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  • HHRR's Top 10 Albums of 2018

    To be frank, in some years, it's tough for us to identify even eight albums worthy of making it to a top 10 list.  Not in 2018!  There were probably a couple of dozen that had legit chances of making it.Lots of awesome music is a good problem to have.  But, alas, a top 10 list won't make much sense if 24 albums make it.  So, after serious debate, mathematical formulas, and both logical and emotional tiebreakers, we give you Helping Hands Rock Reviews Top 10 Albums of 2018!#10.  LoveSICK - Til My Very Last Breath.  Pittsburgh's LoveSICK live up to their name - you see them live once, fall in love with them, and they disappear, leaving you yearning for more.  After another of their disappearing acts, they re-emerged in 2018 with an amazing album in "Til My Very Last Breath."  Let's hope they hang around long enough to kindle our love affair with them well into 2019 and beyond.#9.  Black Veil Brides - Vale. Black Veil Brides never fail to impress with each and every album they create. This album is full of Black Veil Brides' signature sound, and even includes some tracks you may not expect from the group. It is a great album from beginning until end.#8.  Godsmack - When Legends Rise.  Godsmack was perhaps the biggest surprise of the year.  When more mature bands return, they either regurgitate their classic material or they deliver a failed attempt to adapt their sound to current music.  Godsmack did neither, delivering a record that was both convincingly modern as well as incredibly written.  We like to say that, in 2018, Godsmack released a better Shinedown record than Shinedown did.#7.  I Don't Know How But They Found Me - 1981 Extended Play. This album - though only 6 tracks - was one of the most intriguing albums made this year. The band combines modern sounds, with sounds that could have come from 1981. This album is bringing together elements from the past and elements from the future to create a unique sound for the present.#6.  Jizzy Pearl - All You Need is Soul.  Since the heyday of Love/Hate, that band and its members have failed to recreate the vibe of "Black Out In The Red Room," "Wasted In America," or "Let's Rumble."  The releases ranged from pretty good (Jizzy Pearl's "Just A Boy") to godawful (Love/Hate's "Let's Eat").  But good things come to those who wait, and Jizzy delivered an incredible collection of tunes that does Love/Hate's legacy proud with "All You Need is Soul."#5.  Twenty One Pilots - Trench. Twenty One Pilots have led the way in the rock world the past few years with their quirky, yet radio-friendly, pop/rock anthems.  They continue to surf on the bleeding edge of quirkiness and innovation while pumping out sure-to-chart tunes that will form the soundtrack of many high school memories for younger millennials.#4.  Palaye Royale - Boom Boom Room Side B. Palaye Royale is a new band, but they incorporate many eras of style into their music. When listening to this album, you can hear elements of many different styles of music, and it is very clear that they are inspired by many styles of music - just a bit of everything. Each different style plays a different role in making this album as great as it is.#3.  Stryper - God Damn Evil.  Some '80's rockers left their songwriting magic on the drugstore shelf with the Aqua Net.  Not Stryper.  The songs are incredibly and consistently catchy and interesting.  And Michael Sweet's voice keeps this band that's in its fourth decade of releasing music sounding young.#2.  Halestorm - Vicious.  Though it was enjoyed by HHRR's writers, Halestorm's previous release - 2015's "Into The Wildlife" - received lukewarm response from critics and fans alike.  This seemed to galvanize the band to record a bunch of songs that were, well, simply vicious!  While singer Lzzy Hale successfully incorporated modern vocal rhythms to her repertoire on several of the tracks from "Vicious," the return-to-their-roots songs like "Black Vultures," "Killing Ourselves to Live," and "The Silence" appear poised to be timeless classics for this relentless rock foursome.#1.  Yungblud - 21st Century Liability. Yungblud, a young artist from England, has made a huge jump right into the music business this year. His first album, 21st Century Liability, has a powerful message behind extremely catchy and unique beats. The album is full of empowering songs that just make you want to dance. Each and every song on this album has something different to make the album as a whole just amazing. With just one album being only 36 minutes long, Yungblud is already extremely influential on his growing fanbase, and if he continues to make songs like those on 21st Century Liability, he is destined to make an influence on the world. […]

  • Review: Rocktoberfest 2018 Day 1

    The post Review: Rocktoberfest 2018 Day 1 appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Leechburg’s Pink Day 9/15/18

    The post Leechburg’s Pink Day 9/15/18 appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Review: A Concert for Anna 11

    The post Review: A Concert for Anna 11 appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • 2018 Summer Throwdown Fueled by Monster Energy – Country Music and Miles of Trails Add Up to an Amazing Festival!

    The first annual Summer Throwdown at Mines and meadows ATV/RV Resort in Wampum, PA was a huge event of country music!! This family friendly festival had everything you’d expect and so much more, four days might not be enough time to explore it all! While our focus is the music there was so much going... The post 2018 Summer Throwdown Fueled by Monster Energy – Country Music and Miles of Trails Add Up to an Amazing Festival! appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Amber Alexis – Rock for Life 19

    Here is a video from Rock for Life 19’s Friday night line up. This video was taken by their bassist, Garry Simmons. For those of you who are not familiar with the band’s history between us and Amber Alexis,  They used to come to every Pennsylvania Rock Show broadcast and hang out and support the... The post Amber Alexis – Rock for Life 19 appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • skell – Rock for Life 19

    Just over 23 hours ago, Xfactor1 was finishing their set on the Iselin Community Ball field and skell was back stage getting themselves ready to headline the show. As usual, skell came out and provided the people in the field with exactly what they wanted, METAL! This band never ceases to amaze us. We got... The post skell – Rock for Life 19 appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Karlie Righi Benefit

    On Saturday May 5, 2018, John Lane and I made our way out to the Latin American Club in Ford City, PA. Featuring a great line up of local talent and a deserving benefactor. 5:00- Steve n Jen (a common crown) 6:00- Dave Hipchen (Tilted Shadows) 7:00- Ezekiel 8:00- Sundog 9:00- Houseband 10:00- 2KD We... The post Karlie Righi Benefit appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Dieselbeast – Self titled album review

        Dieselbeast is a heavy metal band out of Denton, Tx – and when I say Heavy Metal, this is the unapologetic classic sound of Heavy Metal from the days when sorcery and metal mixed! Chris Morehead has the right kind of vocals to pull off the sound of their self titled CD, that mix of... The post Dieselbeast – Self titled album review appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Victor Gann III

    Often the challenge of instrumental music is that, with a lack of vocals, the music must tell the entire story with feeling rather than images. The musician has to put together their music in a way that will bring their soul to the front of everything they play in order to bring the audience to... The post Victor Gann III appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • HHRR's Top 10 Albums of 2017

    It must have been a great year for music.Here at Helping Hands Rock Reviews headquarters, we had a hard time narrowing our annual best album list down to just 10. In fact, we had to go to a fourth tie-breaker to fill the last two slots! But we did it!  So, without further ado, here are our top 10 albums of 2017!#10.  Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage.  With a throwback sound and a captivating voice, this Pittsburgh-bred rocker proved his music was capable of hanging with the industry's heavyweights in 2017.#9.  Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising.  Combining modern, bone-crushing power with hair metal sensibilities, Santa Cruz commanded attention with a killer release.#8.  Halestorm - Reanimate 3.0.  In what's become a mid-album cycle tradition, Halestorm again surprises and delights with an eclectic and fun collection of cover tunes.#7.  Falling In Reverse - Coming Home.  As irreverent as ever, Falling In Reverse delivers another screaming record that you want to listen to over and over.#6.  Biters - The Future Ain't What It Used To Be.  Resurrecting power pop, Biters have put out some of the catchiest music of the year...or perhaps even the decade.#5.  Fozzy - Judas.  With a title track worth of song-of-the-year accolades, Fozzy - led by wrestling legend, Chris Jericho - reaches new heights.#4.  Ed Sheeran - Divide.  Regarded as a pop star, the red-haired Brit demonstrated that his appeal could be felt far and wide as he became the undisputed king of the singer/songwriter genre.#3.  Butch Walker - Over The Holidays and Under The Influence.  It's kind of rare for a Christmas album to make a top 10 list.  But, as usual, Butch Walker succeeds where others fall short by sharing a loose, fun and creative take on holiday classics.#2.  Art of Dying - Nevermore (Acoustic).  They rock hard and heavy.  But give Art of Dying acoustic guitars and they can craft an emotive performance that broadens their already strong appeal.#1.  Sleeping With Sirens - Gossip.  Groove-laden pop/rock songs with sugary-sweet hooks is not what you'd expect from a band once associated with the post-hardcore and screamo genres.  But Sleeping With Sirens turned down the guitars and laid down radio-friendly beats on an album that features track after track after track of songs that stick in your brain as if they were coated with thick maple syrup.&nbs […]

  • Three Vultures – Rebirth Album Review

        Coming out of Lisbon Ohio, we have the trio three vultures with their new album “Rebirth”. Members Dustin Cutright (Lead vocals/Guitar), Austun Dunnington (Bass/Vocals), and John Lane (Drums/Vocals) have come up with a new way to bring you an old sound. The record is produced in a way that it sounds like a throwback to... The post Three Vultures – Rebirth Album Review appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Music Review – Shattered “Blackout Sessions”

         Shattered, a hard rock band originating in Greensburg, PA, has been rocking the Pittsburgh area since 2006 and they have just released their EP “Blackout Sessions” and their influences of Alice In Chains, Godsmack and the like can be heard all through this release, including in the vocals of Josh Comp. His alto... The post Music Review – Shattered “Blackout Sessions” appeared first on Build the Scene. […]

  • Meet The SuperSharer: Steve C!

    This last week of Share Pittsburgh Music Month, we've been spotlighting our SuperSharers.  SuperSharers are passionate fans of Pittsburgh music who have diligently planned out the music videos they'd be sharing throughout this incredible month and have gone through great lengths to help us track the impact of videos tagged with #SharePGHMusicMonth.So, we're closing out the month by introducing you to the last - but certainly not least - of the SuperSharers.  Actually, saving this guy for last is like saving the grand finale for the end of a fireworks display.  His untiring support for Pittsburgh music has become somewhat legendary.With that said, we're stoked to introduce you to today's SuperSharer, Steve C!Steve is the mastermind behind the Pittsburgh Punk Rock sites on social media, which he started nearly 10 years ago.  You can find Pittsburgh Punk Rock on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat.Why does he love Pittsburgh music and go to such great lengths to promote it?"There is an abundance of talent, venues and bands of all genres right now," Steve says.  "There are very few negative people."Like other SuperSharers, Steve notices the familial vibe in the Pittsburgh music scene.  "The majority of musicians seem to have a mutual respect for their fans and peers," he elaborates.  "There is a great amount of appreciation and admiration for one another.  I want the whole world to know about everything that is happening here!"Here are Steve's three favorite songs that he's shared this month: Thanks Steve! […]

  • Meet The SuperSharer: Don F!

    Today is the next-to-last day of Share Pittsburgh Music Month.  So, this afternoon, we introduce you to our next-to-last SuperSharer.If you've been following along, SuperSharers have made the 2017 edition of #SharePGHMusicMonth that much bigger and better.  They've preplanned the music videos they'd be sharing and provided that list to us.  As a result, we've been able to track the 100,000+ new views that Pittsburgh artists have received in the month!Allow us to introduce you to SuperSharer, Don F.Don is the bass player for Fools Errand and a self-proclaimed lover of all types of music.Why does Don particularly love Pittsburgh music?"Pittsburgh has some great bands that provide many types of music," Don says.  "All the bands that I've come in contact with have some great people involved that are happy to be involved with their fans and friends in other bands."Don's three favorite tunes that he's shared this month are the following: Thanks Don! […]

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