Music monday recommendations. 28th September

Yesterday we published our first Music Monday, well, our first since having our account wiped clean so we decided to start from scratch.

As always part of our Music Monday is to bring you a lot of music on those days and we started out with ten bands that you might want to check out.

The information will be sourced directly from the band or other locations so that we can be as accurate as possible in what we give you.

We now have iTunes UK and USA links in the list. If you live in another country and wish to support EspyRock, we can supply iTunes links to there also – just leave a comment and I will respond with the link!

Band 1

Band: Ra
Check out the album: From One
iTunes: Ra - From One UK / Ra - From One USA
Amazon (MP3): From One
Amazon (CD): N/A

Ra is an alternative metal band from Los Angeles, California who takes their name from the Egyptian sun god.

Although the band was formed in the mid 90’s, it wasn’t until 2002 when the band released their first major album “From One” that things really took off.

The band had a track “Crazy Little Voice” featured in the 1999 horror movie “Carrie 2” which alone was enough to get the band signed.

Success of “Do You Call My Name” and a quick selling success of the bands EP led to Universal Records, without seeing the band live, offering a two album deal.

“One” EP became “From One” and the band have continued to evolve in their music ever since.

Two studio albums, a live album and notably this year, the B-sides and rarities album have been released!

Band 2

Band: Kicking K8.
Check out the album: Score
iTunes: Kicking K8 - Score UK / Kicking K8 - Score USA
Amazon (MP3): Score
Amazon (CD): Score

Kicking K8 (KK8) was formed in Pacific Beach, Ca (San Diego) in late 2005 by drummer Billy Nychay, bassist Johnny Fingerz, and vocalist Frank Valenti. Guitarists Dustin Thompson and Chuck Bouchette complete the band set up.

Each member of the band came together with different influences which have helped combine to give the band a great edge.

KK8 have already graced the stage with the likes of Disturbed, Shinedown, Staind, Three Days Grace, Seether and Stone Sour.

The band want to become a driving force, they don’t just want to be performing beside the big names in rock, they want to be a big name and their hard work and determination they aren’t going to stop until they are.

Band 3

Band: Element Eighty
Check out the album: Element Eighty
iTunes: Element Eighty - Element Eighty UK / Element Eighty - Element Eighty USA
Amazon (MP3): Element Eighty [Explicit]
Amazon (CD): Element Eighty

Element Eighty formed in 2000 in Texas, and in a period of a year the band already written and recorded their self released debut album “Mercuric”.

In 2003 the band signed with Universal/Republic Records and released their self titled album 6 months after signing.

The band toured with some big names; Sevendust, Mudvayne, 3 Doors Down, Slipknot, Shinedown, Ill Nino, Korn and Mushroomhead.

After the band toured for several months, they could see the label had no interest in promoting the band, and in 2004 they decided to leave, which resulted in 2005 with the release of the bands own label “Texas Cries Records” and their third album “The Bear”.

The band split up in December 2006 but to only reunite in May 2007 and of recently been working on their 4th album, but at the moment recording has slowed due to personal issues.

Band 4

Band: One Degree Difference
Check out the album: Endless Circle of Fear
iTunes: One Degree Difference - Endless Circle of Fear UK / One Degree Difference - Endless Circle of Fear USA
Amazon (MP3): Endless Circle of Fear
Amazon (CD): N/A

One Degree Difference formed in 2003 based in Kansas City.

When the band got together in 2003, they started to write and record for what would be an independent release in 2005 with the album “Sphere of Influence”.

The band signed a record deal which led to the 2008 studio album “Endless Circle of Fear”

The bands website states some of the background to the band members:

  • Singer Steve McAnulla is a web designer who owns his own company and works from home.
  • Jeremiah Barber (founding member of ODD), who has nominated 2 years in a row for best guitarist by Heavy Frequency magazine, aims to broaden his musical horizons and is exploring music with Seeking Surreal.
  • Bassist Wayne Wilkes is a painter, designer and artist.
  • Drummer Ryan Rothmeyer graduated with his degree in music and then went on to teach before performing at Jazz festivals.

Band 5

Band: Walls Of Jericho
Check out the album: The American Dream
iTunes: Walls of Jericho - The American Dream UK / Walls of Jericho - The American Dream USA
Amazon (MP3): The American Dream
Amazon (CD): The American Dream

Metal band Walls of Jericho formed in Detroit in 1998.

The band where formed when two Detroit bands split up, and being friends they quickly formed a new band.

The band then auditioned for a lead singer and accepted Candace Kucsulain.

For the first few months the band would perform with friends playing guitar before eventually asking close friend, Chris Rawson, to join full time.

The band went on to sign a record deal which seen the release of their first album.

In 2001 drummer Wes Keely decided to leave to finish school, and their replacement drummer Derek Grant remained with the band for five months of touring before leaving to join Alkaline Trio.

The band split but after 2 years apart, a new drummer was found and the band recorded their second album.

Again the drummer would leave the band but this time filled quickly by a close friend who has remained with the band since 2004.

The band has since released two studio albums since, most recent in 2008 being “The American Dream”

Band 6

Band: Vanna
Check out the album: A New Hope
iTunes: Vanna - A New Hope UK / Vanna - A New Hope USA
Amazon (MP3): A New Hope
Amazon (CD): A New Hope

Post-hardcore band Vanna formed in 2004 by guitarists Even Pharmakis and Nick Lambert.

The original demos would be recorded in a dorm room using a drum machine before they recruited drummer Brandon Davis, Shawn Marquis and Joe Bragel.

The band released an EP which quickly got them noticed and resulted in signing a record deal with Epitaph Records.

During the recording process of the bands first EP with the label, they would part ways with lead singer Joe Bragel and cover vocals with the existing members of the band.

The band went on to release their debut album “Curses” in April 2007 and toured into 2008 where drummer Brandon would leave the band.

Vanna would go on to release “A New Hope” in May 2009, but due to personal reasons the bands second singer would leave the band but they quickly replaced with Davey Muise who is now fronting the band.

Band 7

Band: Black Water Rising
Check out the album: Black Water Rising
iTunes: Black Water Rising - Black Water Rising UK / Black Water Rising - Black Water Rising USA
Amazon (MP3): Black Water Rising [Explicit]
Amazon (CD): N/A

Black Water Rising is a new self produced outing for Dust to Dust singer Rob Traynor.

For two years Traynor worked relentlessly in his New York recording studio creating what would develop to be Black Water Rising.

He emerged with his new vision for music in which they say that is “not looking to reinvent the wheel, but give it an alignment.”

He is joined by Mike Meselsohn who performed with Nu Metal band Boiler Room, Johnny Fattoruso from Stereomud and Oddie McLaughlin.

The band released their self titled album in 2008 and since then the band has been growing in popularity.

Band 8

Band: Zen Rising
Check out the album: …This Life
iTunes: Zen Rising - This Life UK / Zen Rising - This Life USA
Amazon (MP3): This Life
Amazon (CD): N/A

2007 saw Zen Rising form and within a month had already written and performed live 7 songs.

The band continued to write and perform while they searched for a producer to work with.

When the band found a producer, they took their writings from 2007-2008 and went into the studio to record their first album “…This Life”

Zen Rising say on their MySpace that they have spent two years really getting to know each other, finding each other’s talents as well strengths and weaknesses, so they can pull the best from everyone and deliver in solid rock form.

“…This Life” was released early in 2009.

Band 9

Band: Negative 263
Check out the album: Autumns Winter
iTunes: Negative 263 - Autumns Winter UK / Negative 263 - Autumns Winter USA
Amazon (MP3): Autumns Winter
Amazon (CD): N/A

Negative 263 formed in 2005 by drummer Chris and guitarist Zane.

The band wanted to introduce a real in your face style of metal, which lead to local touring and signing an endorsement with Jagermeister.

In 2006 with the band heading in the direction they wanted to, they brought in Lodi Mitchell to play bass, and with his talent the band pushed forward and performed with Staind, Disturbed, Slipknot, Hatebreed, Shadows Fall and more.

In 2008 the band felt it was time to give their sound and style a refresh and added singer Tony and guitarist Sam to the band to complete their line up.

The band felt with the addition of Tony and Sam, and the revamped style still being in your face but more commercially acceptable that they were prepared for the next stage and released their album in June this year.

Band 10

Band: Halfdown Thomas
Check out the album: Beautifully Strange
iTunes: Halfdown Thomas - Beautifully Strange UK / Halfdown Thomas - Beautifully Strange USA
Amazon (MP3): N/A
Amazon (CD): Beautifully Strange

“Somewhere between Pearl Jam and Nickelback, between Stone Temple Pilots and Breaking Benjamin is where you’ll find HalfDown Thomas’ sound.”

HalfDown Thomas where formed on the verge of the millennium and is a band that proves hard work will pay off.

They started off performing around the usual clubs like every band and eventually the doors opened for the band to share the stage with bands such as 3 Doors Down, Staind, Black Stone Cheery, Evanescence and Fuel.

During the bands rise to being a known name, they have released two full length albums and 3 EPs, with their third full length release being “Beautifully Strange”


About ??

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

One Response to “Music monday recommendations. 28th September”

  1. Ra are awesome! Highly recommended