Sunday, June 15, 2014

Charity Spotlight: Sage's Army Receives Donation From Never Take It Off Jewelry Sales

Sharon, left, and Chip, right, present a check from Never Take It Off to Sage's Army's Carmen Capozzi

It's always a heartwarming experience when a person or an organization voluntarily supports a good cause.  And we felt that warm feeling on June 14, 2014 when we had the opportunity to present a generous donation to non-profit organization, Sage's Army, on behalf of Juliet Simms' vow jewelry company, Never Take It Off.

The partnership between Helping Hands Rock Reviews and Never Take It Off started in late 2013, when Never Take It Off created its "Helping Hands" line and offered to donate a portion of the proceeds to one of the charities we support through our publication (see our interview with Juliet Simms for more details).  The launch of the line was very successful and, within a few months, Never Take It Off sent us a check to present to Sage's Army.

We cannot say enough good things about Never Take It Off.  Not only do they make cool jewelry, but each piece they sell comes with a list of vows of positive encouragement to "never give up, never back down and never stop trying."  And if that alone wasn't impressive enough, their commitment to supporting charities like those close to the hearts of Helping Hands Rock Reviews really shows the good hearts of the people behind the company.

Speaking of good hearts, we have to give some love to Sage's Army as well.  After Carmen Capozzi experienced the loss of his son to a heroin overdose, he made it his personal mission to begin reversing the heroin epidemic that devastated him and his family.  Sage's Army speaks at schools, works with legislators, and distributes information to children, families, communities, and others facing the threats posed by the pervasive drug problems in the United States.

We are proud to be part of this partnership with Never Take It Off and Sage's Army that has already contributed to making a difference in the world!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Through These Walls Bursts Back With New Single, New Style

After a debut album that scored them multiple radio appearances and prime slots opening for national acts, Pittsburgh's Through These Walls found themselves gearing up for their sophomore release, Time Is A Storm, amidst changes and challenges.  Today, the hard rockers released "Into Dawn" - their first new single since their 2011 album, Suicide Doll.

The track was recorded after the departure of long-time bassist, Ryan Goodworth.  And the style of the song is a pretty significant departure from their strict modern metal roots, with its Vans Warped Tour-friendly tones and melody.

Helping Hands Rock Reviews recently caught up with Through These Walls' vocalist/guitarist/bassist, Chris Callen, to discuss these changes and the direction for their future music, as well as what's ahead for the buzzworthy band.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Part of Seattle's New Sound, Cole Childers Lights It Up With "Aurora"

A Seattle-based musician. 

Wearing a plaid shirt in his promo photos. 

Citing Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder as influences.

This story will have a predictable ending to it, right?

Wrong!

Everything one might expect from an artist with the above characteristics is quickly and emphatically proven wrong with one listen to Aurora, the new EP from fast-rising Pacific Northwesterner, Cole Childers.  The six songs that make up Aurora are a diverse blend of thoughtful and thought provoking pieces of art, with enough overdrive to win over the hearts of today's most discriminating metal lovers without alienating the mainstream.

Helping Hands Rock Reviews recently had the opportunity to pick Childers' brain about the new EP and what lies ahead for the Jet City songwriter.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Winger Gives Melodic Rock Fans Big-Time Reason For Optimism With "Better Days Comin'"

For most long-time hard rock aficionados, it probably seems like it has been a while since they've heard from Winger.  But the band best known for its late-80's/early-90's take on hair metal has actually had its comeback in the works for a while now.

After the 1993 release of Pull, the band released IV in 2006 and Karma in 2009, with neither one garnering much notice by critics nor fans.  However, something feels noticeably different about their new release, Better Days Comin'

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Album Helps Saliva "Rise Up" After Departure of Original Singer

If ever the odds were stacked against a band, 2014 found Saliva at a point where a high percentage of their peers met their demise.  They were more than a decade past a career highlight - the 2002 nomination of their song "Your Disease" for the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy - and had recently parted ways with  founding vocalist, Josey Scott.

But rock-n-roll is about beating odds and stereotypes and Saliva set out to beat both with their latest release, Rise Up, their first with new singer, Bobby Amaru.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Is Lacuna Coil Poised to Break Out or Break Up With "Broken Crown Halo?"

Avid fans of Italian metal band Lacuna Coil had to wait over two years for a new album from the band.  And, in that period, the long-time lineup proved to be a bit fragile.

Just six weeks before the April 1 release of Broken Crown Halo, guitarist Cristiano Migliore and drummer Cristiano Mozzati - both members since 1998 - left the band.  Any time a band loses veterans, there's the risk that the band will fall apart.  Perhaps the one thing that can help a band overcome such adversity is releasing a strong album that keeps the band afloat and, in some cases, helps the band break out more than ever.

So, the question is:  Is Broken Crown Halo strong enough to propel Lacuna Coil through this transition period and beyond?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Is Steel Panther's "All You Can Eat" A Dirty Delicacy or Too Much to Stomach?

Steel Panther.  If you've been paying attention in the hard rock scene the last half-decade, you will likely associate that name with one of two things:  a band that has so accurately resurrected the hair metal look and sound in the 2010's, or the band that has so unapologetically coupled filthy comedy with well-produced music.

Either way, you're right.  And with such a distinct reputation, it puts the band in a position where it would be virtually impossible to change their style and retain their fan base.

The questions are:  Can they continue doing what they do for much longer or will it get old?  And how much further can they go?

Well, the band is back with a new album, All You Can Eat, that is designed to answer those questions.