“The Life of The Honey Bee, And Other Moments of Clarity“ is the eagerly and long-awaited new album from Scottish prog maestros Abel Ganz. A concept album comprising of six thematically linked pieces exploring our relationship with memory and loss. The liminal space between a fading ‘what was’ and an anticipated ‘what is to come’.
The album recalls the hazy technicolour of long remembered summers and the sepia of a love forgotten. A place where we blur the boundaries of returning and renewal. The lyrics chart the course through recollection to premonition. These words are both deeply personal and universal, hope for what is next and a lament for what we have lost.
The new album has taken six years to realise and follows on from the self-titled 2014 opus Abel Ganz which was both critically acclaimed [topping several ‘best of’ lists for that year], and universally acknowledged as the band’s best, most mature album to date.
The influences on the new album continue in a similar vein – further developing their eclectic mix of folk, rock, metal and Celtic styles. The album’s trajectory shifts between crunching guitars, subtle acoustic instruments, strings, soaring Hammond and emotive grand piano all connected by lyrical storytelling and timeless vocals and harmonies.
Produced by Denis Smith, mixed by the legendary Simon Vinestock [Texas, Blur, Robert Plant, Simple Minds] and mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo [White Willow / Opium Cartel] the album also includes a beautiful guest performance from multi-award-winning, former ‘Scots Singer of the Year’, and acclaimed solo artist Emily Smith.
NB! Since the global outrbreak of coronovirus, we have been struggling with the dilemma over what to do. Should we press ahead with our pre-sale – or shelve the whole thing for a couple of months? As you can no doubt appreciate, we have been working incredibly hard on this project [literally for years!] and we are itching to get it out – but we do recognize that we are living through an uncertain period and that, for some, right now might not be an ideal time for us to ask for help with a fundraiser / pre-sale.
As I say – we have been struggling with this a great deal and after much deliberation and soul searching, we have finally made the decision to press ahead!
However, given there is a question mark at the moment when manufacturers and suppliers will be able to take [and process] any orders from us we have decided to push back the actual release date [we had been planning an early May release] of the album to June 15th and make this a very, very long pre-sale indeed! We hope that by then the situation will allow deliveries to be made safely.
The Life of the Honeybee and other Moments of Clarity Davie Mitchell: Electric guitar, Nashville acoustic guitars, Lead guitar, Jack Webb: Piano, Hammond B3, Electric piano Mick Macfarlane: Vocals, Electric guitars, Bouzouki David King: Acoustic guitar, Electric guitars, Additional keyboards Stephen Donnelly: Bass guitars, Denis Smith: Drums Alan Hearton: Minimoog Fiona Cuthill: Fiddles, Recorders Alex Paclin: Harmonica Snake Davis: Saxophone
One Small Soul Jack Webb: Pianos, Hammond B3 Mick Macfarlane: Vocals, Acoustic guitars, Emily Smith: Vocals David King: Electric guitars, Lead guitar, Stephen Donnelly: Double bass Denis Smith: Drums
Arran Shores David King: Acoustic guitar
Summerlong Jack Webb: Yamaha C3 grand piano, Hammond B3 Mick Macfarlane: Vocals Stephen Donnelly: Bass gtr Denis Smith: Drums All strings arranged and performed by Frank van Essen*
Sepia and White Davie Mitchell: Electric gtr Jack Webb: Piano, Hammond B3, Electric piano, Synth keyboards Alan Hearton: Moog synthesizer, Vibraphone, Additional keyboards Mick Macfarlane: Vocals, Electric guitars, David King: Electric guitars, Lead guitar, Stephen Donnelly: Electric bass guitar, Acoustic double bass guitar Denis Smith: Drums
The Light Shines Out David King: Keyboards, Drum Programming, Guitars Alan Hearton: Grand piano, Minimoog, String synthesizer Denis Smith: Vocals Stevie Lawrence: Low whistles Signy Jakobsdottir: Congas, Percussion French horns arranged and performed by Marc Papaghin*
Recorded at: Ganz Mansions, Gorbals Sound Studios, Maybank Studios, Toy Town Studios. Engineers: Denis Smith, David King, Matt Harvey, Gordon McNeil Mixed by Simon Vinestock at Mixfarm Studio Mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo at Dude Ranch Studio Art direction and design by Stephen Donnelly, front cover painting by Vvildr, internal illustrations by Katy Levin. Produced by Denis Smith
Dropkick Murphys have just released a new single, “Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding”–along with a B-side “James Connolly,” written by the band’s friend Larry Kirwan–direct to fans via www.DKMStore.comand dropkickmurphys.bandcamp.com. The band debuted the new single live during their Streaming Up From Boston St. Patrick’s Day concert on March 17.
Streaming Up From Boston has now been watched more than 10 million times across multiple platforms, and was featured on the NBC Nightly News(March 18), CBS This Morning Saturday (March 21), CNN (March 23) and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Dropkick Murphys’ charity The Claddagh Fund raised over $60,000 for the city of Boston’s Boston Resiliency Fund in connection with the live streaming event. The free streaming concert was a #1 YouTube Trending Page, #2 Twitter Trending Topic across the United States, and a homepage feature on Twitch, as well as streaming concurrently via Instagram and Facebook Live. Streaming Up From Boston was sponsored by Boston-area tech company Pegasystems.
Watch NBC, CBS and CNN coverage of Streaming Up From Boston here:
Dropkick Murphys’ originally scheduled hometown St. Patrick’s Day Week Boston Blowout shows have been postponed until later this year.
In addition to Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding” / “James Connolly,” Dropkick Murphys recently released the single “Smash Sh*t Up,” and will release a new album on September 11 through the band’s own Born & Bred Records. “Smash Sh*t Up” is available digitally and on limited edition colored vinyl paired with B-side “The Bonny,” a cover of Gerry Cinnamon’s 2019 song.
Al Barr lead vocals Tim Brennan guitars, accordion, mellotron, whistles and vocals Ken Casey lead vocals and bass guitar Jeff DaRosa banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars and vocals Matt Kelly drums, percussion and vocals James Lynch guitars and vocals
From the early days at the Boston landmark The Rathskeller (aka The Rat) beneath Kenmore Square, to 80,000-plus on the main stages of European festivals, the Dropkick Murphys have spent a large chunk of the last 20 years touring the world. All that travel has only strengthened their love and appreciation for their hometown. When they finally get back home from a tour, it’s hard to pry them away again. When the band is off the road, they spend most of their time with family, or working with The Claddagh Fund, the charity foundation they launched in 2009.
As much as Dropkick Murphys love Boston, they were determined to start their third decade with a bang. They wanted to take it to the next level. For that, they knew they’d need to make a record that blew people away. To do that, they’d need to focus. To do that, they’d need to remove all distractions. To do that, they’d need to go to…El Paso?
You heard that right! They packed up their gear and hit the road, joining longtime producer Ted Hutt at a studio 30 miles east of El Paso. Sonic Ranch Studios, whose property abuts the U.S./Mexico border, is a place where the only cell service is the occasional bar that pops up from a Mexican carrier. This bold move, this dedication, this desolation – and this amazing studio – helped the band capture something magical on their new album, 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory.
“To me, the whole journey starts with the fact we actually agreed to go – and then went – to Texas. Because we’ve never left home to make a record,” says bassist and founder Ken Casey. “As everyone’s lives have become crazier and busier with kids and families, it’s gotten harder to buckle down at home. We decided to leave Boston, go down to literally the middle of nowhere and lock ourselves in a room.”
“There was nothing around us for miles,” says guitarist Tim Brennan. “It was just us and the studio. I think it gave us the ability to work without distractions in a way that we’ve never really been able to before. All we could do was focus on music. It was one hundred percent devotion to the songs. Once we started to put everything together in El Paso, the songs took on a whole new life and exceeded our expectations.”
From the start of the songwriting process there was a sense of urgency and passion in the room. The opiate epidemic ravaging the country – in particular Boston and New England – was hitting closer than ever to home. Sadness, anger, and dismay fed the writing process. This was personal. The crisis directly struck the band’s family circle in 2014 when Barr’s brother-in-law died of an overdose.
“Between Al’s loss and all the friends and people that I know, I’d say I’ve been to 50 wakes in the last three years,” Casey says. “The state has decided to almost give up on kids in a way with prescribing Suboxone, which is like the methadone of our generation. Of course, that doesn’t work either. You can’t give up on the people society has deemed will fail.”
One of the main focuses of the band’s Claddagh Fund is to support addiction recovery. The band is hands-on in raising funds, mentoring, and lending a helping hand in the fight. Many of the songs reflect these experiences. “Rebels With A Cause” was written about kids who are given up on and left behind by a system that has written them off as hopeless. “Paying My Way” is about the way up and out of addiction and the dream of bigger and better things in life.
But the first song that was on the docket for this record was the daunting cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein song made famous by Gerry and The Pacemakers. “I was leaving another overdose wake and the song came on in the car,” says Casey. “My music was on shuffle, and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ randomly played. As I heard the chorus, ‘Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone,’ it struck me how powerfully the song related to the struggle and how you don’t have to do it alone.”
With no fanfare, the members of Dropkick Murphys get into the lives of other people. With financial resources from The Claddagh Fund, they have helped many men, women, and teens who have found themselves in the depths of addiction. They stand with the families to help them navigate the life-altering road to recovery. It’s something Dropkick Murphys are dead serious about.
With all of this in mind, it’s fitting that 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory is a soundtrack to tragedy and triumph alike, and by the time these songs made it to tape in Texas there was a power to them unlike anything the band had captured before. On this album, Dropkick Murphys carry on the tradition of rough and tumble storytelling – the kind of writing that never leaves fans wondering whether the band have lived what they’re singing about.
A look back at childhood life, a snapshot of a clueless Masshole, a stop-you-in-your tracks reflection on a terrorist tragedy…it’s all there across the record’s 11 tracks. There are moments of ass-kicking Celtic punk attitude, ball-busting wisecracks, tear-jerking confessions, and the kind of upbeat words of wisdom that can be chanted loud and proud across arenas and stadiums worldwide. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s Dropkick Murphys.
The album begins with the band’s interpretation of classic Irish staple “The Lonesome Boatman.” Driven by a whistle and tribal drum that wouldn’t be out of place in The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, the instrumental quickly ramps up with a gang chorus punctuated by gnashing guitars. “It’s got that loneliness of being out there in the desert outside El Paso, which sets the tone for the record,” says Casey. “Our version has that Southwest influence to it.”
11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory quickly snaps into the anthemic, punked up clarion call of “Rebels With A Cause.” For the first time in years, Casey and lead singer Al Barr trade verses, painting a picture of “Dead end kids you don’t want ‘em // you don’t need ‘em // and you’ll always find a reason when you need to write ‘em off,” before announcing, “Kid–you got heart.”
“Like the title says, this album is everything from pain to glory,” affirms Casey. “It’s the successes, the failures, the heartache, and the laughs. It’s like a chapter book, and each song is its own part of that story. They’re different feelings, moods, and emotions, but they’re still Dropkick Murphys.”
“Blood” lands a one-two punch of traditional bagpipes and crunching riffs, culminating with the chant, “If you want blood // we’ll give you some.” Brennan goes on, “It’s old style Dropkicks, but the delivery has evolved. There’s a lot more space to it musically. We’re still doing what we’re known for doing, but in a more sonically expanded manner.” “Blood” is the story of the band’s 20-year career, and the mutual respect and dedication the band and its fans have for one another.
What started as a catchy piano melody developed into one of the more stirring songs on the album. Hinging on a bombastic drum loop, “Paying My Way” swings from a commanding piano riff into the powerful refrain, “But my hopes are so much higher // don’t count me out I’m a survivor.” The song is as uplifting as it is undeniable.
“Paying My Way is not just about paying your bills,” says Casey. “It’s about doing what you have to do in order to be a good person. But at the end of the day, never losing sight of the fact that doing the next right thing may lead to great things one day.”
“First Class Loser” calls out a lovable lout. “Before I play that song for people, I say it’s about them. Then they get pissed once they hear the words,” chuckles Casey.
11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory seizes on idyllic summers of childhood mischief on “Sandlot,” a sun-drenched look back at youthful disobedience. The song developed on the road over the past few years. Even without a recording, fans at the biggest European festivals could be heard carrying the tune loudly on their own, sometimes drowning out the band as they played the acoustic version.
“4-15-13” stands out as one of the most emotional pieces in the group’s catalog. With its traditional instrumentation and somber folk-inspired elegy for their hometown’s innocence, the track pays homage to the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, most of whom the band grew to know personally after many visits to their hospital rooms in the aftermath.
“Since that day, we felt like not taking the challenge to write a song about what we all went through would be taking the coward’s way out,” Casey reflects. “We put more importance on writing that piece of music than anything we’ve ever done, because if you’re going to touch that day, it has to be done right. We went through so many emotions with that whole experience, as did everyone in Boston. It changed the city forever.”
11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory represents a high-water mark for Dropkick Murphys as they invite listeners everywhere to once again take an active part in their story. “We’ve stayed true to what the band is and has always been. And we’re still expanding on our sound and lyrical content,” offers Brennan.
“There is lots of messed up stuff going on in the world but you can’t let it take you down,” Casey continues. “The only way to survive in life is to enjoy it and make the most of it. That’s what this record is. There’s good times. There’s bad times. There’s happy times. There’s sad times. In just 40 minutes, you feel all of that. We truly put our heart and soul into every record we’ve ever made. This is no exception. We wouldn’t let it go down any other way. We’ll break up before that happens.”
11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory is the perfect way to kick off another 20 years of Dropkick Murphys. Hold your head high, and crank it up.
DROPKICK MURPHYS HISTORY
Dropkick Murphys have become ambassadors for their city. In Boston, it seems like everybody knows someone connected to the band whether by blood, friendship, or the time they shared a brew at a Bruins game. They’ve built a legacy that does Beantown proud. Since their 1996 formation, they’ve sold a staggering 4 million albums worldwide with 2005’s The Warrior’s Code achieving an RIAA Gold certification and its smash single “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” nearing double platinum and appearing during a key moment of Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning The Departed. Most recently, 2013’s Signed And Sealed In Blood netted their second consecutive Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top 200, and debuted at number 6 in Germany. The album spawned standout tracks “The Boys Are Back,” “Out Of Our Heads,” “Prisoner’s Song,” and “Rose Tattoo,” a fan favorite that has accumulated 24 million views on YouTube – without the aid of being a radio hit. A special version of this song featuring the band’s buddy Bruce Springsteen was released as a benefit for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. They’ve hosted sold out concerts at most of the city’s landmarks, including Fenway Park, TD Garden, the Boston Pops, and even the last voyage of the USS Constitution. They updated the Boston Red Sox anthem “Tessie” in 2004, which may or may not have had something to do with the team’s first World Series win in 86 years…
Discography Do Or Die (1997, Hellcat/Epitaph)
The Gang’s All Here (1999, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Singles Collection (2000, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Sing Loud, Sing Proud! (2001, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Live On St. Patrick’s Day From Boston, MA (2002, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Blackout (2003, Hellcat/Epitaph)
On The Road With the Dropkick Murphys DVD (2004, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Singles Collection: Volume II (2005, Hellcat/Epitaph)
Los Angeles, CA – Phil Taylor put the motor in Motörhead for 13 incredible years, recording drums for that iconic band on 11 studio albums as well as 4 live albums. His stage presence became the stuff of rock legend and the ferocity with which he attacked his kit (as well as offstage antics) earned him the moniker Philthy Animal. Under appreciated in his later years, Taylor continued to play hard-driving rock n’ roll in various outfits, including the superb Little Villains project, formed with producer/musician James Childs of Airbus fame. The group made several studio recordings overseen by Childs, some of which were released in 2019 as the album Philthy Lies.
And now a new Little Villains album is hitting the streets, this time featuring the talents of former Hawkwind bassist and Lemmy prodigy, Alan “Boomer” Davey, who joins Childs on this celebration of the life and talents of Phil Taylor. Featuring the remaining studio recordings Taylor made prior to his passing in 2015, the album Taylor Made bursts with the power and energy of those early Motörhead albums. Childs expresses his enthusiasm for the project saying “I grew up on Motorhead and Hawkwind and to actually work with key members of each group is a milestone in my lifetime that I never could of imagined.”
Taylor Made will be available on digital, CD and limited edition RED vinyl beginning April 3 courtesy of Cleopatra Records! To order: https://orcd.co/littlevillains
Track List: 1. Taylor Made 2. Model B 3. Aeroplane 4. All The Flak 5. We All Toil 6. Melony Blue 7. In A Mess 8. Over The Moon 9. Control Yourself 10. Soon
Check out the first single, the title track, and its inventive animated video here:
Los Angeles, CA – LA-based indie label, Cleopatra Records, is proud to announce the signing of industrial metal superstars, Powerman 5000. Fronted by the creative mastermind Spider One, the band will launch a new album later this year and tour in support of the release both in the US and overseas.
Most notably known for their 1999 smash hit album Tonight The Stars Revolt, which included the explosive, culture-shocking single “When Worlds Collide,” PM5K have been building a catalog of solid, creatively adventurous albums that range from punk to space rock to a covers album that saw the band re-visioning tracks by T.Rex, Devo and INXS. In fact, it was this latter project, 2011’s Copies, Clones & Replicants, that first brought PM5K into the orbit of Cleopatra Records. But now this partnership is set to hit another level with the release of a brand new, all original studio album later this year.
PM5K frontman Spider proclaims “We are incredibly excited to partner with Cleopatra Records for our latest release The Noble Rot. We feel like we have put together our most diverse and interesting record ever. All boxes have been checked in the strange universe that is Powerman 5000 with this one, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Brian Perera, owner of Cleopatra Records, declares “We’ve been fans of Powerman 5000 for years, watching how they have stuck to their guns throughout their career and maintained a high level of creative ambition and risk. They are a rare breed of electronic/industrial metal bands who have crossed over and gained fans from multiple genres. This new album is really going to shock the world and we are honored to be releasing it!”
Metal horror band FROM HELL returns in 2020 with a new album called RATS & RAVENS. Staying true to the vision that each release is a concept album, Aleister Sinn (the live persona of George Anderson, creator/writer of FROM HELL), releases an album both dark and sinister.
Mid 13th Century…somewhere in eastern Europe “A father disturbs an evil in the east. A witch comes to steal his son and the children of the village to make them her own. She sacrifices them and reanimates the dead with the blessings from the god of vermin. With rats, she brings them back to life and calls them Lilium.”
RATS & RAVENS will be available worldwide on May 22 in stores and online!
RATS & RAVENS features Aleister Sinn on vocals and guitar, Wes Anderson on drums, Stephen Paul Goodwin on bass and Steve Smyth on lead guitar. As the band rehearsed the songs with Sinn, the richness of what Wes, Steve, and Stephen brought to the material from their varied backgrounds of musical experience added a depth to each song that was later realized in the final recordings.
FROM HELL recorded the album with Greg Wilkinson (High on Fire, Necrot, Autopsy) at Earhammer Studio in Oakland, CA. Sinn says, “When we returned from tour in Russia 2017, we recorded two new songs with Greg and we really liked working with Greg and what we heard. He records bands in a more natural way than many metal engineers and producers and doesn’t rely on sound replacement, but captures great tones to start with and the final mixes of our album came out very natural sounding, heavy and produced, but not over-produced. I personally am pleased.”
Mastering was handled by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Annhilator, Cynic) at MaorAppelbaum Mastering in Los Angeles.
George Anderson (aka Aleister Sinn) has played guitar and vocals for the SF Bay area bands Down Factor and Grandma, a tribute to King Diamond. Wes Anderson has played drums for Les Claypool, Idiot Flesh, Blind Illusion, Young Lions (Noah of Neurosis), SOSA, and Kehoe Nation. Steve Smyth has played guitar for Testament, Nevermore, Dragonlord, Forbidden, Vicious Rumors and One Machine. Stephen Paul Goodwin on bass has played for Vicious Rumors, Diablo Dukes, Journey Unauthorized and has played or recorded with Brad Gillis, Mick Mestec, Eric Peterson, Will Carroll, Phil Bennett, Sticks Hooper, Eric Barnett and Salar Nader.
RATS & RAVENS is the follow up to the first FROM HELL album Ascent From Hell, which is as heavy as it is epic. The album tells a horror story about a corpse that wakes up in Hell only to find he must go back to earth, recover his soul that still lives inside another body and drag it back to Hell. Ascent From Hell featured metal icons Paul Bostaph, Steve Smyth, and Damien Sisson.
California based progressive rock band AmuZeum offers fans pre-release for their highly anticipated debut album New Beginnings.
AmuZeum is a Southern CA, progressive rock band with an impressive pedigree that goes back more than a decade. The five members have crossed paths many times through the years in LA studios and playing in different bands such as Mars Hollow, Ten Jinn, Gabble Ratchet, and Heliopolis, all of which had various degrees of success.
“New Beginnings” is Produced by AmuZeum and mixed by the legendary Billy Sherwood who is best known for his work with Yes and Circa among others. The album was mastered by Grammy winner Mike Bozzi at Bernie Grundman Mastering.
The album is filled with sonic landscapes, interwoven melodies, soaring harmonies, dynamic rhythms, and insightful moving lyrics all combine to create a tapestry to engage the listener and compel them to embark on a journey ……..destination unknown!!
Pre-Order On Bandcamp
Pre-order New Beginnings on Bandcamp and you get 2 tracks now as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and other hi-quality formats (+ streaming via the free Bandcamp app also available), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Although the debut album was written and recorded before the Covid-19 worldwide outbreak,
it’s interesting (and somewhat scary) how much of the lyrical content relates to what is happening RIGHT NOW.
Just a few examples:
“Out Of The Confusion, Comes Order – A Union” (Changing Seasons)
“One World, One Mind, One Life In-Kind, Insanity, Humanity Cries One Heart, One Soul, One Voice Of Hope, Unity Calling Us Home Calling Us Home” (Birthright)
“Always Darkest Before The Dawn, The Promise Of Light Makes You Keep Holding On, There’s A Calm At The End Of The Storm, Where Hope Belongs” (Naysayer)
” Can You Feel It Deep Inside, To Change Your World, A State Of Mind” (Carousel)
Even the title of the album, “New Beginnings” speaks of strength, resilience, and hope for the future (and we will have a new beginning when we come out of this on the other side !!)
Here’s to the healing power of music, and the joy it can bring. We hope you enjoy the new album.
Love, Michael, Mark, Matt, Jerry, Scott
AmuZeum is: Michael Matier – Guitars Matt Brown – Keyboards & Vocals Mark Wickliffe – Bass & Vocals Jerry Beller – Drums & Vocals Scott Jones – Voice
Pre-order New Beginnings on Bandcamp and you get 2 tracks now as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and other hi-quality formats (+ streaming via the free Bandcamp app also available), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.