Vanity Music Group releases two stellar album today, the debut albums from both STONE LEADERS and WICKED GARDEN.
The multi-national “dark prog” quartet STONE LEADERS was formed when world renowned drummer John Macaluso (ARK, Labyrinth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X, etc) went to Croatia to host a drum clinic and asked for a local band to jam with. The pairing worked out so well that they kept in touch and just a few months later had already begun writing then recording an album.
With their roots in the progressive metal world, the band decided to add a more melodic element to their songs as well as a darker theme lyrically, resulting in what they coined dark prog or groove prog.. As the sticksman explains it, “The songs are more groove oriented than mathematical like most prog metal bands today. We have time changes that are really only there to fit what the lyrics are telling. The music is there to compliment the story that the vocal is relaying. Another thing, the songs aren’t so extended that you don’t remember what the intro of the song was when it ends. They’re medium songs filled with hooks
Las Vegas’s top alternative rock act WICKED GARDEN was formed in 2011 by guitarist Shawn Trojahn simply as an outlet to play some of the favorite tunes of the 90’s, The current line up solidified in 2016 and the quartet began drawing crowds quickly and steadily. They quickly racked up three consecutive “Best Cover Band “awards from Las Vegas Weekly (2016, 2017 and 2018) and headlining slots at the cities hottest clubs. With success on any scale comes backlash and animosity and some locals began “talking,” saying the band couldn’t write their own material. So, they decided to prove them wrong. “It was kind of a ‘We’ll show you!’ situation.” says frontman, Dominick Muzio.
Post Dystopian Leisure Music is a collection of songs inspired the band’s love of alternative rock. The first single, “Already Gone” is a power chord heavy throwback with a catchy chorus that sounds retro yet fresh at the same time. The song features Michael “Doc” Ellis, one of Las Vegas’ top guitarists on lead. “Doc is just a beast. We love the guy and he plays so good he makes you want to cut your fingers off,” Dominick says. Also guesting is Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators bassist, Todd Kerns, who duets with Muzio on Trojahn’s haunting ode to Las Vegas “I-15 South,” “Todd is incredible. We brought him into the studio and he had never heard the song and he just crushed it,” says drummer Jay Dardano. From the grungy stomp of “No Fear” to the punk/pop “Ask Me If I Care” to the almost gothic sounds of “Hey, Bitch” and the gloomy metal sounding “Second Hand”, the band moves in and out of different genres with ease. “There is a little something of everything with us, we all have so many influences that we approach each song from all angles and see what works,” explains Bassist Troy Spriggs.
STONE LEADERS – Stone Leaders: https://amzn.to/304lXBF
WICKED GARDEN – ‘Post Dystopian Leisure Music’ – https://amzn.to/2JizIpg
STONE LEADERS ONLINE: