Posts Tagged ‘Classic Rock’

Initial Mass formed when high school friends Mark Baldwin and Kevin Robertson joined up with another longtime friend, Scott Smith. And when the Los Angeles-based band Initial Mass came together, the familiarity found within the trio helped solidify the band’s music. That familiarity with each other can truly be an added bonus. What resulted was a trio that shared a familiarity with each other and a love for the same type of music.

With Mark Baldwin on guitar, vocals as well as songwriting, Scott Smith on bass and Kevin Robertson on drums, the three musicians create a trio that draws from Heavy Metal and Punk Rock.  Together, the resulting music falls solidly into the Progressive Rock category. Add in a good amount of Pop feel to the length of each and every track created by the band has a very energetic feel to it but would be welcome on any Modern Rock and/or Classic Rock radio format. That rather commercial feel in the Progressive Rock music from Initial Mass can be found on the band’s newest album entitled Bending Light.

Bending Light from Initial Mass begins with the track “Killing Heroes”. The slow but steady beat from drummer Robertson gives a strong base for the bass from Smith and guitar from Baldwin as the trio creates a song that moves forward with plenty of energy, creating a track that features a musical influence from a band like Queens of the Stone Age. The slow and steady pace at the beginning gives the listener a lot of power and then the band picks up the pace. The quicker pace creates a tempo that draws the listener in closer to the music. The clear, strong vocals from Mark Baldwin would place him within any Classic Rock band. His vocals and the music from the entire band create a track that would be perfect for any Modern Rock format.

The new album from Initial Mass continues with the title track of the release. The track “Bending Light” features all three of the musicians as the track begins with the sound of the drums from Robertson and the bass from Smith. It is Smith’s bass that lays down the foundation of the music for this track as he plays the instrument in much the same way guitarist Mark Baldwin would if he was creating the basis for the track. The resulting music from Smith’s bass creates an almost Jazz-like approach to the track. Soon enough, guitarist Baldwin and drummer Robertson join in and the track takes on a much different feel to the music. The track combines a generous amount of Rock and Roll and some Jazz influence to create a sound that alternates between hard and easier passages. “Bending Light” is easily one of the standout tracks on the album.

With the track “Reason to Take,” the men of Initial Mass show off their musical abilities. This track contains a slightly stronger Progressive Rock feel to the music and the ever-changing rhythms give the song its Prog-Rock approach. The alternating between one rhythmic pattern and another also adds to the progressive feel to the music. The vocals from Mark Baldwin add a generous amount of Classic Rock flavor to the track. For those who are true fans of Prog-Rock, “Reason to Take” is one track from the band where you will find just what you’re looking for. However, the track also contains plenty for fans of straight-out Rock and Roll as well.   

Initial Mass picks up the pace of their music quite a bit on the song “Resolution”. The quicker pace to the music adds more energy to the album and much like with the track “Reason to Take,” the music of the song “Resolution” changes tempos several times throughout the four-minute playtime. But the changes in tempo come gradually during the song and seem near effortless. This is a sure sign of the talent of the trio. About halfway through the track, the band slows the pace of the track down while also lightening the intensity of the music. In short, the track now takes on the feel of a power ballad but without the emotional connection. After a minute or so, the energy level increases and it is that level that brings the song to a close.

“Silence No More” by Initial Mass is the type of track that feels as if it should have been a lot longer. The slow-paced track begins with a thirty second instrumental introduction. After that, the track takes on a musical approach that feels like a combination of Modern Rock and Classic Rock as the vocals from lead singer Mark Baldwin take on a slight resemblance to the vocals of legendary rocker Jim Morrison. In fact, with those vocals, the track itself feels like a mix between The Doors and Queens of the Stone Age. “Silence No More” is one of the tracks on the Bending Light album from Initial Mass that will grab the attention of the listener.

The Bending Light album from Initial Mass comes to a close with the track “Embers Within”. The track begins rather unassumingly as singer Mark Baldwin’s his guitar initially contain a laidback feel and his vocals add to that low-key approach. That is short-lived, however, as the rest of the band join in ten seconds later. Keeping a slow pace, the stronger musical approach finds the band creating a track that marches along slowly but with plenty of energy to the music. The hard, solid quality to the music brings to mind the Heavy Metal of the eighties. The slow pace, yet energetic feel to the music of the track allows for “Embers Within” to feel like the perfect track to bring the Bending Light from Initial Mass to a close.

On their latest album of Bending Light, Initial Mass keeps things interesting with a release that features songs that contain a good variety of music. While drawing mostly from Progressive Rock, the Bending Light release from the band is easily accessible as the band keeps the more progressive elements to a minimum. Because of that, the album appeals to both fans of Prog-Rock as well as those who want music that is a little more listener-friendly.

The Bending Light release from Initial Mass is being released on July 26th, 2019. Because of that, there are no singles to be promoted yet. Stay tuned to the band’s website for more information.

For more information, check out Initial Mass’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

OddnoteIn only two decades, musician Arman Asadsangabi has done more than most. A few years ago, he picked up the guitar and learned how to rock. As a matter of fact, he took that ability to play the guitar and started a band and it was with that band that he has started to make some noise. Down in Nashville, Tennessee, Asadsangabi and his band called Oddnote have just made a lot of noise as they just created an album. That self-titled album stands out rather loudly as the release contains not Country music, but Rock and Roll. And after making noise with that album, Asadsangabi and Oddnote have returned with one additional song. The new single from Oddnote is entitled “Mystified”. The track features Arman Asadsangabi on guitar and vocals, as well as the rest of the band which includes Nick Huff (drums) and Matthew Millstein (bass). Together, the trio is currently creating a style that seems to take some of the influence from older Classic Rock bands like Cream and combine their sound with newer ones like the White Stripes and the Black Keys.  With that blend, “Mystified” is a quick-paced track that features a strong guitar feel to the music that comes with bass and drums that help to drive the beat of the track. The result is a track that would easily have fit into the same timeframe as the music of Cream but with a a little modern feel to the music as well. And just like many of the songs that had been created back in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies, the track comes complete with lyrics that seem to speak to the listener. With lyrics such as “I know you’re sad inside. Well so am I I’m terrified. The world is burning down…” the lyrics seem to be speaking of the current political atmosphere here in America. And while the lyrics hint in that direction, you can interpret those words any way you want. The track is only one song from a band who already released one album of Rock and Roll. But this new single suggests that the band is far from finished with their music making. In the Country-rich city of Nashville, Tennessee, Oddnote is making their presence felt and “Mystified” is strong enough that Classic Rock lovers both young and old will enjoy this track.

While the self-titled album from Oddnote is available, the band’s new single of “Mystified” has yet to be released. Stay tuned to the band’s website of to stay updated as to when the song will be available. 

For more information, check out Oddnote’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.



Custom | Flat Out FastEvery day, there is less and less people out there produce rock and roll the way it should sound. Most of the music out there today comes more from producers than it does from bands that are there simply to create music for the sake of making music. One band out there today that is making rock and roll that sounds real and authentic is Seattle-based rock band Custom.

Custom consists of Jacque Hartless – Vocals, Corey Petro – Guitar, John Norton – Guitar, Paul Yarnold – Bass and Brandon Wilsey – Drums. The band is celebrating the release of their new CD entitled Flat Out Fast.

Flat Out Fast from Custom begins with the track “Stop”. The driving beat of the track mixed with the power of the guitars from Cory Petro and John Norton creates a track with lots of energy. The interaction between Petro and Norton helps to add a lot of energy from the guitars to the music of the song and that energy makes for a perfect way to begin the release.

The album continues with the song “Buzz Zone”. With this track, the band kicks up the energy of their music and also adds just a touch of humor to the band’s release. The lyrics “Well, I lost my mind. I never used it much anyway” lets you know that while the band seems to take music seriously, they still have a sense of humor. The driving pace of the music gives the music a lot of energy to go along with the humor that comes with every one of the unfortunate events that the singer sings about. After listening to “Buzz Zone,” you feel a lot better that it isn’t you going through all the bad luck that Jacques Hartless sings about in the song.

The album continues with the song “Because of You”. The track begins with music produced exclusively by bassist Paul Yarnold and drummer Brandon Wilsey. The interaction between just the bass and drums creates a strong base for the rest of the band to build the music on. Once the rest of the group joins in, the resulting track feels like a Classic Rock track from a band that knows how to make use of their influences. The track brings back the feel of rock and roll and gives the listener just a glimpse of what music should sound like.

The title track of “Flat Out Fast” brings to mind someone like Bon Jovi or other rock bands from back in the eighties. The vocals stylings of Jacque Hartless that bring to mind the sounds of strong rock vocalists like Robert Plant. The strong rock feel of the music and the strong pace of the song along with those vocals from Hartless create a track that rock lovers who miss the sounds of power rock will really enjoy. The title track for Custom’s new release of Flat Out Fast is just what you want for rocking out to.

The track “Punching Sand” starts off slow as the music has and easy and light feel to it. That doesn’t last long as Custom picks up the energy and the pace of the music. The heavy feel of the music goes along with the lyrics of a person looking for a way to release a lot of anger. The track once again shows off the energy that Custom produces in its music.

The band slows things down with the final track on the release, “Say Goodbye Again”. The slower pace of the music just seems to intensify the band’s music. The band works well on this track as they prove that faster is not necessarily better. Even with the slower pace, “Say Goodbye Again” proves to be one of the best tracks on the new release from Custom.

From beginning to end, Custom’s new release entitled Flat Out Fast proves that rock and roll is still alive, as long as you can find it. The Seattle-based band takes the listener on a musical journey that will bring back memories of the rock and roll bands that really knew what music was supposed to sound like. And because Custom is currently creating the same type of music that seemed to have all but disappeared, the band’s new album of Flat Out Fast is just the thing if you have been looking for something new for your rock and roll collection.
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

To check out the music from Custom, check out the band’s ReverbNation profile.

Canadian rocker Cole Hermer began his musical career early on when his mother bought him a guitar at the age of 10 years old. Since that point, the musician has taken off like a rocket and has started creating music that is just as hard-rockin’ as early rock bands such as Led Zeppelin or even The Yardbirds. And taking a listen to Hermer’s voice, one can hardly imagine that this is the voice of a teenager as it has the same strength of someone much older.

The music created by Cole Hermer and The Ravens seems a bit out of place with today’s music scene, and that’s a good thing because they are not following the same trends as most of the bands out there creating the same bland music. Cole Hermer and The Ravens have just released a new CD entitled Quoth the Raven.

The five songs that make up Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens run between a modern sound of someone like The White Stripes and Classic Rock bands Led Zeppelin. That combination will attract both young music seekers and older ones as well.

Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens begins with the track “California Breakdown”. The track is a great way to introduce the uninitiated to Hermer’s music as the track features a classic blues-rock sound that brings the listener back to the days of many of the bands that are now considered Classic Rock. The band comes together to create a song that seems to shed a little truth about the promises that come from one of the busiest and most popular places in the world where everyone goes to try to make it in the entertainment industry. Just listening to Hermer sing about that location may make you think twice about wanting to visit or become part of the “magic” that you find them.

The next song on the Quoth the Raven release from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, “Exploitable,” seems to follow in the same lyrical vein as “California Breakdown”. The song warns of people who only make money off of the young. A very ironic song coming from a musician as young as Cole Hermer, but at least he seems to know that he fits into the group. The track features a rock feel that is still very strong but has slightly less of an edge than the previous track. And as “California Breakdown” falls firmly into the Classic Rock vein, “Exploitable” seems to come from a much more recent time period in rock as you could easily hear the song played between bands like The Black Keys and Jet on today’s radio airwaves.

While “California Breakdown” and “Exploitable” have a lot of energy, the track of “Friends” seems to come out of nowhere as the track has a lot less energy than the previous tracks. The “anti-love song” from Cole Hermer and The Ravens stays away from the clichés of many other songs where the singer laments loudly about the loss of love; with this track, Cole Hermer focuses on the positive as he remembers the good days of the relationship. While not as powerful as the songs that came before it on the release, “Friends” still features good writing and also still features several guitar solos that have a lot of energy to them.

For the track of “Maybe,” Cole Hermer and the rest of the band stays in the same musical vein as on “Friends” as “Maybe” features an unplugged feel as the guitars featured on the track are all acoustic. The acoustic guitars used by Hermer helps to prove that, not only does he have chops when it come to the electric guitar, he also has chops when he plays the acoustic ones, as well.

For the final track on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, the band takes a large amount of influence from Queens of the Stone Age for the song “Teenage Creed”. While it is not identical to the QOTSA song, Cole Hermer and The Ravens’ “Teenage Creed” will no doubt have you thinking about “No One Knows” from the California-based band.

Each of the songs on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens is strong and well-written and well-played. The tracks allow the listener the chance to hear the unquestionable talent from Hermer and his band. Here’s to a full-length release!

Click HERE for the video to “Teenage Creed” by Cole Hermer & The Ravens.

Stone Diamond is a rock trio made up of Cy on vocals/bass, Josh on vocals/guitar and The Tongue on drums. Having come together several years ago as a garage band, today, the three musicians create a rock band that has a lot of energy. The band also calls upon keyboardist, Toby Philippen to help flesh out their music. The resulting sound can be found on the band’s debut album We Stole the Stars from the Black Night.

We Stole the Stars from the Black Night begins with the track “Love Stays”. “Love Stays” is one of those tracks that starts off strong and just keeps going. The track features a straight-out rock feel that could easily find its way onto a Classic Rock radio format. The lyrics to the song are simple enough that the listener will find that they are singing along. When the band stops playing their instruments late in the track to sing a’cappella, the listener gets to hear the band harmonize. The track is very strong and is a great way to start off the new release from Stone Diamond.

The new album from Stone Diamond continues with the track “Let it Roll” is another strong track. This time, the band creates a track that is definitely a blues/rock song. The guitar from Cy has a definite Blues feel to it while Toby Philippen helps add a strong keyboard feel to the track.

“Flavor of Tears” starts off slow with an easy tempo. It then becomes a track that features a vocal style that may remind you of Jim Morrison along with a lyrical style that could even have been something that Morrison himself may have written. The music itself contains a Classic Rock feel that could remind you of The Doors or any other band from around that time period in music. The track has enough style and power to satisfy any Classic Rock fan; it ends up being one of the strongest tracks of the entire album.

For the track “Tattoo,” Stone Diamond slows the pace of the music down to a very slow tempo. The song’s simple guitar work at the beginning of the track from Josh provides the perfect musical background for the emotional lyrics to the song. After a few seconds, the song builds to become a stronger track but still maintains the slow pace that it contained at the beginning. The band comes together to create music that features a mix of Classic Rock and Alternative Rock feelings at the same time.

“Dark Lover” is a song that really stays true to Classic Rock as the song sounds like a mix of Rock and Roll from a band like The Rolling Stones and a little Soul from someone like Bootsy Collins. “Dark Lover” is mainly a track that has a musical trio feel to the music with a little keyboard thrown in for a little flavor. The resulting track is an interesting song as the listener experiences a track that sounds as if it was it would have come out of the seventies.

To change the feel of their music just a little, Stone Diamond creates a “duet” of sorts with the track “U Know”. The slow-paced track features female vocals that help to add some emotional feeling to the lyrics of the song. When the band picks up the pace of the song, the song sounds something like a crossover between Jessica Simpson and maybe Deep Purple. “U Know” is one of the best and most commercial tracks on the album.

We Stole the Stars from the Black Night from Stone Diamond is the perfect release for those who are looking for the type of music that features a strong rock feeling to the music and also stays true to the style of the bands of the past that are now grouped into the Classic Rock genre. The eleven tracks of the album are nicely varied in their approach while staying in the Rock and Roll groove. The three musicians of Cy, Josh and The Tongue who make up the band Stone Diamond have created a rock and roll release that will fit in perfectly with those bands of the past while still making their music sound fresh for today’s music-buying public.

Click HERE to see the video to “Love Stays” from Stone Diamond’s We Stole the Stars from the Black Night release.

Singer-songwriter Tim Morrow was born and raised in Michigan by a father who had a music collection that sounds like the format of any oldies radio station. Having grown up listening to Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Who and many other artists who now grace The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, it is easy to see how Morrow’s writing style seems more like Classic Rock than Alternative.

Having already recorded and released several albums with several bands and on his own, TimMorrow had recently just released his newest album. The 2013 release from Tim Morrow is entitled As Long As it’s Not Me.

As Long As it’s Not Mebegins with the track “Sunny Day in Santa Monica”. The track has a strong groove while still processing a light feel to it. The song seems to bounce along as Morrow sings about just enjoying the day as it comes. The track features a very strong guitar solo from guitarist Dinos Lambropoulos that adds a lot of energy to the song.

While“Sunny Day in Santa Monica” has a fun, light feel to it, the track “That’s the Way Love Is” helps to add a very commercial feel to the album. The song features a chorus that has a strong hook to it that will almost definitely take hold of the listener and keep them from turning away.

With the next track of the album, the feel of the music changes: On the title track of the album, Tim Morrow gives “As Long As it’s Not Me” an acoustic feel as the track contains only vocals and acoustic guitars. The lyrics about allowing sadness to happen as long as it happens to someone else have a lot more an effect with the simple, light feeling of the track.

If there was one track off As Long As it’s Not Me that can be described as a straight-out rocker, that song would be “Deep in Her Heart”. On the track, Tim Morrow, guitarist Jerry Juden and drummer Perry Lopez create a track that has a traditional “rock song” feeling. While other songs on the album have stronger grooves or feel more radio-friendly, “Deep in Her Heart” is one track that allows Morrow, Juden and Lopez to feel like an actual rock band. The track also seems to give Tim Morrow the best chance to show off as not only a guitarist, but also a bass player as well, since he does provide the “bottom” to each song on his 2013 release.

Tim morrow brings a certain amount of “Classic Rock” feel to the track “I’ll Go Away”. The slow rocker has the same type of feel as music from bands from the late 60s, early 70s such as Led Zepplin, The Moody Blues and others who took the time to slow things down once-in-a-while. “I’ll Go Away” from Tim Morrow is a track for those listeners who like a lighter feel in their rock music.

The pace of the music picks up for the track “In 30 Years”. The track once again brings a strong rock sound to the album as Tim Morrow sings about wanting to know what the perfect woman will look like in later life. The track is once again strengthened by the guitar playing by guitarist Dinos Lambropoulos as he adds another guitar solo to Morrow’s music to give texture to the As Long As it’s Not Me from Tim Morrow.

The newest release from Tim Morrow comes to an end with the track “2 Day Holiday”.The track would fit well with the easy sounds of The Carpenters, Jim Croce or other 70s artists that fell into that “easy listening” era of music.

The ten tracks that make up As Long As it’s Not Me from Tim Morrow give the listener plenty of variety while still staying within the “Classic Rock” genre. And aside from just a few missed notes, the album is a solid release.

Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Beto Hale is a Mexican-born musician who has since move to the United States and finds himself creating music that contains many different aspects to the music. Those styles of music make Beto Hale’s music unique and different. That different approach to each song makes sure each track Beto Hale creates has its own sound and feel. And after having already created a catalog of his own music, Hale is celebrating the release of his newest release, Rebirth.

For the music on the new release, Beto Hale took his time creating and shaping the songs and making sure that they felt just right. He also brought in Tony Levin to add his touch on bass and Marc Mann helps to add guitar from one track to another.

Beto Hale’s album Rebirth begins with “Explosiones”. As Beto Hale is Mexican-born, it should come as no surprise that the lead off track for his new album is a track in Spanish. The track finds Hale exploring a very progressive sound on the track. For the music on the track, Beto Hale took his time creating and shaping the songs and making sure that they felt just right. The rock/jazz mix in the music gives the track a slightly unique feel as rock and jazz both find their own place in the track as the guitar and keyboard alternate as the lead instrument throughout the length of the track.

With the next track, Beto Hale changes the feel of the album. The track of “Falling Down” takes on a feeling that seems like a mix of The Police and The Eagles. The track features some of the best bass lines I’ve heard in a while as Tony Levin lays down the groove for the song. The alternating of styles in the track gives the listener a taste of Classic Rock while still containing a little of the jazzy feel that was found on the previous track of “Explosiones”. And while“Explosiones” features Spanish lyrics, “Falling Down” features Hale singing in English.

Rebirth from Beto Hale continues with the track “Sube Al Carrusel”. This track is yet another track that explores the different sides to Beto Hale. As the first two tracks show Hale’s rock side off, “Sube Al Carrusel” shows off his jazzy side. The Spanish vocals on the track also add a touch of jazz to the track. With the different aspects to the track, “Sube Al Carrusel” turns out to be one of the most unusual and entertaining tracks on the album.

Taking the opportunity to change the feel of the album once again, “Fire Away” is the type of track that feels like a rock song with strings. The strings and rock music create a track that feels as if it should be back in the seventies with more of the orchestral rock that was being produced back then. While there is a definite beauty to the music of the track, the one critique I have to make about the track is that this is without a doubt the track with the simplest lyrics on the album. The repetitive nature of the oversimplified lyrics is a bit of a letdown from the rest of the album where the lyrics are a lot stronger.

Beto Hale creates one of the strongest and most fascinating tracks with the song “April”. The folk-rock feel to the track works well with the emotional lyrics of the song. The music of the track with the lyrics that have a greater depth than most lyrics of today’s current songs make the song feel as if it had been written back in the late sixties by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. The harmony in the vocals on the track brings to mind those of McGuinn and the members of The Byrds. The beauty in both the music and the lyrics of the track makes “April” easily one of the best tracks on Rebirth.

On the track “I Will Always Be There,” Beto Hale takes his music and adds some influence from bands like Rush. When listening to the track, you can all but hear Geddy Lee and the rest of the band of Rush as Beto creates a track that has a very heavy Progressive Rock feel to it. Once again, the music and lyrics seem to transport the listener back to a time when songwriters used to give thought to the meaning of their lyrics. On “I Will Always Be There,” Beto Hale would seem right at home in the company of those writers.

Rebirth from Beto Hale is the type of album you hope for when looking for something new and different. The album provides the listener with many wonderful minutes of different sounds and styles of music from a musician and songwriter who has proven himself as someone who can create songs that will leave you wanting more.

To hear more from Beto Hale, check him out on his SoundCloud account.