I read about Delta Rose recently and then realized they were playing at the Troubadour that very night. Of course I needed to go see my brother play in Simi Valley, and then go visit my mom for dinner, but I had hoped to get out and on the road quickly enough to enjoy this Los Angeles based band before seeing them in Oklahoma. I guess it was not to be. I do prefer live music to most activities, but the pozole I had at Dos Arbolitos in Sepulveda, California, was probably good enough solace for missing a band whose music I REALLY LIKE!
Delta Rose has an addicting sound combining heavy blues with traditional rock and roll. The music is such that one is convinced that the “Delta Rose” name comes from the bayou of Louisiana or such. But that is not the case. Delta is the name of the street the band practiced on and Rose comes from Rosemead, the city east of Los Angeles they all came from. But I have decided to go with my first instinct because this band could easily have come from anywhere in the south and have fit in.
Delta Rose has a six-song CD called Golden, which is absolutely amazing and I listened to over and over again when I first found them. The band is made up of members Spencer Krasch on vocals and guitar, Forrest Goss on guitar, Steven Aulcy on bass, and Mikey Herrera on the drums. They played dates on the Van’s Warped Tour in 2012 and are playing the Retrospect RockFest in St. George, Utah, May 8 and 9, with a whole mess of other great small bands. St. George isn’t too far, but unfortunately I work that weekend.
“Chew Me Up” is the most fun song on the EP, although every song is worth listening too.
Check out their website and Facebook page.
“In a time when EDM and folk rock bands rule the Billboard Hot 100, the future of rock and roll most certainly seems bleak.” OK, we have all heard some form of this before somewhere, but that is the first line of the bio for Loveblast on their website. And again, while it is true, for fans headed to Pryor, Oklahoma, for the closing round of the World’s Loudest Month, there are still plenty of young bands plying the trade of good old fashioned, guitar-driven heavy metal.
Chicago, Illinois, -based Loveblast is one of those bands, which is returning for their second performance at the Pryor, Oklahoma’s, Catch the Fever Concert grounds and they fit right in to the concept of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Rock and Roll.”
While Loveblast is certainly not an original band, they are excellent at what they do, which is keeping alive the traditions of heavy metal. The tradition Loveblast is best at is the epic guitar solo, something sadly lacking in what you will hear on the radio today. Put on the song “Out For Blood” from Hard Liquor in Big Glasses, and you will have an epic journey from a drum-guitar intro to a great chorus finished up with a guitar solo that even while sitting on my couch leaves me exhausted.
They have recently release a video for “Wild Forever” which gives you a great idea of what a wild party a Loveblast live show must be like. Sitting here writing this definitely makes me want to put my hands up and put em together. When you listen you will understand, as well as witness an amazing gender change mid-song.
Hailing from Texas, Ruff Justice originally formed in 1992 and experienced a relatively short, but exciting career in music. Over their four-year existence, Ruff Justice release three recordings and were able to tour around Texas, the Midwest, and the Northern USA. After four years, Ruff Justice was no more.
However, 20 years later, founding drummer Scott Baughn learned that the band was still being heavily bootlegged in Europe and Asia, and decided to assemble a group of fantastic musicians from around the Dallas area to give it another shot.
Ruff Justice signed to Retrospect Records, and is recording their return-to-the-music-scene album, Propaganda, which is slated for release in mid 2015.
Baughn explains that Ruff Justice is a politically and emotionally charged melodic metal band that focuses on the issues that affect us and our relationships in our daily lives. He is excited about the resurgence of Ruff Justice, and is ready to kick-start the 21st century version of Ruff Justice.
According to their Facebook page, Ruff Justice will be playing twice at Rocklahoma: on Thursday in the campsites at the Jagermeister Stage, and Friday inside on the Retrospect Stage.
Check out their Facebook and ReverbNation pages.
Warlock Texas. No, not from Warlock, but Arlington. Not the band Warlock. Not even a band for 28 years. But now they are back, reformed last year to relive the lives they once knew.
Warlock Texas formed the year I graduated high school. I guess that means we are the same age. They stayed together for five years, but then broke up for over a quarter of a century. Suddenly in the year 2014 they are back, and ready to take on Pryor, Oklahoma’s, Rocklahoma.
The first lineup of Warlock Texas broke up, “after a wild night of partying ended up with knives drawing blood and musical instruments thrown into the lake.” Now that is one hell of a rehearsal. These are some guys that take chord change disagreements to an entirely new level. I have not even listened to the music and now I know…these are my kind of dudes, serious about their metal.
As I read through the bio, I realize this is a band that partied hard, played hard, and had a short, but energetic career. It seems like a good deal of their music from their early days never got recorded, but that is about to change as they rework and modernize the early demo tapes for present day release.
It was only August of last year that Warlock Texas performed their first show in 27 years, and now they are ready to head out on the road! They recently performed in San Antonio and the foursome is ready for Rocklahoma.
Warlock Texas includes early members such as vocalist Jerry Warden and guitarist Rick Perry, (no, I don’t think it is the same Rick Perry; he did not leave his metal career to be governor of Texas and then return to the metal scene after a rough presidential run), along with drummer Randy Cooke and bassist Clay McCarty.
The music is what you would expect from that early 1980s genre of pounding metal. But what is really cool about this band is you can just listen to all of the changes going on in the genre directly in their songs. There is the classic metal of the early 80s mixed in with the colossal symphonies of Metallica, the speed metal influences of those years and parts of the newly forming death metal. Warlock Texas is like a stem cell research project: so much of the many strands of metal all giving birth in one band. It is like they created a bunch of metal babies, let them go grow up, and now they are joining the ones they think turned out the best.
Warlock Texas will be an interesting experience, one I think that will be thoroughly enjoyed most by all the middle-aged metal heads who crowd Rocklahoma for sometimes over a week. For us, we will really get to see what metal was like for a band that was there at the inception, and was experimenting with all of the new genres as they first were born. Warlock Texas will be more than a trip down memory lane, since they are writing new music, digging up the old, and putting new sounds to the emerging sounds of the early 80s.
MACH22 is a Philadelphia based band that is presently running an indie-gogo campaign to fund the recording of their sophomore album. After spending a year touring in support of its first full-length album, Sweet Talk Intervention, MACH22 is ready to make some new music, and if they have anything in mind close to what they released last year in their first effort, this next album should be awesome. Sweet Talk Intervention has an outstanding variety of rock and roll, from the rollicking good time of “Go Ahead” to the bluesy, vocal-led “One Trick Pony,” the latter of which can be seen here:
This year marks MACH22’s second year on the Retrospect Stage and this year I will do my best to make it to their show, since I missed them last year. The music, heavy with tradition from 70s and 80s metal, has its own modern edge. For lovers of guitar work, there is a plethora of sounds, from powerful riffs to soaring solos, and all of it is good. The band is great at writing enticing introductions to songs and you are never let down when the sound breaks out into full speed. Drummer Damian MonteCarlo provides an excellent foundation and bassist Jaron Gulino has his moments of solo work in “I’m Just a Man.” The LP ends with a fantastic song, “Nevermind,” so whatever you do, stay through the end.
Check out MACH22's website, YouTube Channel, and Facebook page.
With a name like Dellacoma Rio, you simply have to be a rock musician. There really is no choice. Pick up a guitar, get some drumsticks, or start hitting the bass. For this Rio, there was no need for any of that, because he was gifted with a kick-ass voice and gives out as much energy on stage as any front-man around today.
Dellacoma’s previous band, Sunset Riot, broke up a couple of years ago after a US tour, and his new band, simply Dellacoma, recently signed their first record contract with Shock Records. Their debut album, Something of Everything will be released in Australia and New Zealand April 10th, with US dates to follow.
Dellacoma’s talent spreads through the entire lineup: the vocals are great, the guitar work is outstanding, and the drummer and bassist round it out with epic energy and musical skill. It is so much fun to hear a band let their guitarist just solo for a while. Watch this video from Tipitina’s in New Orleans this summer as Dellacoma plays “Pouring Rain.” Stick to it until somewhere around four minutes in when Art Struck is given the freedom to deliver what every metal head needs more of: serious guitar soloing. This is what metal is supposed to be.
New York City trio Station has received great acclaim for their debut EP Wired, released in 2013. Currently, they are recording their first-ever album.
Their song, “More Than Enough,” has rocking, groovy live recordings. If you check out their Facebook page, there’s a link in the tap “MUSIC, VIDEOS…” that plays an awesome song with a catchy guitar riff. It doesn’t say which song it is.
This will be their second time playing Rocklahoma. They will be playing alongside Tempt, whom they have toured with a few times.
I look forward to seeing these guys electrify the stage at Rocklahoma.
"Wired is like ear heroin…fills and thrills that makes your speakers flex and your windows rattle.." -Sleaze Roxx
Remember the hair bands of the 1980’s? Well I sure do. I was a teenager in the late 70’s and early 80’s and can remember not just the hair, but the obligatory uniform of tight pants, crazy colors, and leopard skin everything. Tempt, a band out of New York City, has raided the nostalgia shop and certainly look the part.
Musically, Tempt is spot on with that era, and if you are a fan of that time, and are not much into watching 67-year old stars play that song you heard for the 287 thousandth time, Tempt will be a fun event for you at Rocklahoma.
Tempt has released a four-song EP, Under My Skin, and have toured extensively in the New York area, building a fan base and being recognized by a number of magazines for their modern take on the hair band. While their sound is very polished, and their songs are catchy, it is worth noting that they are incredibly young, being fronted by two 20-year olds. The lineup includes Zach Allen on lead vocals, Harrison Marcello on guitar, Nicholas Burrows on drums, and Zak Gross on bass.
The title track off the EP is an outstanding song, one that you cannot help but enjoy. This is followed by “Use it or Lose It,” an anthem track that clearly will be their stadium-filling chant when they make it in the future. Can you see 25,000 fans screaming along, “Use it or Lose It?” I sure can.
For those 50 and 60-somethings out there enjoying a weekend plus of live music, Tempt will put on a nostalgia show you cannot help but enjoy.
The final song, “Time Won’t Heal,” shows the ability of the band to play a fine power ballad.
Check out Tempt’s Reverbnation and enjoy the four tracks off the EP.
Also, the band’s website is full of great information and has links to a plethora of well-deserved reviews of their EP.
And the band’s Facebook page has a great link to a live recording of one of their new songs, “Human Touch,” not featured on their EP. They look a little less retro on this video than on the website.
Are you upset that Rock on the Range got Judas Priest and Rocklahoma did not? I love the Rocklahoma lineup, but of all the bands that I listened to during my non-Black Sabbath moments (few and far between), Judas Priest was my favorite. Rocklahoma has found a relatively new band that delivers the power of Judas Priest in the sounds of a new band, and that is Pure Steel Record’s Project Terror.
Formed in 2009 by Ronnie Stixx, this San Antonio band has released its debut CD, Conquistador after a quiet period, which included a name change and a few festival appearances. I can tell you that this new album really hits hard from the start. Fantastic guitar work and powerful vocals will make you think seriously about riding your Harley on to the Axis stage a la Rob Halford.
I love the story of the new name, which I found in an old article. Project Terror is an old, 1970s sci-fi horror television show that played in the local area around San Antonio, Texas. Ronnie Stixx had always wanted to have a band by that name and gave up several years of building an audience for Blood Red Skies in order to fulfill this goal. For those of you into old TV, here is a link to the old television show weekly ending sequence.
I also think Project Terror has an absolutely cool logo:
This will be a fun band, especially for those of us who like the old music we grew up to, but don’t want to hear the same songs again and again. For those of us who appreciate new bands putting their own spin on our music, Project Terror will be a great band to see.
Ivy Stone is a ’70s and ‘80s throwback band from Raleigh, North Carolina, but with their own sense of style. Having recently released their EP, Déjà vu, they have been touring all around. In fact, they have played several shows with Lamp Shade Betty, the last band featured.
The lead singer boasts great range and a killer scream, and their guitar work is fun. Despite their songwriting talent, they love to perform covers, which I am never a huge fan of.
The best song off Déjà vu is probably “In the End.”
You can also take a look at their original video for “She Keeps the Train Moving.”
Lamp Shade Betty
Researching Lamp Shade Betty has its challenges. Hailing from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, Lamp Shade Betty is made up of four guys with first names only.
The band is basically a 1980s metal band that is updated for modern times. Heavily dependent on guitar solos that clearly have a genealogical connection to the blues, LSB has something for all metal heads to look forward to. Casey’s fast guitar work and ear for a great beat and groove. On the live video for “Wake Me Up” you can clearly see a band having a great time, with two guitarists who mesh very well together and a lead guitarist who is seriously skilled.
They only have a couple of videos on their You Tube channel, the best of which is “Wake Me Up."
With such a small amount of work available, it will be great to see this band in Oklahoma to see what is going on. They have a record coming out later this year, and there is a sneak peak on their website.
Check them out on Facebook.
We the Ghost
We The Ghost is just one more example of the fact that Tulsa, Oklahoma, houses an amazingly active music scene. Sure, I live in Los Angeles, and there is A LOT happening here, even though some of my favorite bands avoid LA like some people avoid the measles vaccine (no, I am not wishing the measles on some of my favorite artists, but come on folks, is LA really that bad?), I sometimes want to get on a plane and head out to the T-Town Throw Down. Bands such as Nicnos and the incredibly fun Kick Tree show you just what is going on there, and We The Ghost is no exception.
We The Ghost is very polished. They have fantastic, high quality videos, an example of which is "Sinking Suspicion" a pop rock song that is incredibly addicting.
Their newest EP, The Kids Can’t Dance, was released in September 2014, and it has a beat. In the words of one song from the EP:
"It's the new sound, don't call it what it's not
Mixed up with some Reggae, marinated in Hip Hop
Baked for fifteen minutes 'till it tastes like the new spot
Then turn the oven low, let it simmer 'till it's Rock."
I could not have explained the sound that well.
We the Ghost have won more awards than is right for a band this young, but they do seem to deserve every one of them. I spent my time researching, and simply kept listening all afternoon. Looking forward to their slot at the axis stage.
Check out their website and Facebook page.
Well Hung Heart
Well Hung Heart is a genre-diverse band from Orange, CA, who formed in 2011. So far, they have released two albums: Young Enough to Know it All and Go Forth and Multiply.
Well Hung Heart has created this really cool web-based show called “Made in 48,” where WHH and a few special guests get together, write a song complete with lyrics, and film and post a video. All in 48 hours.
They aired their first “Made in 48” back in February 2013, and have been writing music this way ever since.
In the last two years I’ve been to Rocklahoma, WHH has played. I saw them my very first year, and remember being very impressed by their awesome feminine power.
If you’re in the mood for some fun rock music, don’t skip out on WHH.
Check out "Made in 48."
I am now introducing to you one of the coolest bands on the Rocklahoma lineup… Nicnōs—a rock band influenced by everything from blues to folk to soul and featuring an awesomely prominent violinist.
As a musician, I find Nicnōs particularly impressive because of their immense musicianship and songwriting skill.
Nicnōs is from Central Oklahoma, another one of the local bands who will play the Axis Stage during midday or midnight. I highly suggest waking up/staying up to see Nicnōs because they will not disappoint. Last year at Rocklahoma, they were one of the highlights of the Axis Stage and one of the most musically diverse bands that played during the entire festival.
They just played here in Los Angeles, and I just missed them! Gurrr….
Here is the YouTube video of Nicnōs’ song “Something You Should Know."
Even the Dogs
There are a few theories as to the name of this metal band from Tulsa, OK, a town right next to Pryor, where Rocklahoma takes place. One is that it Even the Dogs comes from the Bible: “‘Yes my Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table,’” (Matthew 15-27). The other possible theory is that they named their band after British author Jon McGregor’s third novel Even The Dogs, which focuses on drug addiction, homelessness, alcoholism, and dereliction.
Regardless of where their name comes from, they are a good band. A metal band with fun guitar work and some ties to metalcore, they strike me as a band that will be fantastic live.
Go to their ReverbNation page so you can listen to some of their music. There’s a video for their single “Down In Flames” from their 2013 EP They Will Never See It Coming, along with recordings of their songs.
Check out their Facebook and MySpace pages, as well.
Just reading about SONS had me wondering what could possibly be in store for me. With influences running from Explosions in the Sky to Mute Math, the Deftones and Russian Circles, I was completely in the dark as to what the music could possibly sound like. What I found was a collection of very beautiful songs with interesting guitar work that really kept my interest. The lyrics of the songs have some real meaning; however, I did not give myself time to really dig deeply.
There is a strong Christian influence to some of their songs, such as “Oh Come Emmanuel.” The ads, links, and suggested videos that pop up when watching SONS on YouTube often have religious themes.
“Ghosts” is a Russian Circles-type song, but with vocals and more of a traditional song structure. The guitar work is very pretty and calming; it is a very beautiful song.
A YouTube video of them performing the title track off their album Keep Quiet is the best example of the lovely haunting guitars that shows their post-rock influences.
I am looking forward to seeing how SONS’ unique sound is welcomed in the hard rock world of Rocklahoma. However, there has been great joy in variety, especially on the Axis stage, including bands such as Jet West (Reggae) and The Chimpz (rap?), and Vilifi (Blues). This year will be wonderful in that regard, with the funky soul of Lovebettie and the post rock sounds of SONS.
Check out SONS on Facebook! They have recordings of a bunch of their songs there.
A Course of Action
Southern rock band A Course of Action definitely ranks on my personal list of favorite small bands at Rocklahoma. You will definitely see me rocking out to these guys at the Axis Stage.
ACOA has released one album, and are going to be releasing Treason in the next month or so. They just released their single called “Who We Are,” which is a gorgeous ballad-esque song featuring melodious vocals and soothing guitar.
My personal favorite by ACOA is definitely “One Step Down,” which has a catchy melody and cool guitar opening.
ACOA also is at a turning point in their career, having just signed to Star 1 Records this January. I’m excited to see where this record deal will take them.
Hailing from Bonner Springs, Kansas, rap-rock group Drek is warming up for their third appearance at Rocklahoma. In 2013, they released their latest album, Drek Happens, and they might actually use the words “mother fucker” more than Heaven’s Basement, but that is up for discussion.
All their songs feature creative guitar openings, and most are followed with classic-style rap. My favorite song has to be “Choices,” because of its heavy metal nature and grungy guitar.
Check out their website to listen to their music and watch their videos, including a live video of them playing Rocklahoma a few years ago.
Want to know what makes Rocklahoma so amazing? Look at that lineup. What is the name of the very last band on the bill? Lovebettie. At most places that would be a band you would not necessarily get up early to see (unless of course you haven’t gone to bed yet). But at Rocklahoma? Even the last band on the bill kicks ass.
Lovebettie, from Pittsburg, PA, is no stranger to being noticed. They were voted a Band to Watch by Rolling Stone and have won a number of awards for being the best band from Pittsburg. They have played South By Southwest, as well as Summerfest in Milwaukee and Buffalo Chip in Sturgis.
Lovebettie calls themselves “pioneers of Swagger Rock,” and within a few songs you will totally understand the sentiment. After a while you’ll want to swagger around with attitude.
Lovebettie released a new CD last year called Rise. Again they are right on target with a fantastic six-song EP. “Follow” is great rock and roll and “Downpour” really shows the power in the voice of lead singer Alexandra Naples. The band includes C.T. Fields on guitar, Larry Shotter on drums, and Nick Quinn on bass. From what I can tell, Lovebettie will probably play the Axis Stage before the main event inside begins. This means you have a reason to roll out of bed before three pm and go enjoy some fantastic rock and roll. One of my present favorite bands of all time is ViliFi, a band that tore up the Axis Stage back in 2013. Lovebettie is clearly going to do the same. Don’t miss out.
Check out Lovebettie on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and see their website.