Bridge to Breakdown Unleashes their Self-Titled EP

I met the guys of Bridge to Breakdown back in 2016 when they were playing on the same bill as my husband’s band, and we clicked immediately. These are some of the most down-to-earth and friendly guys I have ever met and I can’t wait to introduce them and their new EP to you all. Their EP is available for pre-order right now, with the release date of 01 October 2017!

Their EP is available for pre-order right now, with the release date of 01 October 2017!

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Tayln (singer/guitarist), Malcolm (singer/guitarist), and Taylor (drummer) have known each other for many years, and Ian (bassist) is the newest member (as of 2016) to join the band. Together, they form a rock band with a unique style of Blues, Rock, Metal, and Alternative. The best comparison I can think of would be Rage Against the Machine (they are heavily influenced by Rage, and if you haven’t heard their cover of Killing in The Name Of  then you are definitely missing out! #babyrage)

Let’s talk about their album, shall we? Cuz otherwise I will rave about these guys all day long I swear.Their first EP has four original songs on it and they don’t disappoint. If you’ve been to their shows before here in NC, then the songs will be familiar to you.

Ashes is the first song on the EP. It starts with a cool guitar riff and cymbal work and it’s a good intro to the song that lasts for a good minute and a half before Malcolm begins with the vocals. I feel that it is probably the most mellow of the four songs on the EP while still being a good display of their talent.

Power to the People is next on the EP, and it one of their better-known songs. It starts immediately with Malcolm at the vocals. I won’t lie, I’ve had to listen to them perform this song several times to get what Malcolm is saying because he sings it somewhat quickly. Tayln joins him on singing the chorus with his distinct vocals singing the title of the song while Malcolm continues with the message of the song. This is also a phenomenal display of their guitar talent throughout this song. Towards the end of the song Tayln shows off his vocal range in the chorus and it definitely catches your attention. The song has a strong message.

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Rusted is a newer song that I am not as familiar with. I love the guitar in the beginning of the song and a good drum beat to get your head moving. Tayln sings on this song and again it’s a great display of his impressive range. He was operatically trained as a singer before B2B came to be. You know what else is impressive, watching Malcolm headbang to this song and not once trip over his guitar chord or pull it out of his guitar or his pedal board!

The last song on their EP is probably one of their most well-known songs, called Walk the Bridge. It’s got a catchy melody that encourages movement and head-banging and a great blend of their instruments. Something that I just noticed is about half-way through the song there is a good overlay of vocals between Tayln’s higher pitch and Malcolm’s lower notes. There is a great instrumental section that really displays Taylor’s talents as a drummer.

Congratulations to the boys and check the flyer below for their official release party and where you can find your copy of the self-titled release!

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Carolina Music Awards 2017

Hey ya’ll!

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Carolina Music Awards as press, and honestly, it was more fun then I expected!

The Carolina Music Awards were started 10 years ago by a gentleman named Omar McCallop and it’s amazing how strong this awards event is going 10 years later. This event has categories for Hip Hop/ R&B, DJ’s, Bluegrass/ Folk, Rock, Country, and they even have a Youth Category (no joke, those young adults rock!)

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The event starts with a red carpet event which starts 2.5 hours before the awards actually begin. I got there around 5 pm (because to me, being ‘on-time’ is being early). I also had no idea what to expect. This was my first time attending an event like this, I usually just photograph shows that my husband’s band plays at. I quickly noticed the there were two red-carpets set up. I was approached by a lovely woman named Sabrina and asked if I wanted to help her out on the fashion red carpet, which started before the Awards red carpet (they were kind of interchangeable because Artists would walk up to this red carpet first and then move on to the second red carpet). I figured why not, at least I could get some good photos that I could share here and with her. This part of the event wasn’t what I expected.

I teamed up with another photographer named Rada from Burt and Brewington Creative Agency  and we covered the entire red carpet event as well as the interviews put on by the radio station covering the awards. It was awesome because we got to meet artists from all the genres. I finally got to meet Tiffany’s friend Maria from Break the Skyline (p.s. go check out their music video for Unspoken… it rocks!) as well as getting to see a familiar face in LaureNicole (I’ve had the chance to talk with her a few times at different shows).

This part of the event was a great start to the whole event and I really enjoyed it. This sounds silly, but I have never been called a “real photographer” before (usually I am just photographing local bands) so when Miss. Sabrina called us that, it made me happy. It sounds silly…. but that meant a lot for someone to recognize that this is what I want to do, it’s not just a hobby for me.

The actual awards portion started around 8pm (after some technical difficulties which are bound to happen with any event). The press was regulated to the wings of the second floor for covering the event. If you weren’t sitting on the right side of the auditorium, it was incredibly difficult to get decent photos of the presenters as well as the musicians accepting awards. Guess who made that mistake? Me. By the time I realized it, the other side was already full and there wasn’t room for me to move. Oh well, I made it work anyways.

I must say that Mr. Omar really impressed me when he came out on the stage the second time, right after the technical difficulties happened. He told us that if there was anything that went right and that we were pleased with, to thank his staff, but if there was anything that was wrong, that responsibility totally rested on his shoulders. I can really appreciate that from a team member stand point. He wants his staff to get the praise for their hard work, but he feels that if anything was wrong, the responsibility rested on his shoulders as the head of the event. Kudo’s to you sir!

The event was started off by my girl LaureNicole and she did an impressive job as usual! The first set of awards were the Youth Awards, and they definitely did not disappoint! These young adults are incredibly talented and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!

I will be honest with you all and tell you that I don’t know anything aboutRap, Hip Hop, R&B, being a DJ, or even Bluegrass. What I know is Country and Rock. That being said, I know that it takes a lot of time, effort, and talent to produce any genre of music, so my hat is off to everyone that was nominated and won awards last night! It was said several times that there were no losers, because everyone wins by bringing their music to the world! I feel this is a very true statement because different types of people like different types of music, and people can really connect with music. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t make it less important to the music industry because someone else will like it and it might help them through difficult times! It may be just what they need to make it through another rough day. I can appreciate that! This event wasn’t about the specific genre’s per say, it was more about celebrating our music scene as a whole and all of the accomplishments we’ve made so far!

If you want to see all the pictures of the event, check out the Angel-Phoenix Facebook Page, where I posted a gallery of all my images. I tried to get photos as people accepted their awards, but it was difficult from where I was standing. For this article though, I will be focusing on the rock genre, since that’s what we cover here at Angel-Phoenix!

The Nominees for Best Rock Male were A Strike Within, Jason Damico, CJ Bauckham (of I Am Maddox), Matt Thies (of Open Wire), Chris Hathcock (of The Reticent), Adam Nelson (of Something Clever), Brad Pruette (of The Lilly Brothers’), and Mark Cloos. The winner of the Best Rock Male of the Year was CJ Bauckham!

The Nominees for Best Rock Female were Logan Christopher (of Paper Dolls), LaureNicole, Fredi Sholtz, Rei Haycraft (of Raimee), Courtney Sapp (of We Were Once), Nikol, Denise Masters (of Desired Redemption), and Lauren Light. The winner of the Best Rock Female of the Year was LaureNicole!

The nominees for Best Rock Band of the Year were Open Wire, Mightier Than Me, I Am Maddox, What Happened Yesterday, Break The Skyline, The Gray, Reason|Define, and Matt Parker and the Deacons. The winner of the Best Rock Band of the Year was Mightier Than Me.

Overall, the event was a fantastic experience and I was incredibly excited to be able to cover the whole event. I met a lot of great new people and there was a LOT of networking going on from all sides. Everybody looked fantastic and were super nice!

Make sure you check out all the bands tagged above I this post, you might find people that you’ve never heard of! Give everyone some love because we’re here to celebrate all the artists and their accomplishments! I can’t wait to see what happens next year!

 

 

Album Review – Worhol “The Awakening”

I think I say this every time, but lord do I love this job! I love finding new music and this band definitely did not disappoint!

Worhol is a theatrical/ symphonic rock band from Texas founded by father and daughter in 2013! Ashley (lead singer/pianist) and her father Larry Worhol (guitarist/pianist/composer) decided to follow their musical dreams together and form this amazing band. They chose the name of their band because of their relations to Andy Warhol. They were joined by Craig Malinowski (bassist) and Marty Naul (drums). Their describe themselves as “an army of chosen ones who would bring forth to the land a new and inspirational voice in music.”

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Do you like bands like Evanescence, Nightwish, and Within Temptation? Then you’ll most definitely like Worhol. That’s what got my attention, Amy Lee is the reason that I learned to sing. Finding another strong female singer like her? I’m game! Their new album definitely did not disappoint!

Their latest album ‘The Awakening‘ released on 14 July, 2017 and I’ve listened to it at least once a day since I got it on iTunes. I really love her voice! She does remind me of the aforementioned female-led bands, but Ashley stands out at the same time! I feel that she has a distinct voice and this album is amazing.

The album starts out with Voices From Above, with a catching orchestral beginning and then bam, there Ashley is! It’s a great first song to the album, it’s intriguing! Her voice kind of reminds me of Christine from The Phantom of the Opera!

Bowing Before You has an interesting but strong beginning. A great display of their drummers talent. This seems to be the first of their slower songs, but it flows very well. I don’t know if slower is the right word, kind of slower and softer? Not quite as punchy and the pitch changes don’t seem to be as drastic as the first song.

Time to Say Goodbye has a gorgeous piano introduction that leads into a great guitar melody without losing the beauty of the piano. It’s got a kind of haunting melody to it and an easy flowing rhythm to the song.

Already Forgotten really displays, in my opinion, the diversity in Ashley’s vocal range that I am incredibly jealous of as a singer. She’s someone I would aspire to sound like. 

Rage and Revenge has a most interesting guitar introduction that carries you into the rest of the instrumental song. I love that they included this on the album, even though there aren’t any words to this song! A great display of the instrumental talent amongst the members of the band!

In This Town starts out with a kind of soft and haunting melody that is beautiful. While the song tempo picks up some it keeps its melody while Ashley sings softly.

We, The Abused starts out very fast paced but it is still a great song. At one point it slows down to just a piano and Ashley’s voice and man can she hit the higher notes! It’s something some female singers can only dream of.

Jurisdiction is one of my favorite songs off this album, I think. It show cases Ashley’s range, the drums are very prominent, and I just really enjoy this song. There is a nice guitar rift in the song that I can definitely appreciate. It also sounds like there is a violin towards the middle of the song, which I think is pretty creative.

Is This What’s Left of Me has a really pretty piano intro before the guitar comes in that I really like. The drums are strong and distinct again without taking away from the vocals. It has an interesting tempo change shortly after the introduction before going back to the same tempo with the piano and the drums. I think that is really unique.

Darkness is a great display of the symphonic sound. It also happens to be my other favorite song from this album. I know I’ve talked about it throughout this whole article, I just really enjoy Ashley’s voice.

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I really enjoyed this album and band. I haven’t really listened to symphonic rock before other than Nightwish and Within Temptation, so I am still learning more about the genre. I watched a couple of their music videos to get a better feel for the band and their videos are just as impressive as their music is. I really can’t wait to hear more of this band! If you haven’t checked them out yet, I really suggest you head over to YouTube, iTunes, or wherever you listen to music and search for this band.

Artist Alert: Johnny Zostant

Hey ya’ll! Jenn here and I wanted to introduce you guys and gals to a very talented young man!

I first saw Johnny at a show he played a show at The Drunk Horse Pub in Fayetteville on 24 February of this year, and I was seriously impressed. Here’s the thing about Johnny, he’s 13 years old and plays shows by himself, it’s just him and a guitar! He has been known to share the stage with other bands to perform songs with them and he fits in seamlessly. He’s based out of Charlotte, NC and is definitely going places. He’s already opened up for touring bands like Saliva, TRAPT, Wayland, and others, and is one of the youngest professional musicians that I have ever met.

The show that I saw him at was an acoustic set and I was curious. Like I said, he’s the youngest professional musician that I have met and this kid is talented. He’s a mixture of blues, rock, hard rock, and metal. He showed off his skills at guitar and love for older country music like Johnny Cash as well as some original songs that he has written.

He recently did a couple of video journals with Rock Rage Radio that you can check out on his YouTube channel. You should also check out this video of him playing Roller Coaster Live. If this doesn’t showcase his talent, then I don’t know what does.

He’s currently on his “Best Summer Ever” Tour joining bands like Pröwess, Losing September, Shun the Raven, and others, and has a list of shows across the US. He’s playing in Charlotte, NC with Shun the Raven on 02 September at Hattie’s Tap & Tavern at 7PM and if you get the chance, you really should check him out!

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Paper Dolls’ Single – Heavy

One of the things I like most about being part of this team is being introduced to new bands and music.

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I have never heard of Paper Dolls before this review, which is kind of a surprise because they are based out of Raleigh, North Carolina which is practically down the road from me. Female lead singers always interest me. I feel like there might be a bigger pressure on them to be their best because they either are really good or the exact opposite.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I first listened to their song Heavy, but what I heard was definitely a surprise. They are self-described as “a four piece band that combines silky and sultry vibes with crunchy guitars and a thumping rhythm section to create a brand new type of rock/pop.” I’ve had this song on repeat all day and really enjoy it.

The instrumental intro into the song is fantastic. It starts out pretty mellow with a drum beat and then builds up to very upbeat and encompasses all the instruments in the band as well as a brief introduction to the lead singer Logan’s voice. There are some killer rifts in the instrumental beginning that really catch your attention. What surprised me is how the music seemed to mellow out a little when Logan began to sing the first verse.

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I can definitely hear the sultry and silky vibes, her voice kind of reminds me of Taylor Momsen from The Pretty Reckless a little bit actually. The song itself seems pretty mellow but it’s interesting. The instruments flow perfectly with the vocals and with each other as well. None of it seems out of place. I really enjoyed the drums toward the middle of the song. Dominic sounds like a very talented drummer who can alternate between soft and mellow parts and then really punch it with his melodies.

The end of the song definitely lives up to the beginning and it carries the same momentum. I find that it is a great display of the instrumental musician’s talents. Overall, I definitely can’t wait to hear more from this group and be able to purchase this song. If you haven’t listened to this song or seen them live, I highly recommend that you do!

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Sixlight – Self-Titled EP Review

I met the guys of Sixlight back in December when they joined my husband’s band in opening up for Gemini Syndrome and Drowning Pool at The Maywood in Raleigh, NC. I had heard about these guys through some friends of ours that had done some recording at Bloodstone Studios, which they run.

I’m not going to lie, they really caught my interest when I heard that three of the band members are prior service. Nick (lead singer), Curtis (guitar), and Ian (guitar) all met when they were in the Marines and then teamed up again to form this band. Rob (bassist) and Travis (drums) joined them later on and really rounded out the band. That first night we shared a merch table and I heard them play, and I was hooked.

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On 01 April 2017, they released their first self-titled EP at a show at the Drunk Horse Pub and I was fortunate enough to attend the show to support these guys. I feel like I say this a lot, but if you haven’t checked them out, you really should! These guys are incredibly talented musicians and just great guys to chat with. I like to think that I have become fortunate enough to call them friends and I can’t wait to see them play more shows. They also put on a great live show and its great to see that crowd get so involved in the songs and head banging. The guys all interact with the crowd during the show and I think that is important. I know that a lot of bands do this, but for some reason their stage precedes stands out to me.

 

Their Self-Titled EP starts off with a song called Hostage. While discussing the album with my husband, he described the song as a power house song, a good staging song for what comes next on the album, which I can totally agree with.

Crucify Me, the second song on the album, is a great display of Nick’s (the lead singer) voice and the drums stand out to me. It’s definitely an upbeat song and one that you can headband too, which these guys do at every show I’ve seen them at.

The third song, Sick Again, was my introduction to Sixlight and it really is a catchy song with a great music video. It was released as a single before the EP dropped and is definitely a fan favorite at their shows. It’s upbeat, got some great guitar rifts, and Rob (the bassist) does a great job on vocals with Nick. This particular song was requested as an encore at the end of their album release show and it made the crowd so excited to get to hear it again!

The fourth song on the album, Paradise, is said to be about your significant other fighting cancer, and it sticks with you. It’s one of the slower songs on the album but it still has that great Sixlight sound.

The next song on the album, Burning Out, is also a single they released prior to the EP, it’s on YouTube, and is definitely a fan favorite as well. Ian and Curtis do a great job with the guitar rifts while Travis has a very distinct drum beat going on throughout the song. I feel like this song is another great crowd favorite song.

The Departure is a new song to me, I didn’t hear it until I purchased the album. I like the intro to the song, it has a nice melody (it sounds like piano) before the song really gets started.

Reach for the Sky is the next song on the album and starts without hesitation. It’s a nice blend of Nick and Rob’s (the bassist) vocals (but I honestly feel that those two work really well together). I feel that this song is a good crowd involving sky, it’s easy to learn and easy to sing along with.

The next song to follow is called Loosing Faith, which is the other slower song on their album. To me, it sounds like it’s about lost love, which everyone can relate too. It’s a newer song to me as well but I’m quickly loving it.

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The last song on the album is called Lead the Way, and is a great way to end the album in my opinion. To me (and maybe it’s just because I am a veteran myself), this songs makes me think about the military. Talking about trying to lead the way and not following with a blind eye.

If you haven’t picked up this album yet, or at least gone to listen to it on iTunes or Spotify,  you are definitely missing out! I highly recommend this album (and this band) to everyone who loves rock music! All in all, I really can’t choose just one favorite from this album because I love each song in it’s own rite. If you get a chance to see them live, do yourself a favor and do it. They are some of the most personable and friendly people I have met and I am so excited to see what is coming next for them!

 

Reason|Define – Far From Strangers

I first met the ladies of Reason|Define (then The Reason You Stayed) back in August of 2016 when they played at The Drunk Horse Pub in support of Another Lost Year. They were my first introduction to an all-female band especially since the industry is dominated mostly by men. Personally, I tend to be very skeptical of female singers (as one myself). These ladies absolutely blew me away. Not only are they phenomenal musicians, but they are some of the sweetest ladies I have ever met! So when Tiffany offered to let me check out their new album, Far From Strangers, I was incredibly stoked!

Reason|Define is an all female rock group hailing from Charlotte, NC. I must say that I really feel like they are going somewhere in the industry.

They describe themselves as “a style that is from multiple genres including alternative, pop punk, metal, etc. partnered with powerful female harmonies.” They aren’t lying, their harmonies are on point! I truly feel that Paolina has a very distinct voice and Savannah and Caitlin do a fantastic job matching her vocals with their harmonies. If their brightly colored hair doesn’t get your attention first, their music definitely will. These ladies can definitely hold their own and it shows throughout the album. 

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Just before Christmas of last year, they released their first single, Kingdom. This song is just awesome and is probably my favorite one off their new album at this time (mostly because it is the one that I am most familiar with). This song is really catchy (gets stuck in my head all the time) and the music video is even better – you can check it out below.

After Kingdom it is hard to choose a favorite song, simply because I really love all of them. I feel their style is very cohesive and consistent throughout the entire album. I really dig the intros to their songs, they really grab your attention and keep you wondering what is going to come next.

Being as skeptical as I was, I have to say this album is going to be one that sticks with me for a while. Every single track is addictive and worth multiple listens. In fact, girls have a very unique sound that is very reminiscent of this group called The Donnas but with a more refined sound that draws you in and doesn’t let you go.

This is definitely an album that I can listen to again and again (okay, so I might have listened to it a few times today already). I can’t wait to hear more from these ladies and see what they have in store for their fans this year.

You can catch them at their album release party this Friday, March 24th, at The Underground at the Fillmore Charlotte. Contact them for TICKETS! I plan on being there myself so I look forward to seeing some familiar faces!

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