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Volume 62 Reviews

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Steel Panther “Poontang Boomerang”

If you haven’t jumped on the Steel Panther bandwagon yet (and if you’re a strip club DJ, what are you waiting for?!), you might ask, “Did he just say what I think he said?” Yes, yes he did. There’s no more openly-vulgar-yet-totally-hilarious rock band on the planet today than SoCal’s retro-rock veterans, Steel Panther. They’re back again with a new album—Lower the Bar—and a new track, “Poontang Boomerang.” It’s exactly what you’d hope to expect from this spandex-clad quartet: Catchy vocals and guitar work from Michael Starr and Satchel, respectively, and overtly sexual lyrics. Ever have a hook-up you regret, hoping you’ll never see the girl again—only to have her randomly appear in your life again the next day? It’s called the “Poontang Boomerang.” Listen. Laugh. Enjoy. Repeat.

The Dukes “Fever”

The Dukes are an alt rock duo consisting of Francois “Shanka” Maigret and Greg Jacks. While the band hails from France, it now is based in Phoenix. Jacks comes from his previous band, Superbus, which won an MTV award and earned two French Grammy nominations with one win in 2007 for Best Rock Album. The Dukes are committed to producing a stellar live show and produce all of their visuals themselves, including claymation, animation, video mapping, action figures, and all artwork. Their single “Fever” is a good introduction to this band if you haven’t heard them before. The tune comes strong out of the gate with solid drums and guitar play. The opening vocals have a Arctic Monkeys feel with a tinge of synthesis. As the song goes on, you can hear shades of other acts that have surely inspired the band. But if there’s something that really elevates the value of this song, is its accompanying music video, which is simply awesome in everything from how the music and the cinematography fit to the indie artwork and style.

Devour The Day “The Bottom”

This Memphis-based hard rock band features two members from Egypt Central, Joey “Chicago” Walser and Blake Allison. Ronnie Farris and David Hoffman round out the four-piece outfit. This track, off their 2016 album S.O.A.R., is a reference to the feeling of being at rock bottom in one’s life. The lyrics are generic, but the music video fascinatingly points to various parts of the singer’s life which could all be viewed as “the bottom.” It’s actually a pretty heartfelt song that is complimented by its hard rock hue to prevent it from necessarily being sappy.

Red Sun Rising “Amnesia”

It may be their first album, but Red Sun Rising comes out of the gate in a very impressive way with Polyester Zeal and the single “Amnesia.” It’s packed with as catchy a chorus as one could expect from a relatively new band, and while it rides that fine line between heavy and poppy, the thick guitar grooves keep it balanced. The alt-rock quintet from Akron, Ohio, provides a fun listen that seemingly hides its emotional lyrics with its enthusiastic group vocals: “This is it/Your only one moment in time/Release your grip, don’t roll your eyes/Take a breath, life should be touched not choked to death.”

Sons of Texas “Texas Trim”

The track “Texas Trim” is about … pretty much exactly what you think a song called “Texas Trim” is about. It’s’ a salute to the ladies of all shapes and sizes, “No matter race or color,” as frontman Mark Morales implores. The song sucks you in with its ripping guitar play by Jon Olivares and Jes De Hoyas and hooks you with Morales’ soulful howls. It’s a song custom-made for those Southern strip clubs with their bevy of beauties, and the customers who can’t get enough of them.

BoBo Swae feat. Swae Lee “Ball Out The Lot”

“Ball Out The Lot” is by SremmLife Crew member, BoBo Swae. The song, which could be a new adult club anthem, features one half of the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee. The track’s title are its opening lines with BoBo Swae talking about revisiting the club and pouring out Ace of Spades and Hennessy. But the lyrics “I love the way you shake that ass up on that pole” and “you doin’ it way too good, a million dollar tip/this what you deserve” clearly talk about having a good time at the club, with a lucky lady making a serious payday by virtue of her moves. Swae Lee has a brief appearance and does the most with it including this gem of a line “at the telly smokin’, don’t disturb.”

Stitched Up Heart “Catch Me When I Fall”

With their debut album, Never Alone, LA-based hard rock band Stitched Up Heart finds their footing after originally being formed in 2010. “Catch Me When I Fail” is the third track of the album and opens with singer Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner’s vocals cutting through the heavy guitars and drums as a well-suited complement. According to Demner, the song is a call for help. In her words, it’s “knowing that sometimes you need those who care about you to help you through tough times in life.” This song also aims to catch a wider audience with more mainstream feel to it than other songs on the album.

Them Evils “Untold”

A consistent drum pounding greets you for the start of “Untold,” the newest single from Them Evils’ third EP release. Them Evils is a rock trio formed on the shores of Huntington Beach, California. The group claims to be inspired by acts like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Queens of the Stone Age and you can definitely hear those inspirations in “Untold,” thanks to vocalist Jordan Griffin, who sounds like Robert Plant meets Jack White. The second half of the song has some nifty guitar playing hinting at some of Them Evils’ darker material, but the song as a whole is anything but evil. In fact, it’s pretty damn good.

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