Upcoming Music – May the Fourth be with you

The title has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it’s time to look at another pile of lead singles for upcoming releases. There is more music coming out than I can keep up with but that’s a good problem to have.

Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here

Skid Row were promising new music last month and have delivered. This is the title track to the new album due out on October 14. It marks the band’s first full-length album in 16 years.

It was pretty anticipated to see how Skid Row would sound on record with former DragonForce singer ZP Theart on vocals – and well, that anticipation will continue because the band have jettisoned Theart and replaced him with Erik Gronwall. Apparently Gronwall made waves awhile back with a cover of the Skids classic 18 And Life and now all of a sudden he’s fronting the band.

The song is a nice tune, it’s a cut from the cloth hard rocker that does recall the band’s glory days. Gronwall is the fourth singer for the group since the departure of classic-era singer Sebastian Bach in the 90s. I’m as curious as anyone why the band decided to switch singers yet again but it might be a while before anyone gives detailed accounts to the music rags about whatever went down.

Without detailed information, the singer switch feels like an attempt to capitalize on the buzz generated by Gronwall’s cover song performance. Maybe the band heard him and thought he’d be a better fit, I don’t know. If only there were a suitable singer around who could live up to the past performances of Sebastian Bach…

But anyway, the coming fall promises a new full-length and we’ll see what the band can get up to with another entry in their revolving door of singers.

Hank Williams Jr. – .44 Special Blues

The venerable Hank Jr. is releasing a new album of blues cuts. Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Rich White Honky Blues is due for release on June 17.

Taking on blues standards is an interesting choice for Bocephus, but it’s not at all far removed from his own roots. The blues were a big influence on country and Jr. has been vocal about his appreciation for the blues in the past. Now he is offering up a full album of the blues and he certainly sounds like he knows his way around the genre.

IV and the Strange Band – Inbred

If Hank Jr. wasn’t enough, June 17 will see the debut release of his grandson Coleman’s band. Southern Circus is the first album from the next in line of the Williams family legacy. The son of renegade outlaw Hank III was preparing a fully self-released effort last year before reconsidering in the wake of the considerable buzz he generated. This new, fully produced effort represents a more polished first step forward.

Inbred is a song about the Fugate family of Kentucky. I’ll link the Wikipedia for anyone curious, though the title should give you a clue. The song is fine, it won’t set the world on fire or anything but I like the direction this seems to be going. It’s imperative for a Williams to go their own way and it sounds like Coleman and company will be doing their own thing. It has a polished southern rock/maybe “hipster” country feel to it and that’s fine by me. It’ll be very interesting to see how the musical path of IV unfolds. Even with going his own way, it is most likely to be his father’s fanbase that will line up early to see what Coleman has to offer.

Note – the group have released a newer single since I began this post, I decided to retain my original text.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Imbolc Dawn Atop Yns Wydrn. Ice Melts As The First Resplendent Rays Of Spring Pour Over The Horizon

Ok, that was a mouthful. This is a new track from my favorite artist in recent memory and is in advance of her new instrumental album EG2 – Dowsing Voice, releasing soon on Friday the 13th. The album is being released in physical form but its digital presence will be kept exclusively on Bandcamp, hence the unusual preview format.

This song, as with surely everything else on this instrumental (though with voice being used as an instrument) work, features the use of atmosphere and texture to create soundscapes. It is a different listening experience from the standard verse-chorus structure of standard songs but it’s musical direction I’ve been leaning more into in the past few years, probably with Emma being my shepherd to that. Emma conceived the album while in Wales in early 2020, just before the world broke apart. It’s also great timing for a release, even an unusual one, as Emma just performed at the Roadburn festival a few weeks prior and her performance was a hot topic of conversation from the fest.

Billy Howerdel – Poison Flowers

The A Perfect Circle guitarist will be releasing a solo album titled What Normal Was on June 10. The song is a nice example of gothic alt-rock or whatever it is, I’m not entirely sure. But it’s a pretty cool song and will command attention as Billy launches a solo tour through the same month as his album’s release.

Oni – Secrets

Newer metalcore brood Oni are preparing to release a new album Loathing Light on June 17. “Brood” may be a deceptive term as the band proper is comprised by a sole member, vocalist Jake Oni. Oni receives help in recording with longtime friend Mark Morton, guitarist of Lamb Of God. Morton’s bandmate Randy Blythe supplies guest vocals to Secrets, as does another unexpected guest, punk legend Iggy Pop. The track is a star-studded romp, we’ll see what the full album holds next month.

Septicflesh – Hierophant

The long-running Greek symphonic death metal outfit have prepared their eleventh album Modern Primitive for release on May 20. Septicflesh have become leaders of the symphonic element in death metal and from the sounds of Hierophant they will likely keep their momentum going with their new release.

Lamb Of God – Wake Up Dead

This new track from LoG is not a precursor to a new album or anything – it is a standalone release and a cover of Megadeth’s iconic song from 1986. Lamb Of God have been touring with Megadeth on the “Heavy Metal Tour of the Year” for a few years now (COVID-delayed, of course).

The band handles the song in true-to-the-original fashion, executing it with thrash precision rather than translating it into LoG’s groove-oriented approach. The band had a helping hand in the effort – Dave Mustaine joins in on vocals and guitar. It is a nice effort and also a placeholder for that new Megadeth album that Dave says is supposed to be out in July yet we haven’t heard anything new about in awhile, much less a teaser track.

Dylan Gers – Moon Rise

This single marks the debut from Dylan Gers, who is the son of Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers. The song is a minimalist piece that is not at all related to his father’s work. It’s a different sort of listen but something I can stand to hear more of, it’s not out of place with other things I’ve been getting into as I get on in years. There is no word about an album or anything else yet from the younger Gers.

Liam Gallagher – Better Days

I’ve already previewed one song from Liam’s upcoming May 27 album C’Mon You Know, but I figured I’d drop this third single from the record considering that we’re getting a double-dose of Liam on the 27th. Not only does the new studio album drop but also seeing release is a live 2020 set Down By The River Thames, which Liam and company recorded on a barge floating the river as a means of holding a concert during the COVID lockdown era. The event was filmed then released as a limited streaming event and will now be available on wax and digital.

That live set will feature Liam solo as well as Oasis tracks, though the bulk of the focus will be on Liam’s new studio effort. Better Days is an interesting tune that, to me, stands out more than the other preview tracks from the new record. The video is extremely well-done and so far this song appears to be a highlight from the new album. Liam is gearing up for a headlining set at the upcoming Knebworth festival, the site of Oasis’ great triumph almost 26 years prior (my thoughts on that set’s official release here). While he will revel in the glory days of Oasis, he now will also have plenty of his own songs to insert in the set as well.

That does it for this month’s edition of upcoming releases. Time keeps flying and so do the new songs and albums. Perhaps the next edition will finally feature a new Megadeth song, we will see.

4 thoughts on “Upcoming Music – May the Fourth be with you

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