existed."
Of course, BONZ was quick to respond:
"I was simultaneously shocked, hurt and angered when I read the most recent comments that Rich Ward has stated about me publicly. I am not totally surprised, as this has been a point of contention for several years.Both my private life and my public persona are very important to me, and I do not appreciate either being questioned or attacked. I am not sure where [Rich's above-mentioned quote] comes from, or quite how I am supposed to interpret it, but it is not something that I would expect to come from him in 2015. This was a stark reminder of how things ended up in 2006, the last time that we worked together. I have worked too hard to establish myself in this business to have anyone besmirch my name over and over again.The last three years have been some of my most productive. Forming a new band, recording an album that I am damn proud of, getting the opportunity to be supported by great labels, and traveling the country playing and performing music for fans, I believe proves any of the past derogatory statements to be 'questionable.' I chose to respond to these comments, as in the past I chose to remain silent and take the 'high' road.After traveling around the country and reconnecting with many old friends and fans along the way, I was alarmed at the stories and rumors that were out there. I want to make sure that my thoughts and feelings are conveyed and that the public is exposed to both sides of the story."
However, we've got BONZ himself on the show today and believe me when I say he's got tons more to say on the matter.


Rockwired Radio Profiles #596 - Throw The Temple

We'll be honest. While our publication is based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico there is very little here musically that has us terribly excited. Being a largely hard rock and heavy metal publication we are at odds with some of the more hipster-y local acts that are favored by some of the local alternative press in the city where BUGS BUNNY often neglected to make that left turn. We first became acquainted with THROW THE TEMPLE back in 2012 and ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES spun a demo recording of theirs which showed promise but was far from earth shaking. Now, the band has released their album NO WAY BUT DOWN and despite the title things are looking up. Tracked and mixed by JIMMY J MEDINA of EVILESQUE RECORDS, NO WAY BUT DOWN embraces a nineties rock sensibility where riffs and earnest vocals (provided by front man GABRIEL GAMBINO) rule the day as opposed to flashy soundbites but don't expect this album to come off as a mere nostalgia trip. It is a tasteful offering from a Duke City band that is ready to take their music and other such matters beyond the Land of Entrapment. Needless to say, these guys have renewed our faith in all that is possible in our surrounding local music scene.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Rockwired Radio Profiles #595 - Kore Rozzik

He's got a mouth bigger than New York City and ambitions that are larger than that city's surrounding metropolitan area and if you ask us that's a damn good thing. Attitude and swagger have become more common among rappers and pop stars so maybe KORE ROZZIK represents a return to the old notion that a rock star lifestyle can be lived by a guy who want to be an "actual" rock star. The hair, the make up and the attitude are all there but it's the music that legitimizes KORE ROZZIK's claim on rock n roll stardom. A tremendous amount of love and care has been taken into getting his debut EP HAVE A TASTE recorded in the studio and packaged in such a way that will excited folks who would probably rely on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY for the their music fix instead of paying for it. Preceding the release of this EP is the first single ROCKSTAR - a raucous little number that perfectly sums up KORE ROZZIK's music and marketing agenda. While the music is great, the live set is clearly where it's at for KORE ROZZIK and if the live performances that we've seen on YOUTUBE are any indication this is most definitely a show that needs to get on the road. 

Rockwired Radio Profiles #594 - Bobaflex

We don't think there is a band out there who understands that rock n roll glory requires a hell of a lot of years in the salt mines more than BOBAFLEX. Since they first arrived on the scene in 2003 they have earned their reputation and notoriety the hard way with one album after another and spending years on the road building that massive audience that keeps coming back for more. This time around the brothers MCCOY and the band have given their fans and active rock listeners more bang for their buck (or however much downloads are these days) with the the release of their seventh album ANYTHING THAT MOVES which has been preceded by the blistering single MAMA DON'T TAKE MY DRUGS AWAY which is accompanied by an equally blistering music video directed by PAUL CUNNINGHAM. The fact that a living is hard to come by in this day and age is a fact that doesn't need repeating but there is something to be said for BOBAFLEX's staying power and their passion to deliver that heavy metal thunder on CD and in live performance year after year. No disintegrating music industry infrastructure can deny these guys their rightful place as rock n roll giants.