Review: Volcano by Temples (2017)

Here’s an article I wrote for my uni’s newspaper:

I enjoyed Temples’ debut album Sun Structures when it came out three years ago in 2014. It is an album I can listen all the way through and not skip a track, or as I like to call it, a perfect album. It is an album that is pure psychedelia. If you’re like me, a big classic rock fan, you will love this album.

Since listening to Sun Structures, I couldn’t wait to hear more from the band. Temples just released their sophomore album, Volcano, on March 3 and it is well worth the wait.

The band released two singles ahead of time as a teaser for the album, “Certainty” in September 2016 and “Strange or Be Forgotten” in January of this year. The music video for “Certainty” is influenced by Japanese pop music and anime, and it feels like an acid trip. It fits perfect with the sound. It is the opening track of the album and I think it’s a great opener. “Strange or Be Forgotten” is the final track on the album and it has a very 80s dream pop sound to it.

These two singles had a different sound than their previous material. Similar to Australian psychedelic rock band, Tame Impala, their sound evolved into a beautiful combination of synthpop and psychedelic rock, but the band do not forget their psychedelic sound. In an interview with Paste Magazine, singer and guitarist James Bagshaw describes the album as “a result of implementing a load of things we didn’t know about the first time around.”

As a whole, the album has a chill, trippy, dreamy sound to it. It is hard to pick my favourite tracks on the album, but if I had to choose, I would pick the dream like “(I Want to Be Your Mirror),” the beautifully written “Oh the Saviour,” the catchy “Mystery of Pop,” and “Roman Godlike Man” with its combination of 60s pop and 80s synthpop.

The album is beautiful sound and packaging wise. The album has a limited edition on yellow vinyl from Heavenly Recordings or neon orange vinyl from Rough Trade Records for those who pre-ordered very early. The album is also available on beautiful pink tie-dye vinyl as a limited edition from Fat Possum Records.

It is an album that is absolutely worth buying and I give it an A plus. It’s another album that I will add to the perfect albums list.

I am looking forward to seeing Temples in concert in Berlin next month.

Volcano is available on LP, CD, and cassette. You can buy it on the Heavenly Recordings website, Amazon, iTunes, or at a record store near you.


Diss Tracks of the 60s and 70s: Before Hip Hop

Music expresses a lot of emotions. Some happy, some sad, and some angry. If you’ve been reading my blog or following me online for a while, you’ll know that I relate almost everything to classic rock. Recently I’ve been on a bit of a hip hop and rap kick thanks to Hip Hop Family Tree, Straight Outta Compton, and The Get Down. When I was a kid I liked rap, but I took a bit of a break from it for a while and it took me a few years to rediscover the genre and its roots. My brother (a huge hip hop fan) was playing the Ice Cube song “No Vaseline” in the car. What first attracted my attention was the sampling of “Dazz” by Brick, a 70s funk song. But it also got me thinking, did classic rockers have their own diss tracks before they were called diss tracks? Of course! The diss track has existed as long as music has. People express their anger and like to throw jabs at each other in creative ways. I’ve talked about rap and disco and its crossovers in classic rock, but let’s go specific into one topic – diss tracks.

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Sexual Harassment in Rock Bands

Content Warning: This is a post where we will be discussing sexual harassment. I feel this is a necessary discussion to have on this blog because it’s a serious issue. This blog is about social justice issues after all and this isn’t totally unrelated because it’s about a rock band. This is an extra post, one where I comment on current events and social issues more in depth.

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2016: A big year for The Diversity of Classic Rock

2016 is going to be a great year. I’m going to be graduating from university in May, I’m going to travel quite a bit this year, and this blog will just get bigger and better. It will be a milestone because 1966 was 50 years ago and 1976 was 40 years ago so we can celebrate all the amazing singles and albums that came out those years! Who knows, maybe I can blog full time?

I started this blog in March, so it’s not quite a year old yet, but it will be soon! The blog started off strong, but I want it to get even stronger. I want to make the blog better by giving it a domain name and better layout and I want to make The Diversity of Classic Rock more than just a blog. I want to make a video companion. I am an aspiring radio presenter after all and I’m sure those who haven’t heard me on the radio are curious about what I sound like. Well it won’t be a mystery because I have a video up on my Patreon.

So what is Patreon? If you are on Youtube, you might know of people who have one. It’s to help fundraise for what they do online. In my case, it’s more blogging. A lot of information is not available online and some topics I want to cover are going to require a lot more research. It’s like a tip jar. It’s not mandatory and even if you don’t donate, you’ll still be seeing quality blog posts about classic rock, but I really appreciate any donations I get and I want to give back by making this blog even better.

If you’re broke like me there are other ways to help with the blog that don’t involve donating money.

  • Tell your classic rock story. The fans of classic rock are as diverse as the musicians and their influences. Fans are very important because these musicians wouldn’t be where they are without them. Talk about who you are and how you got into classic rock, tell a story about a concert you went to. Tell any interesting classic rock stories within reason. This is not a tell all gossip blog.
  • Help out with a future blog post! I’m writing about European classic rock bands at the moment and it’s just me writing every single post on this blog. If you have knowledge about bands from continental Europe, comment on this post or contact me. Whichever method works! I’m on Facebook and Twitter too! The next post will be about Scandinavian classic rock musicians and I might need a little help with that. Upcoming posts will include: French, Swiss, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, and Eastern European (which includes former USSR countries) classic rock musicians. Other countries I plan to talk about are the UK, Canada, and Australia. And of course I’ll be talking about classic rock in America. Rock and roll was only invented there!
  • And most importantly sharing this blog with your friends! 🙂 Word of mouth and sharing through social media is huge and it does a lot for a small blogger. Support small businesses!

The Patreon video is here:

The link to the Patreon page is here:

As always, thank you for your support!


Happy Halloween!

So Halloween is here and I’ve been looking forward to it. It hasn’t always been like that for me. I thought I had outgrown Halloween when I was 18, but here I am dressing up for Halloween. Of course, I’ll be wearing something classic rock inspired. I’ll be dressed up like Ann Wilson on the Little Queen album cover. It’s a bit tricky to get all the pieces for the costume, but I think I have most of it, but there will be some differences and creative licence. I have a butterfly necklace that I will wear since I don’t have a necklace similar to what she’s wearing and butterfly is a reference to Dog and Butterfly. Let me share with you a little Classic Rock Halloween playlist to get into the spirit! Keep on the lookout for my Halloween costume on my Instagram.

  • “Boris The Spider” – The Who
  • “There’s a Ghost in My House” – R. Dean Taylor
  • “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
  • “Don’t Fear The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Rhiannon” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “Season of the Witch” – Donovan
  • “The White Witch of Rose Hall” – Coven
  • “Welcome to My Nightmare” – Alice Cooper
  • “Ghost Town” – The Specials
  • “Frankenstein” – Edgar Winter Group
  • “Hocus Pocus” – Focus
  • “Sympathy For The Devil” – The Rolling Stones
  • “Wicked Annabella” – The Kinks
  • “Time Warp” – Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • “Black Magic Woman” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “Voodoo Child” (Slight Return) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • “Banshee” – Thin Lizzy
  • “Careful With That Axe Eugene” – Pink Floyd
  • “Witch Hunt” – Rush
  • “Ghost Song” – The Doors

What are your favourite Halloween songs? What is your Halloween costume for this year? Talk about it in the comments section!

Revisiting 1985

As you may already know with your friends not failing to tell you, it was “Back to the Future Day”. In the second movie, Marty McFly travels 30 years into the future to this year 2015, and not only that, but he travelled to Wednesday, 21 October 2015. I can’t believe that 1985 is 30 years ago. I’m already having a hard time believing I’m in my 20s. I always think of the 90s as the last decade, but early 2000s movies that I remember watching as a kid are now celebrating their 10th anniversaries. I was thinking about this all day… Even though my blog posts don’t focus on the 80s, inevitably the decade has made its way into classic rock stations. Heck, even 90s music plays on classic rock stations. As much as I take the piss out of the 80s because of the (mostly) ridiculous fashion choices, it was a pretty neat decade with great movies and MTV actually played music. The music was pretty good too. In honour of 1985 being 30 years ago, let me share with you my 30 favourite songs from 1985, in no particular order. Anyways, hope everyone had a happy Back to the Future Day and hopefully I’ll get some self lacing Nikes and a hoverboard.

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I Love 1976

Now this is a little different from the other Diversity of Classic Rock posts and I’m mixing it up a bit here. The semester is halfway done and that means projects, tests, quizzes left, right, and centre. Just a little tip for the third years, or second years, first years, or those not even in university: While it is easy to slack, don’t slack in fourth year! Make it count! If you have a high GPA, keep up the good work! If you don’t have a high GPA, work hard to raise your GPA.

I’m going to be working on a video editing project that will be part tribute to 1976 and part music video. Picking just one song from 1976 was not an easy task because there’s so many good songs to choose from, but ultimately I picked “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy. A great choice because it gets stuck in your head in a good way, it’s well known because chances are you’ve heard it on a classic rock station, and who doesn’t love dual lead guitars? Also, it reminds me a lot of my time studying abroad in Ireland.

Sadly, I did not live in the 70s, but I’ve heard a lot of stories from my parents about the 70s. My dad was my age, 21, and was in university in his final year, just like me. My mum graduated from secondary school that year. I wore her secondary school class ring to my secondary school graduation, so I’m pretty sure that’s when she graduated. From talking to them, I found out that discos were cool, you gotta have a nice record collection, and that decade was a lot of fun. While the 60s would be my first choice as far as decade to live in, my second choice would easily be the 70s.

The 70s were a great decade in music because of glam rock, prog rock, punk rock, disco, funk, and the mod revival just beginning. 1976 itself was great too. Why is that?

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What’s Going On: August

I apologise for the lack of updating this blog. I really miss writing posts for it, but I want to make my last year of university count and finish strong. A lot has changed in my life since I’ve last updated. I am working, going to school (and getting good marks – hope to graduate with honours), and I’ll be starting an internship next month at a TV station. I just finished the first draft of the final essay for my writing class, and if things go right, this will be the last class I have to take for my major. Any day now the marks from study abroad will show up on my transcript I’ll officially be in 4th year and graduating in May. Waiting for these things is frustrating and takes a lot of patience. You’d think with the technology we have today, it would be a lot faster. Still, studying abroad was the best decision I’ve made. I’m hoping to get a job in radio, television, or journalism.

I just celebrated my 21st birthday and while it wasn’t the most eventful on the day of, I got lots of nice gifts and I had a great meal for my birthday. I got a few records. I got two tickets to go to a comedy show and I love comedy. I got a Whole Foods gift card. Of course I also got birthday money, which I’m saving up for travelling.

I can’t wait to get back to writing. I won’t just be writing for this blog. Once in a while I’ll be writing articles for Rebeat Magazine. Here’s my first article I wrote for them. 

Next blog post will be part 2 of Jewish musicians (US and Canada) and will be a really big post. This will definitely make up for my absence and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the post.

Until next time!

Review of We Will Rock You on Anthem of the Seas

I’m very lucky to have gone on one of Royal Caribbean’s latest ships, less than 2 months old at the time of cruising, The Anthem Of The Seas. This itinerary I went on went to Gijon, Bilbao, Guernsey, and Paris, sailing from Southampton. I’ve been on many cruises in my almost 21 years of being alive. Things have changed a lot in cruising, especially as far as entertainment goes on cruise ships. In lieu of having a different show every day, there are only a handful of shows on a ship and these are more elaborate than the shows from the old days, with better effects. You also can guarantee your place so you won’t miss a show. No need to fight over a seat! There are better venues and better technology and more money can be put towards the production of a show. These new shows on the cruises can be anything from magic shows to musicals. On this cruise the Broadway show was We Will Rock You!, which is a tribute to Queen and has classic rock references galore in the dialogue, perfect for an avid classic rock fan. As well as We Will Rock You! Royal Caribbean has productions of Mamma Mia! and Saturday Night Fever on their other cruise ships.

Continue reading “Review of We Will Rock You on Anthem of the Seas”

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