AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE INTERRUPTERS/IN THE WILD

Los Angeles, California-based punk and ska band The Interrupters’ may have formed in 2011, but lead singer Aimee Interrupter – born Aimee Allen – began her musical journey nearly a decade before that when she began fronting bands in her teens while still living in Montana. Moving to L.A. when she was 18, she immediately fell in with the L.A. music scene. Her band Forum split up after a deal with MCA fell through and a solo deal with Elektra Records resulted in an unreleased album, but she remained focused and didn’t give up. She began to collaborate with several writers and musicians including Linda Perry, Scott Russo (Unwritten Law), Sublime with Rome, Jimmy Cliff, the Mad Caddies, and many others. She also released her debut solo album, A LITTLE HAPPINESS, in 2009. While touring for her solo album, she met guitarist Kevin Bivona and his younger twin brothers Justin (bass) and Jesse (drums).  The three brothers left their band The Telecasters and they joined forces with Aimee as The Interrupters.

The Interrupters signed with Hellcat/Epitaph Records and released their Tim Armstrong-produced self-titled debut album in 2014. The band’s blending of punk and ska – with a touch of Joan Jett-inspired attitude – connected with music fans and The Interrupters were off and running.  After touring the album, the band went back into the studio with Armstrong, who produced their second album SAY IT OUT LOUD. The album was even more successful than their debut, charting at #38 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart. Armstrong manned the controls again for the group’s third album, FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, and The Interrupters’ career trajectory continued to move forward. With the band going from strength to strength, they plotted their biggest tour yet, a trek that would put them in front of more people than ever before. However, the universe had different plans and the COVID-19 pandemic stepped and put the kibosh on everyone’s plans. However, the group refused to remain idle. In 2021, they released the album LIVE IN TOKYO (recorded in 2019), a documentary entitled THIS IS MY FAMILY, and began writing songs for their next album…

While it is rumored that the band spent their free time writing close to 80 songs, they pulled the cream of the crop for their fourth studio album, IN THE WILD, released on August 5, 2022. Working in their own home studio, this is the band’s first album produced by guitarist Kevin Bivona. However, their relationship with longtime friend/producer Tim Armstrong remains intact and he is one of the guest musicians on the album alongside Rhoda Dakar (The Selecter), The Skints, and members of Hepcat. The resulting album is a fun, confident, and relaxed release although the band’s ska/punk power is still present and accounted for. The first single from the album, “In the Mirror,” is the perfect gateway int an album that finds the band at the top of their songwriting powers, offering up a mix of soon-to-be-classic tunes that will thrill longtime fans and open the doors for new fans to come in and explore the musical world of The Interrupters. Other highlights include “Jailbird,” “Anything Was Better,” and “As We Live.” It’s been four years since we heard some new music from this quartet, but IN THE WILD has been worth the wait.

THE INTERRUPTERS

IN THE WILD

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BEACH RATS/RAT BEAT

Calling Beach Rats a supergroup is so not Punk Rock. To be honest, calling them a ‘supergroup’ might even get them a little riled up. However, at the risk of being clobbered, ‘supergroup’ is an apt description of this Punk band formed in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And yes, the very same Asbury Park that gave us The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. While Springsteen isn’t the only artist associated with Asbury Park, he is certainly the most famous. The city has always had a vibrant music scene filled with Rock, R&B, and Soul acts, eventually giving way to everything from Folk and New Wave to Hip Hop and Punk. The Beach Rats are well aware of Asbury Park’s musical legacy, which is not so much a sound as it is a ‘feeling.’ Bands from Asbury Park are not only inspired by each other, they are inspired by Asbury Park itself.

Beach Rats first came together when Bouncing Souls members Bryan Kienlen and Pete Steinkopf had played a show with Lifetime’s Ari Katz at a memorial for the late Dave Franklin (Vision). Enter Danny ‘Dubs’ Windas on drums and the band was nearly complete. The final missing piece in the band arrived when Brian Baker (Bad Religion/Dag Nasty/Minor Threat) moved to Asbury Park and eventually fell in with the rest of the guys and the Beach Rats became a full-fledged powerhouse of a band. Blending all of their Punk and Hardcore roots together, the group began to cause a local stir that soon went national. Everybody wanted to hear and see what these Punk Rock veterans were up to. Thankfully, the wait is over, and the Beach Rats have arrived!

2022’s RAT BEAT is most definitely a Punk Rock album. With a group of musicians still at the top of their game, this is an exciting gut punch of an album. On RAT BEAT, you’re going to hear many shades of Punk and Hardcore on tracks like “Bikes Out,” “Clorox Boys,” “Dress for Sick Sesh,” “Summer’s End,” and “Heavy Conversation.” However, this is not a Pop Punk (or is that Punk Pop?) album at all. There are plenty of melodic hooks throughout the album, but this is not a band anxious to put out an album and hop on board the WARPED Tour train. Beach Rats is fun and energetic, but it is an album that was born from the desire to play music with friends and for friends. Yet, it is no surprise that the end results are now available for all to hear. Count yourselves lucky!

BEACH RATS

RAT BEAT

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: HOUSE OF PAIN/HOUSE OF PAIN (FINE MALT LYRICS/30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION!

One of the most popular and impactful hip-hop releases of 1992  – and quite possibly of the 1990s period – was the debut album by trio House of Pain (Everlast, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal). Entitled HOUSE OF PAIN (FINE MALT LYRICS), the album was an enormous success and featured the hit single “Jump Around.” However, the band’s genesis began a few years before when rapper and songwriter Erik Schrody (better known by his stage name Everlast) released his 1990 solo debut album FOREVER EVERLASTING. While the album wasn’t a huge commercial success, it brought the rapper into public consciousness and laid the steppingstones that led to the success of his next musical project….

After the release of FOREVER EVERLASTING, Everlast joined forces with former high school classmate – and fellow Irish American descendent – Daniel O’Connor (aka Danny Boy) and decided to form a new hip-hop project. Choosing the name House of Pain, the duo brought in Everlast’s former DJ Leor Diamant (aka DJ Lethal) and the line-up was complete. Signing to Tommy Boy Records, Everlast, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal began crafting an album that focused on the Irish American hooligan lifestyle that influenced the group’s members growing up. With a different lyrical angle and a unique spin on their music, House of Pain created a debut album like no other.

Now celebrating its 30th Anniversary, this digitally remastered edition of HOUSE OF PAIN (FINE MALT LYRICS) still sounds fresh and exciting even though hip-hop and rap have gone through many changes in the decades since it’s release. Featuring production by and collaborations with DJ Muggs, Ralph Tha Funky Mexican, Pete Rock, and B-Real, the album features the massive International hit single “Jump Around,” which is still fondly remembered today by legions of hip-hop fans that weren’t even born when the song was high in the charts. The album landed at #14 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and one spot lower on the R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. House of Pain’s debut was embraced by rock and hip-hop fans, and still stands as one of the most influential hip-hop albums of its time. Or maybe of all time.

HOUSE OF PAIN

HOUSE OF PAIN (FINE MALT LYRICS/30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

Available NOW!

ODESZA: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight

STEVE SCHNEE: THE LAST GOODBYE is about to be released. How are you feeling about the album and the reaction to it so far?

HARRISON MILLS & CLAYTON KNIGHT: We’re excited – and relieved that it’s finally going to be out in full for the world to hear. It’s a weird thing but when you make a project and spend so much time pouring yourself into it, it becomes so personal and holds this very specific meaning to you. When you release it, it takes on a whole other life and is communally shared and owned. With most of the album being written during the pandemic we wanted this project to be about communities coming together again. Something people can put on and have a shared experience with. Fans have been so incredibly supportive of it thus far, which we’re so grateful for. We can’t wait to have them hear it in full.

 

STEVE: You collaborate with several artists on the album: Låpsley, Ólafur Arnalds, Julianna Barwick, The Knocks, Bettye LaVette, Izzy Bizu, MARO, and Charlie Houston. When creating music in the studio, do you have a certain ‘voice’ in mind for each song and then pursue an artist to ‘fit’ that idea? Or do you bring in collaborators to ‘add to’ and ‘expand’ upon your initial ideas?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: It’s actually quite the opposite. Yes, we have certain broad ideas at times of how we envision something might sound, but oftentimes, we end up completely reinventing a song when collaborating. We start with a general idea of what we are looking for from a vocalist but like to give each artist the room to explore and push the track in a direction they think is best. As the track progresses and we’ve written more top line ideas we usually go back and redo the entire instrumental around their voice and delivery so that it feels cohesive.

 

STEVE: You’ve always been able to create unique ‘moods’ for songs on your albums, and THE LAST GOODBYE is no different. There are Rock fans out there that still think you can’t wring emotion from computers and electronics, but you prove them wrong. Do the songs come to you from particular emotions, or do you often have to shape the sounds in order to create the unique atmospheres of each track?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: Thank you so much for the kind words. We really are an “album” band – we try to create worlds and thread narratives throughout a cohesive body of work and be as thoughtful as we can in the process. When we are writing all we really have is how we are responding emotionally to a track. We ask ourselves, are we connecting to the track in any way? Is it prompting an emotional response? Are we getting those chills up the back of our necks when listening? If the foundation of the track i.e., the chords and melodies are not supplying this we usually move on. You can dress up a tune with fancy production all you want but if the song itself isn’t moving us it’s time to go back to the drawing board. We also strive to really push boundaries in incorporating different emotions, sounds and influences into the project – so that you can be experiencing this anthemic celebratory tone, but then turn around and be struck by an intimate sense of self-reflection, all within the same breath. The tricky part is taking those vastly different moments and threading them together, to create something that feels like peaks and valleys, but all within the same journey. For us, writing and creating goes hand in hand with the emotional component – they both inform one another, so it’s hard to divorce the two and really discern where the process starts.

 

STEVE: The album’s title track, which is also the first single, features vocals from the legendary Bettye LaVette. And how did you get her involved?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: This is such a special song to us. The song uses a vocal from a song she recorded in the 60s, called “Let Me Down Easy” and we were captivated by it when we first heard it while digging through records. We wanted to bring this lasting, defining voice into a more contemporary, electronic setting. The idea of bringing two worlds together, that at first seem distant, has always been something we’ve been drawn to. It was an absolute honor to be able to work with Bettye’s voice over the course of writing the track – and to get her blessing in doing so. She’s able to convey emotion with her vocal work unlike any other. We got to connect with her during this process (which doesn’t often happen when sampling) and she is such an incredible artist, and person. To date, this has been one of the more fulfilling songs that we’ve had the chance to work on as artists.

 

STEVE: You’ve already released several tracks from the album – “Wide Awake” (with Charlie Houston), “Love Letter” (with The Knocks), “Better Now” (with MARO) and “Behind the Sun” – but do you think that there is a defining track that could serve as a ‘gateway’ to the album for someone not familiar with Odesza?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: This is a tough one because we feel all the music off the record does this in some way. But if we had to choose, we think probably the first (“This Version of You” featuring Julianna Barwick) and last tracks (“Light of Day” featuring Ólafur Arnalds) off the record gives the listener an idea of where we are trying to take them. Both these tracks act as a kind of gateway and a start / bookend to the project.

 

 STEVE: Your live shows are legendary experiences. When you write and record music for the albums, are you already thinking about how the songs will work in a live format? Or are you in a totally different frame of mind in the studio and then later work on adapting those songs into the live performance?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: The live show and the album are basically two different projects. When sitting down and writing for the album we focus mainly on what makes the best listening experience and what we want people to take away from it. Once the album is finished, we then go back and reimagine the entire project in a live setting. We spend months working on different edits and how we can blend them with songs from other records. It’s a fun and tedious project but one that we think really makes the live experience special.

 

STEVE: Speaking of live shows, your tour for THE LAST GOODBYE looks like it will not only be your biggest live undertaking yet, it will also be the first national tour of its kind undertaken by an Electronic act. This isn’t a club tour – you’ll be playing large venues across the US. Did you initially have big plans for the tour or did the itinerary just evolve into this groundbreaking live trek?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: We’re extremely lucky that we’re able to tour at this level – and we really can only thank our fans for that. We’ve been working on this record basically ever since we got off the road from our last tour (which wrapped over three years ago) and in tandem, our team has been planning out different scenarios for how best to approach the return. That said, while you can plot and plan as much as you want, ultimately if it weren’t for the support we’ve seen, we wouldn’t be able to embark on this tour.

 

 STEVE: The album’s title, THE LAST GOODBYE, has some of your fanbase worried. Is this, indeed, the last goodbye for Odesza?

HARRISON & CLAYTON: The title is really open to interpretation – but it’s much more conceptual in basis than literal. This is not the last goodbye for Odesza. We plan on doing much more down the line. Ultimately, the project title poses the question of whether or not there is ever really a last goodbye? We found comfort in the idea that there isn’t and that the ones we love and hold dear are with us even when they may not be physically present. We are echoes of the people that have influenced us throughout our upbringings and we as individuals will always carry their influence with us.

 

Special thanks to Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight

Extra thanks to Steve Dixon and Dave Rayburn

ODESZA

THE LAST GOODBYE

7.22.22

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: FLUME/PALACES

 Award-winning Australian musician, producer, and DJ Harley Streten is better known by his stage name Flume. He began his musical journey at the age of 11 by creating his own music using a DJ/mixing program taken from a CD that was included free in a box of Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Bars. By 2010, he was producing House music under the name HEDS. After receiving online acclaim for the music, he was posting online, he released his debut single as Flume, “Sleepless,” in 2011. Investing in a laptop computer, Flume used it to record his debut album, FLUME, released in 2012. The album was a commercial success, reaching #1 on Australia’s ARIA albums chart. A musical sensation in his homeland, Flume was honored with several awards from the AIR Awards, the APRA Music Awards, and the ARIA Music Awards.

Flume’s second album, SKIN, was released in 2016 and proved to be another enormous success. Another #1 album in Australia, SKIN also hit #1 in New Zealand and invaded the Top 10 in the US, landing at #8 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album was critically lauded and earned him several ARIA Music Awards including Album of the Year, Best Male Artist, Best Dance Release, Best Independent Release, Best Pop Release, Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year, and Best Cover Art. The album was an international success as well and Flume was honored with many nominations and awards in other countries including winning a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album in 2017. While working on his third album, Flume released his first mixtape in 2019. Entitled HI THIS IS FLUME, the Grammy-nominated mixtape served as a stopgap between albums until he was ready to unleash his next musical opus…

Possibly the most anticipated Electronic/Dance album in years, Flume finally unleashes 2022’s PALACES. At the core, the 13 songs on the album contain all the classic elements that made Flume an international superstar in the first place. However, layered on top of those classic sounds, Flume spreads his creative wings and takes the listener on several different musical journeys. On PALACES, he also gets help from some of his musical friends including Damon Albarn, Oklou, MAY-A, KUCKA, Laurel. Virgen Maria, Emma Louise, and Caroline Polacek. Some of the album’s highlights include “Say Nothing” (featuring MAY-A), which has been stream over 23 million times, “Highest Building” (featuring Oklou), and “Escape” (featuring KUCKA). But don’t think for a second that you aren’t going to be in for a treat with the rest of PALACES – this is a Flume journey like no other. It is familiar enough to be comforting but contains many new musical twists that make it exciting and fresh. Come join the adventure.

FLUME

PALACES

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BANKS/SERPENTINA

Southern California-based singer/songwriter and poet Jillian Banks is better known by her stage name Banks. After the releases of her first two acclaimed 2013 EPs – FALL OVER and LONDON – she came to prominence with the release of her debut album, GODDESS, in 2014. An international commercial success, the album reached #12 on the Billboard 200 chart – as well as landing in the Top 20 in many other countries – and spawned the hit single “Beggin for Thread”. Her 2016 sophomore album, THE ALTAR, was also an international hit and included the singles “Fuck with Myself”, “Gemini Feed”, “Mind Games”, and “To the Hill”. After several non-album singles in 2017, Banks returned with her third album – appropriately titled III – in 2019. Another international hit, her third platter included the singles “Gimme,” “Contaminated,” and “Look What You’re Doing To Me” (featuring Francis and the Lights).

With all of this international success, Banks began attracting attention outside of the music industry. She became a muse for fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior and was featured on magazine covers all around the world. While she could be seen sitting in front-row seats at fashion shows, she never turned her back on the music business. In order to promote her albums, she made the rounds on television talk shows in the US and became a formidable live act, appearing at many of the world’s biggest music festivals including Lollapalooza and Coachella. Banks has also offered up several music videos and, while she’s attempted to avoid most aspects of social media, she still has a strong internet fanbase that eagerly awaits her every move.

Banks returns in 2022 with the album SERPENTINA, which includes the previously released singles “The Devil”, “Skinnydipped”, “Holding Back”, “I Still Love You”, “Meteorite”, and “Deadend”. With its blending of Pop, Hip Hop, Soul, and Electronica, SERPINTINA is exactly what you want from a new Banks album… which means it is everything you’d expect and so much more. When making the album, Banks worked with several different producers, songwriters, and musicians – Lido, Tālā, Orlando Higginbottom, Shlohmo, StikMatik, Beat Butcha, Rachel Moulden, etc. – to create an album that was cohesive and commercial yet also experimental and atmospheric. Her first album since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, SERPENTINA feels hopeful but not without its scars. An album that embraces the now without forgetting the past, SERPENTINA will certainly appeal to her dedicated fanbase but may open the doors to those ready and willing to fall for her musical charms.

BANKS

SERPENTINA

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: FLEET FOXES/A VERY LONELY SOLSTICE

Formed in 2006 by Robin Pecknold (lead vocals/guitar), Skyler Skjelset (guitar/mandolin), and Casey Wescott (keyboards/mandolin) alongside rhythm section Bryn Lunsden (soon replaced by Craig Curran) and drummer Nicholas Peterson (replaced by Josh Tillman in 2008), Fleet Foxes’ unique blend of Indie Folk, Chamber Pop, and Americana caught the attention of critics and audiences alike when they began releasing their music via social media (anyone remember MySpace?) shortly after their formation. By the release of their second EP, SUN GIANT (2008), Fleet Foxes had become critical darlings. Later that year, they issued their self-titled album to great acclaim. The release ended up on the top of many critics’ ‘best of’ lists and has since been acknowledged as ‘one of the greatest debut albums of all time.’ Not just an American hit, FLEET FOXES (the album) became an international success as well.

Fleet Foxes released their sophomore album, HELPLESSNESS BLUES, in 2011. Yet another international success, the album hit the Top 10 in the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden while landing at #1 in Norway. However, things weren’t going smoothly behind the scenes and after touring the album, Josh Tillman (who had joined in 2008) left the band in 2012 (later reinventing himself as Father John Misty). Fleet Foxes was then put on hiatus as lead vocalist Robin Pecknold relocated to New York to purse his undergraduate degree at the Columbia University School of General Studies. The group reconvened in 2016 and began work on their third album, CRACK-UP, which was released the following year. The album received universal acclaim from critics as did their 2020 release, SHORE. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit…

With the band being sidelined thanks to lockdowns, Robin Pecknold focused his attention on performing a livestream in Brooklyn’s St. Anne & the Holy Trinity Church. Recorded in December 2020, A VERY LONELY SOLSTICE is the result of that acclaimed live set featuring songs from the SHORE album as well as songs from Fleet Foxes’ back catalog and two cover versions: Nina Simone’s “In the Morning” and a new arrangement of the traditional “Silver Dagger.” Although the show was initially available for streaming, it is finally being released on physical formats (CD and vinyl LP) for the first time. The church acoustics turn the songs into haunting musical prayers (of no denomination) and lift them to new levels. More tender than ever before, songs like “Wading in Waist-High Water,” “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,”, “Helplessness Blues,” and “A Long Way Past the Past” are stripped to their musical core – vocals and guitar – and are rebuilt through emotions and atmosphere. Instead of missing the band and trademark vocalists, you’ll hear these songs in a whole new light. And that just may have been the intention all along.

FLEET FOXES

A VERY LONELY SOLSTICE

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: ARTHUR BROWN/LONG LONG ROAD

Arthur Brown is back! Yes, THAT Arthur Brown. You know, ‘the god of hellfire,’ shock rock pioneer, and all that. If you are one of the few folks out there not familiar with this influential British Rock icon, then let’s turn the clocks back 80 years…

Born in Whitby, England in June 1949, Arthur Brown studied philosophy while attending the University of London, but chose to pursue a musical career instead. After fronting several rock combos in London, he relocated to Paris, France in 1966 to work on his theatrical skills. Moving back to London, he briefly joined the group The Ramong Sound, who would later change their name to The Foundations and score several worldwide hits. However, Arthur Brown had left the group before they changed their name and had already formed his own group, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Combining the theatrical skills he learned in France with the Psychedelic Rock sound that was dominating the British music scene, Arthur’s new group was most certainly made for those times!

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown caught the attention of heavy players on the rock scene, including legendary Who producer Kit Lambert, who manned the controls for their 1968 debut album, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN. Fueled by the success of the single “Fire,” the album, group, and song were hits in the US, UK, and beyond. Sounding unlike anything in the charts at the time thanks to the dominance of Vincent Crane’s Hammond organ, “Fire” was one of the most successful Psychedelic Rock songs of all time. The group recorded a more experimental second album, STRANGELANDS, but the label refused to release it due to its lack of commercial appeal (the album was finally released in 1988). After the group split up, he then formed Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, who released three albums between 1971 and 1973. Arthur then undertook a solo career and released four albums between 1975 and 1982. He also collaborated with many artists, released several compilation albums, and while he never again achieved the success of “Fire,” he has remained an influence on Psychedelic and Progressive Rock ever since.

Recorded prior to his 80th birthday, Arthur Brown returns with the album LONG LONG ROAD. Still as flamboyant and theatrical as ever, Arthur still strikes a menacing chord with his wild outfits and crazed make-up, but it is the music that counts. Still embracing his Psych-Rock roots, Arthur also fills the album with Progressive and Blues influences that have always been part of his repertoire but hidden in the shadows. In fact, LONG LONG ROAD is closer to a Progressive Rock-meets-Blues than you’d expect. The first Prog-leaning half of the album – including the tracks “Gas Tanks,” “Going Down,” and “Once I Had Illusions (Part 1)” – gives way to heavier Blues influences on songs like “I Like Games” and “The Blues and Messing Around”. There are several tracks that break away from Psych, Blues, and Progressive – especially the emotive, mostly acoustic title track – which makes the album completely unpredictable on first spin. And for a guy pushing 80 and still wanting to revisit and experiment with a sound we all fell in love with more than 50 years ago, Arthur Brown deserves your respect. He IS the god of hellfire, you know!

ARTHUR BROWN

LONG LONG ROAD

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: RICK SPRINGFIELD/WORKING CLASS DOG: 40th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL LIVE EDITION

If you only remember Rick Springfield for the hit single “Jessie’s Girl” and his stint as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital in the early ‘80s, you really don’t know Rick Springfield. Born in Australia, he joined rock quartet Zoot – which also featured future Little River Band member Beebs Birtles – in 1969. When the band split, Rick Springfield pursued a solo career, releasing his debut single, “Speak to the Sky”, in October of 1971. The song became a sizable hit in many countries. After recording is debut album, BEGINNINGS, in England, Springfield moved to the US in 1972. Several months later, “Speak to the Sky” became a US hit and for the next 10 years, he released several albums hoping to capture his early solo success. While he maintained a moderate level of success, several attempts to raise his commercial profile failed. However, Rick Springfield refused to give up.

While he had guest starred on many different TV shows – The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, etc. – his breakthrough acting role came in 1981 when he starred as Dr. Noah Drake on the popular daytime soap opera General Hospital. At this point, he had already recorded his WORKING CLASS DOG album but was not expecting the album to be any more successful than his previous albums. Thankfully, he was wrong. Because of his high-profile gig on General Hospital and the glorious Pop sounds of WORKING CLASS DOG, the album was an enormous success, as were the singles ‘Jessie’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything for You”. Although it took over a decade, Rick Springfield became an overnight success. Other hit albums followed including SUCCESS HASN’T SPOILED ME YET (1982), LIVING IN OZ (1983), HARD TO HOLD (soundtrack to his 1984 movie), TAO (1985), and ROCK OF LIFE (1988). After nearly eight years of massive  commercial success, he took a decade long break and then returned to performing and recording with the album KARMA in 1999. He’s continued to release albums, tour, and appear on numerous TV shows since his return to performing 23 years ago.

With the release of 2022’S WORKING CLASS DOG: 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL LIVE EDITION (CD + DVD), Rick Springfield celebrates his career-defining album by revisiting every track on the album in a studio live setting. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, he gathered his bandmates together at his Malibu, California home and performed the album from start to finish as the tapes rolled. The resulting recordings retain the charm of the originals while also adding a reflective layer that could only come from a man looking back at his past. The aforementioned “Jessie’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything for You” are present and accounted for, but so are other gems including the Power Pop classic “Love is Alright Tonite” and other fan favorites such as “Carry Me Away”, “The Light of Love”, and “Hole in My Heart”. Listening to the band charging through these classic Rick Springfield tracks is like hanging out with one of your favorite high school friends 40 years later and remembering all the great things about him/her while also accepting the wonderful person they’ve become. Great music never gets old. WORKING CLASS DOG: 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL LIVE EDITION also includes a bonus DVD that features behind the scenes footage, the full album performed live, plus four extra Rick Springfield hits: “Love Somebody”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “State of the Heart”, and “Affair of the Heart”.

RICK SPRINGFIELD

WORKING CLASS DOG: 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL LIVE EDITION

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: KREATOR/HATE ÜBER ALLES

Formed in Essen, Germany in 1982, Kreator remains one of the most influential Thrash Metal bands of all time. Founded by Miland ‘Mille’ Petrozza (vocals/guitar), Jürgen ‘Ventor’ Reil (drums), and Roberto ‘Rob’ Fioretti (bass), the group would go through many line-up changes over the decades with Mille and Ventor being the only constants throughout Kreator’s history. However, the band’s focus on creating – and reinventing – Thrash Metal has never wavered. With the release of their 1985 debut album, ENDLESS PAIN, the band helped to create the Thrash blueprint and they’ve continued to create some of the most brutal albums of the genre. Alongside Destruction, Sodom, and Tankard, Kreator

While the band had already built up a large following, Kreator came to international prominence with the release of their third album, TERRIBLE CERTAINTY, in 1987. Subsequent albums – EXTREME AGGRESSION (1989) and COMA OF SOULS (1990) – continued their ascension in the Thrash Metal universe. When the Thrash genre saw a commercial decline, so did Kreator. Throughout the 1990s, the band experimented with other Metal styles in order to remain relevant and stay connected with the ever-changing musical landscape. With several line-up changes – including founding member Ventor, who left the group’s line-up for two years – Kreator returned to their Thrash roots with their 2001 album VIOLENT REVOLUTION and fans welcome them back with open arms. Although more line-up changes were in store, Kreator has not only rebuilt their Thrash sound over the last 20 years, they’ve expanded their range and entered the world of Extreme Metal.

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, Kreator returns in 2022 with HATE ÜBER ALLES. This istheir 15th album overall and their first since the enormously successful GODS OF VIOLENCE (2017) – which reached #1 in Germany and the Top 10 in Austria and the Czech Republic. Their most political album to date, the album’s recording sessions were postponed by COVID-19 pandemic. However, the unplanned break seems to have built up the band’s manic energy and rage, making HATE ÜBER ALLES a truly powerful album. The group continues to push the limits of Thrash, blending their early sound with more textures and more intensity. Highlights include the album’s title track, “Become Immortal, and the singles “Midnight Sun” and “Strongest of the Strong,” which features Iranian-born German-Armenian former bodybuilder Patrik Baboumian. HATE ÜBER ALLES is an album that is influenced by the state of the world, and it does not hold back in its brutality. And that is exactly what we were hoping for with a new album from Kreator.

KREATOR

HATE ÜBER ALLES

Available NOW!