Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

March 21, 2010

ROB ~ Rise On Belief (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: hard rock
Label: Rising On Belief Productions
Year: 2007
Home: New York City, New York

Members: ROB Hoagland ~ vocals
Ronnie Drayton, Mario Rodriguez ~ guitars
Richie Harrison ~ drums
Mark "Abishai" Brooks ~ bass
Laree Williams, LaJune ~ b. vocals

Glamorous is a word that comes to mind when first hearing the debut from this New York City frontman. The second word is positive message. I might be wrong on both accounts, but it's hard to deny that ROB & his band is aiming for a breakthrough into the mainstream commercial landscape & not eternal garage band status with a highly polished & intricate sound melding hard rock &funk sensibilities with a big city groove. & his songs seem to share a positive message & vibe, even in the choice of the Hendrix cover 'Freedom'. There's enough variety in his songs that it's obvious ROB doesn't want to be pidgeon-holed, albeit, if anything, he wants to be pidgeon-holed as a high energy powerhouse of an artist putting lots of ideas & enthusiasm into his music. I guess that's not too bad of a thing to be pidgeon-holed for! Further, that's probably one of his biggest assets, as at times the band over powers & draws focus away from his singing - which might be more the fault of the mixing - & one starts to wonder how much of the music is reflective of Rob Hoagland & how much is a producer's creation of what he wants ROB to be. Whose ever ideas are in the air, ROB's vocals have such energy you know he's a creative force of his own. Behind his singing out such lyrics as "I am the chosen one, I will fight .... like the sun, I bring the light" is music aiming for a big impact with a chorus & lots of guitar solos & fills. 'The Chosen One' actually reminds me a bit of KISS when they performed with a symphony. Big & bold & at times a little messy. In many ways ROB even has a very New York sound, which is something many might say doesn't exist, compared to a San Francisco, sound, until you hear ROB & know that the sound is big, textured & a little funky & a little raw. It's a mix of cultures like the city, balancing the wall between individuality & group popularity. The only thing missing from this album to make it perfect is legendary New Yorkers funkmaster T.M. Stevens or Joe Lynn Turner on backing vocals. Then it would really be big & bold & at times a little messy. ROB also wears some of his influences on his sleeve. His advertising quotes the Rolling Stones as a strong influence, alongside Kravitz, the Chili Peppers & Hendrix, but as someone whose heard every Rolling Stone album I don't know where they are in ROB's music, but I will say that the Kravitz influence is right with a bit of 80's funk made famous by the Chili's. ROB is one of those musicians who I believe probably sounds better on stage & I wouldn't mind seeing the next time he's in the area, so I can add to this review that what you hear is only part of the story & the flash & polish is as much alive onstage away from a producer's watchful eye.


  1. This is ROB Himself. Thanks for the great review. Its is great to know how much you enjoy my style of ROCK music. If you want to see me perform Live, I will be at Crash Mansion In New York City on Friday May 21 2010 at 12 Midnight. I will be a part of the Emergenza Festival.
    This is going to be a SLAMMING SHOW. ROCK ON!!