New Records

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As we approach these last weeks of 2021 I wanted to let my readers know about some of the best albums released this past year; the albums to be released here at year’s end! Misfits have a healthy selection of records to choose from long running classic groups like Cheap Trick and Iron Maiden to more recent offerings from Mastadon and Dark Throne.

Music has been such a wonderful way to relieve the daily worries concerning the ongoing Corona virus pandemic. Despite the worldwide shortages contributing to changing release timelines for records things have been getting better.

Life here in New York City has been much more back to normal with the re-opening of Broadway shows and Movies. Concert venues also came back to life; proof of vaccinations required.

Best of 2021

Here is a list of some of the best rock/metal albums released in 2021….not definitive in any form…just my opinion alone. This year has 8 weeks to go. ABBA just released its first new studio album in 40 years! Here are my faves so far:

Alice Cooper’s Detroit Stories marks the veteran rocker’s 21st solo release. Proudly made in Detroit this collection features classic hard rock from the motor city where this genre of music was birthed. This recording hails the long awaited reunion the surviving members of The Alice Cooper Band! A solid heavy rock record from old black eyes.

Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu is another double album from the British heavy metal legends continuing their journey into progressive territory. Single “The Writing On The Wall” has a southern flavor never heard before on any previous Maiden record. The music video for this track and second single “Stratego” are both animated in the style of the 1981 cult film, Heavy Metal, and are both amazing visually, musically, and sound like nothing else in this expanding catalog of now 17 releases! The last 3 songs on this extremely satisfying platter are all written by bassist/founder Steve Harris–“The Parchment”, “The Death of the Celts”, and “Hell On Earth” all run 10 plus minutes. Maiden are the most epic band in all of Heavy Metal. In my opinion this record is probably the band’s best to date. Incredible for a band whose current line-up reunited back in 2000 and is proving to be its best.

Cheap Trick’s In Another World was ready for 2020 but delayed until now. It was worth the wait. The power pop legends’ 20th album is their best to date. Hard rocking like 1977 in 2021 is no cheap trick but a delightful treat to listen to track after amazing track. “Light Up The Fire” is a scorcher; “Another World” envisions how bright the future could be in that ballsy balladry Robin Zander still delivers like he is only 20, in this world he is in his 70’s! Their cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” closes out the set. Strongly recommended.

AC/DC’s PWR UP gave us all hope upon its release. Dedicated to the late Malcolm Young who co-wrote every track and whose rhythm playing gave the band’s sound its backbone is all over this great album. For decades they have been rock’s diehard battery. This remains true here. Featuring the smash single “A Shot In The Dark” it never lets up. You will feel energized until the final notes are played. Arguably the band’s best promo videos have been created for this album. “Demon Driver”, “Witch’s Spell”, and “Mists of Time” are for my money the best trifecta in their glorious history. Let there be rock!

Helloween’s eponymous release that features the reunited German power metaller’s best work of the past decade will get you of of any doldrums transporting you into heavy metal revelry. From the opener “Out For The Glory” to “Indestructible” you will be amazed.

Mastadon’s Hushed and Grim is just another solid outing from these metallers from Georgia. Their blend of brooding dark themes and strong melody flows well here. “Pain With An Anchor” sets the tone followed by “The Crux” which just pulses away giving the proceedings a vitality it never loses. Following a concept record about Moby Dick and their prog breakthrough “Crack The Skye” this is their epic Tool inspired masterpiece.

Greta Van Fleet’s The Battle At Garden’s Gate is a great prog rock album. “My Way Soon”, “Heat Above”, “Age Of Machine” and “Broken Bells” are epic tracks. Recorded in Nashville this sophmore effort suffers no jinx. Great follow-up to their debut.

Weezer’s Van Weezer brings the world River Cuomo’s long gestating metal record with a strong tribute to late great Edward Van Halen!

Accept’s Too Mean Too Die was released back in January and remains one of the year’s crowning metal achievements. Featuring the track and video “The Undertaker” brings back all the reasons we still love Accept.

The records on this list are among the best of 2021. In the New Year records are coming from Scorpions, Saxon, JohnSix & The Creatures, and Ghost. 2022 will hopefully be the return of concerts/tours.

Thank you my dear readers for visiting Evan’s Gate!

Music Lover’s Gift Guide

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There are plenty of gifts for the music lover on your list. Here are just some of the items you might gift this season.

For Rolling Stones Fans this year marks the first holiday season of the new Rolling Stones shop on Carnaby Street, UK. You can order gifts online too!

The Rolling Stones: GHS T-Shirt Bundle 4
40th Anniversary Goats Head Soup Bundle featuring alternative album art Tee in L/ XL for $136.

For Elton John Fans. 100 Piece Puzzle of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Album Art.

For Bob Dylan Fans. Limited edition Moleskine notebooks featuring quotes and images of Mr. D. The price range is $22 to $37. Available at http://www.walmart.com

Moleskine  Bob Dylan Limited Edition Notebook -  Violet
Moleskine  Bob Dylan Limited Edition Notebook -  Violet
See the source image

For AC/DC fans. A Tri—Fold Wallet with chain and key fob.

Tri—fold wallet. $22.99 on Amazon.

For Metallica Fans. The band’s award-winning Blackened brand whiskey now with their new S&M2 Playlist! http://www.blackenedwhiskey.com $51.99 a bottle.

Limited Edition S&M2 Batch 106, featuring
the Metallica & San Francisco Symphony S&M2 playlist.
An award-winning blend of bourbons & ryes, finished in black brandy casks and complete with a collectible BLACKENED X S&M2 box!

Metallica and Nixon Watches. $125.

Nixon Time Teller, Black / Hardwired
Metallica Hard-Wired Edition.

Classic Rock Music: Rock Clothing & Merchandise | Hot Topic

For David Bowie Fans. This long-sleeve is available online at Hot Topic for $30.91.

Alladin Sane Long-Sleeve. $30.91.

For Queen Fans. A selection of 3 Calendars! http://www.Queenonline.com $14.99 Each.

New Queen and Freddie Mercury 2021 Calendars are now available in the Official QueenOnline Store.  The Queen calendar also comes as a Collectors Edition Record Sleeve shaped version with a Greatest Hits 2 album cover. $14.99 each.

For fans of Lady GaGa is the fragrance line EAU DE GAGA. Dangerously, audacious, the fragrance was created with Gaga’s visionary fragrance powerhouse, Haus Laboratories, world renowned for innovatively capturing the pure essence of Gaga. As an androgynous scent, Eau de Gaga represents the future of fragrance appealing to both men and women. 

Exclusively available on Amazon. The perfume is $30 per bottle.

Photo by Steven Klein. Eau de Gaga is the second fragrance created by American singer Lady Gaga. The announcement and details of the fragrance were announced on her Haus Laboratories website. The fragrance’s notes include white violet, lime, and leather, and it is marketed as being suitable for both men and women.

Lady Gaga Fame Eau de Parfum Spray for Women, 1 Ounce $139.99

Fame Perfume.

Brand: Jitonrad

AC/DC PWR UP

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PWR UP is the seventeenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC, released on 13 November 2020.
Angus Young – lead guitar
Brian Johnson – lead vocals
Phil Rudd – drums
Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stevie Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Columbia
Sony Music Australia
Producer
Brendan O’Brien

This latest effort from Australia’s legendary hard rock group is perhaps their best work since 1980’s “Back In Black”.

Decades ago, the loss of singer Bon Scott was thought to be their end. All the years in between AC/DC have proven nobody can ever count them out.

There have been solid outings like “Black Ice” and “Rock or Bust” in recent years.

This time round they once again had a lot to prove to themselves as well as fans. Singer Brian Johnson’s future was in doubt on the last tour which was completed by Guns N Roses vocalist/lyricist Axl Rose when he had hearing issues.

This release is the best news ever for any fan of the group. It brings most of the “Back In Black” line-up back together. On the inner sleeve above the band’s famous logo are the words “This One’s For Mal”. Angus’ dearly departed brother co—founded the group. His nephew Stevie now plays in the line-up.

Indeed all 12 tracks on PWR UP are written by Malcolm and Angus Young. I was blown away by the fact that there was not a single track I did not enjoy. The first single “Shot In The Dark” is third in the sequence on side 1.

Then get ready for a scorcher of a set. Perfecting their dirty blues style for over four decades you hear Malcolm Young’s rhythm work on every song.

Brian Johnson has never been better. Achieving gritty eighties style heavy rock that reminds me of “For Those About To Rock” and “Flick of the Switch”.

Opener “Realize” has understated harmonic thrust to get the adrenaline flowing in your ears. And then in perfect sequence each song stands alone as pure electric AC/DC power.

The album is on black vinyl; Yellow vinyl if ordered from the AC/DC online store; a deluxe CD light box that illuminates their logo and plays a portion of “Shot In The Dark” is also available.

This record will make you feel great during these dark times.

The track list:

.“Realize”3:37
2.“Rejection”4:06
3.Shot in the Dark3:06
4.“Through the Mists of Time”3:32
5.“Kick You When You’re Down”3:10
6.“Witch’s Spell”3:42
Realize is the second single released from the album.
No.TitleLength
7.“Demon Fire”3:30
8.“Wild Reputation”2:54
9.“No Man’s Land”3:39
10.“Systems Down”3:12
11.“Money Shot”3:05
12.“Code Red”3:3
Running Time is 41:08

Rock Singles

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The year 2020 will not be fondly remembered for many reasons.

Perhaps the music being released in this fourth quarter can serve as consolation.

Veteran rockers AC/DC; Blue Oyster Cult; Bon Jovi and more recent upstarts Greta Van Fleet; The Struts have new music that may provide uplift and inspiration.

Here are my reviews of these new tunes:

AC/DC PWR/UP Produced by Brendan O’Brien Columbia Records/ November 13, 2020.

AC/DC’s ‘Shot In The Dark’ from their upcoming album, PWR/UP, reminds you why they have been around for decades.

The late Malcolm Young’s rhythm work can be heard throughout the cut.

A variation on the song ‘Giving The Dog A Bone’ from the iconic Back In Black LP, adds to the long line of AC/DC tunes filled to the brim with sexual innuendo.

The first BOC album in nearly 20 years! Frontiers Records/ October 9, 2020

Three singles and videos are featured. The first track, “That Was Me”, is a defiant statement set in a late 1970’s groove. It reminds the listener of BOC’s past glories. After all this group is known for ‘Burnin’ For You’ and ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper ‘. They deserve to attract many young listeners to their fold.

Bon Jovi’s single “Limitless” from the new album, 2020,

This song was released right before Covid-19 hit our shores. A straight forward shot of a bottle rocket to shake our routines at a moment when life seemed to stop.

The new single, ‘My Way, Soon’, is a proper anthem celebrating the freedom of the road. Available on October 9th, 2020.

This track encourages people to take risks, forget plans, and live. The past 3 years saw these young lads travel the world on their first big tour. The video shows their self filmed antics in these difficult times. A great way to cheer up!

Luke Spiller duets with Robbie Williams on The Struts’ “Strange Days”. Interscope Records/ released September 20, 2020

This title song for the band’s new album is about staying grounded during these uncertain days.

Two sublime voices on a cut that makes you feel better about what life should be. Those smaller moments of kindness provide us with a bounty of smiles and joy.

It also asks kids to stop their seeming obsession with online antics and take time to grow, slowly.