I’m always looking for fresh new music to review for this site. I always prefer to pay attention when I write reviews to artists you may not know, but should. I was recently contacted by an Albany, NY rock trio named BISHOP who kindly gave me a press access download to their newest release Hate Wide Open. Formed in 1998, the band describes themselves as a “power trio,” consisting of brothers: Tom Semeraro (Guitars, Lead Vocals), Rocco Semeraro (Drums, Vocals), and Vinny Padula (Bass, Vocals).
Hate Wide Open is a heavy record from start to finish. It punches you in the mouth with crushing drums, thunderous bass, chunky de-tuned chords in the rhythm guitar, and fiery solos in the lead guitar. Every song is a blast of a ton of different working parts that flow like great rock should. Sonically this album reminds of a mix between Helmet, Agnostic Front, and the Stone Temple Pilots. You want head banging? You’ve got it in Hate Wide Open. You want strong musicianship? You’ve got it in Hate Wide Open. You want a message with your heavy rock? You’ve got it in Hate Wide Open.
The album’s thematic material should be understood through the philosophical lens of lead vocalist Tom Semeraro. He states that “we are now witness to the “Hate, Wide, Open” that exists in our world today. We have the power to reverse this trend and move back toward a time of creativity, enlightenment, and human progress. Join together, voice and hand and make a difference.” As long as it is sincere, I am always for message driven music. I tend to hold a pretty cynical view of society, but I describe it as a “cynical idealism” that, given the right circumstances, people can foster social change. Epic music that drives you to feel every note in your bones is made that much better (in this case) with a uniting, observant message.
BISHOP is a band that has clearly honed their craft. They understand each other as one musical unit, never overpowering each other. The result is an aggressive, methodical, and enticing sound. I yearn for rock music to kick my ass, and BISHOP certainly has. I’m glad that these guys got in touch with me, and I am happy to recommend Hate Wide Open. The album can be purchased here (http://www.bishopmusic.com/page/shop-5.html) and I don’t think that fans of straightforward hard rock will be disappointed.
Standout tracks: “Awaken,” “Free Fall,” “Neverland”
BISHOP can be found at: