M. Drew's blog

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Day 2 - The Main Stage

As the sun descended and the heat abated giving way to a more palatable if not comfortable evening, the lights of the main stage blared in a dazzling display, challenging the darkness of the coming night and drawing the gathered throngs, thus far aimed in different directions throughout the day, with a singular purpose. These final four acts bore the responsibility as headliners to make sure that the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival would end with memorable notes.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Day 1 - The Side Stages

Editor’s Note – As is always the rule with Mayhem Fest, one man can’t see it all. Any words you see below pertain only to those acts I saw, and anyone not mentioned is not an omission or a slight – I simply didn’t get to see them amidst running around for interview opportunities, photo ops and the like. C’est la vie.

Album Review: John Garcia - "John Garcia"

At the risk of sounding like a press release, John Garcia has managed to carve himself out a unique niche in the music world solely by being among the progenitors of his chosen style. Beginning with Kyuss and continuing through Slo Burn and then with Vista Chino, Garcia is a prominent face on the Mount Rushmore of desert music, whether it be called desert rock or desert metal.

Album Review: Judas Priest - "Redeemer of Souls"

Resurrection is a funny concept and particularly ironic for a band with ‘Judas’ in the name. The idea of coming back from the dead is a totally alien concept in the general human condition, but in music it happens frequently and with reckless abandon. A veritable arsenal of artists have proclaimed their retirement only to find after a short time that the heart still burns with passion for the music, or as cynics suggest, the wallet still burns through dollars.

Album Review: Envenomed - "Evil Unseen"

When one thinks of Australian metal or rock, invariably AC/DC and Jet are the stereotype. Airbourne and some others are in there too, but everybody at this point knows exactly what’s being talked about. So when Envenomed was reportedly a melodic thrash act from the continent down under, there was a certain amount of cynicism that was probably to be expected. Why break the stereotype now, it’s been working so well?

Album Review: Goatwhore - "Constricting Rage of the Merciless"

Let’s face reality right off the hump – coming off the success of “Blood for the Master,” it’s all been on the upswing for Goatwhore, a band of that rare breed that still fervently believes metal is best as a DIY, furious experience. For Pete’s sake, their poster (albeit edited,) appeared in a SportsCenter commercial. To quote that network’s Stephen A Smith: That’s. Box.

Preview of Ages to Come

There’s just a certain joy about new projects, aren’t there? They all possess a certain sense of combinative anticipation and mystery that makes them compelling. The beginning of a new project, especially when the members of said musical enterprise have established themselves under other names, is an endless spring of contemplation and speculation that only ends when the result graces us with its presence.

Concert Review - Reverend Horton Heat

The fundamental question of every Reverend Horton Heat show isn’t “how are you?” or even “where are you from?” Simply stated, walking through the doors into the rockabilly show beyond asks only “what year do you want it to be?” The only indication that any time has passed since 1959 is that the Reverend comes armed with new songs every so often.

Album Review: Crowned By Fire - "Space Music for Cave People"

Look, we’ve had this conversation before and we’ve had it on these very pages. There will always be a place for a record like “Space Music for Cave People.” For all of metal’s twists and turns and evolutions both positive and negative, there is an intrinsic feeling of ‘home’ amidst the dirty, blues-base of overdriven thunder the likes of which is Crowned By Fire’s exclusive stock in trade.

Album Review: Wretched - "Cannibal"

Hailing from the hardcore halls of North Carolina, Wretched has come into some kind of stability and kept together the lineup that has solidified the band since 2011. The band returns with “Cannibal,” a new full length record that much like every album these days, promised to be ‘heavier’ than their efforts to this point. Veterans of the death metal tour circuit, Wretched is looking to break off a larger chunk of the pie and establish themselves in the vanguard of their chosen genre.

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