Posts Tagged ‘media’

Lockets

Sweet Sounds

By Michael Aronovitz

lockets

I have always been a metal-rock guy, as I came to age in the 70’s and always made assessments based on guitar speed and drum tricks. It was a neighborhood hero sort of a deal, where the kid in his garage or basement could sound like the big boys if he got a flying V, plugged into a Marshall, and practiced his scales until he was slick as Skynyrd and his best friend’s kit made thunder like Bonham. From a listening standpoint, it wasn’t about the way the music made us “feel,” but more about making tile. You saw people go down in the forge and practice their asses off so they could play someone’s keg party and be a rocker for the night. It was a blast…a grass-roots spectacle based on manual labor and sweat.

But I also liked the sweet stuff, and I’m not just talking about Gary Wright and Leo Sayer. Queen started out seeming a bit girly and inconsequential, but wound up making the most diverse album in history with A Night at the Opera. Foreigner had pretty backing vocals, but rocked the living shit out of us with “Hot Blooded” and “Long Long Way From Home.” Boston would seem sugary by today’s standards, but no one can deny the crunch and sustain Tom Scholz manufactured with his axe, and even though Kiss helped start metal with Sabbath and the Coop, they did, after all, have a mega-hit with “Beth.”

A lot of popular music gets translated through street poets and rock gods, showboats and master technicians, but another crucial part of the equation is the soul of the listener. Some fans open their hearts by raising their fists and banging their heads, studying the scales and analyzing the breaks, but others want the music to simply consume them. To paint pictures. To make them feel.

I had the opportunity recently to get to know one of the founders of a synth-pop band from Philadelphia called Lockets. His name is Todd Mendelsohn, and he was a student of mine in a continuing education fiction class I teach at The University of the Arts. Todd is a big presence, outgoing, gregarious, and his fiction is bold, atmospheric fantasy horror. When he told me that he had a synth-pop band in which he played all the instruments and programmed the drums, partnering with a female singer (Dani Mari, who by 2015 was replaced by Melissa Ricca, yet to record) I was rather surprised. It didn’t seem to fit. Todd was the life of the party, the guy everyone wanted to sit next to at the bar, the one who told stories in a booming voice that held us spellbound, and the idea that he was the soft-spoken master-magician behind some kind of docile mood music seemed hysterical.

Still, I listened to the Camera Shy album and the Surrender EP, and was astounded, not only by the depth of the production and the breadth of the instrumentation, but also the way it affected me through emotional channels I wasn’t used to acknowledging. I tied to rebel. I tried to analyze the rhythm tracks, the guitar layering, the vocals, the breaks. And while the execution of all of the above would be appreciated on anybody’s stat sheet, the music finally didn’t filter in that way.

It painted pictures. Beautiful ones.

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When I listened to Camera Shy, I was initially reminded of The Cranberries, but that faded by the 3rd track titled “Violet.” The counterpoint of the building guitar and the immediate presence of the harmony vocal merged with the idea that I started seeing myself in my mind’s eye on a beach. There were waves and a sunset, warm breezes and memories. By the time I got to track #6, “Crush,” the beach had gone abstract to colors, and “Winter Light” made me smile.

“He changed the season,” I thought. “Clever.” I suppose a criticism of synth-pop in general might be the idea that the music has a linear construction as opposed to a climactic one, but what Lockets kept consistent in terms of instrumentation, they made sure to broaden with theme. The album has a “spreading” effect if you will, not only growing on you, but growing with you, supplying oils and brushes for your evolving inner mural.

The EP Surrender is brilliant. Concluded with two rather dark (and odd) remixes of the title track, the Lockets version is mesmerizing. It contains a phenomenal arrangement of keys and drums, and the harmonies are simply outstanding. The second track, Girl, is more upbeat, and demonstrates a subtle diversity, especially in the instrumentation and sound effects in the spaces.

Most of all, however, all of the music paints pictures. They don’t hang on walls, and they don’t prance around the stage.

The pictures are in your own head.

And they are aesthetic masterpieces.

 

Link for Vinyl version of Camera Shy / UK

https://beautifulstrange.bandcamp.com/album/camera-shy

Buy link for digital copies

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lockets/id548765294

Michael Aronovitz is a horror author who has published three novels, two collections, more than thirty short stories, and a number of horror and metal reviews. His first novel “Alice Walks” will come out in E-book form through Cemetery Dance Publications this summer. His latest novel “Phantom Effect” can be seen on Amazon here: http://tinyurl.com/jcg59wo

Serious commentary on horror and how it relates to new bands that matter.

Twelve Noon

The Faces We See In Our Shattered Reflections
By Michael Aronovitz

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            I have constructed what is now an ongoing proposal that Eclipse Records is not just a “Deathcore” label, or even one that merely produces and distributes “New Metal.” That would be the definition of a conduit, and Eclipse is more like a canvas. Though I would admit that bands like Our Last Enemy, Saint Diablo, Cold Snap, A Breach of Silence, Despite, and Mindshift share the common signature of tight and razor sharp rhythm sections, it is clear that each project brings something new to the table, something altogether unique, and above all, multi-dimensional. Being that I was a professional metal club musician in the 80’s and currently teach English rhetoric at the college level, my standards for “multi-dimensional appeal” are not limited to tight rhythm sections, spectacular lead platform solos, and daring vocals, though I treasure the manner by which they are delivered by the extraordinary musicians currently recording under the Eclipse umbrella. I am additionally searching for metaphor, for dramatic precision, and a distinct literary thread that the given band would weave into the broadcloth of art and humanity, and Eclipse bands are consistent in their ability to live and breathe in both worlds, something I find magnificent.

To briefly digress, I see Our Last Enemy as interpreters of a modern day Renaissance similar to the way that Saint Diablo reinvents the lens of psycho-religiosity and spiritual awareness. Cold Snap cleverly articulates the paradox of media influence and conservative brutality, as much as A Breach of Silence offers a profound pathway to the human spirit, architected on the poetic level of a Whitman or Frost.

If you will allow a second digression, this brings me to the work of the greatest American author on record, the ground-breaking inventor of Modernism, Ernest Hemingway, and it is more than clear that Eclipse Records has made it a subtle yet powerful mission to provide us a number of bold innovators who would create aesthetic masterpieces reanimating and therefore redefining the influence of Hemingway’s dark, poetic vision. The band Despite explodes with the violence and glorified spectacle that Hemingway portrayed in his war scenes just as much as Mindshift illustrates a brilliant portrait reminiscent of Hemingway’s cold manifestations of boyhood dreams, biting realities, and harsh rites of passage. In terms of Ernest Hemingway’s fascination with the ebbs and flows of bodies of water, and more specifically the distorted reflections we might stare into during our given searches for identity, I have not seen a more striking modern example than the single, No Way Out, by one of Eclipse’s newest bands called Twelve Noon.

First off, these guys can play. Before getting into the literary comparisons, I come from a primary position of loving rock for the sake of rock, and while the press on this project says that they are “An American Alternative Metal Band” I want to make the broader statement here that regardless of “brand” or “label” or “genre,” this particular group is a rocker’s dream. If you grew up on The Who and graduated to Sound Garden (rest Chris Cornell’s soul), you’re going to love Michael Loew’s vocal. If you were raised listening to Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and found God in Van Halen, you’re going to dig Rob Heil’s guitar work. If you were one of the ones like me, who not only got off on Angus Young, but fucking LOVED his brother Malcolm’s chops, you’re going to want a tee shirt that says John Devlin on it, and if you could never get enough of Sabbath’s rhythm section, or Zeppelin’s or Purple’s for that matter, you are going to get hooked on watching Tim Clark work his bass in and out of Justin Runkel’s clever drum work all through the No Way Out video. Again and again and again.

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            I do not mean to infer that Twelve Noon is “throwback.” In fact, they are incredibly fresh, demonstrating the more current growl vocals and hummingbird sixteenth double bass drum licks all the modern deathcore and more commercial metal guys are throwing out there, almost like benchmarks, like a line in the sand, claiming, “Are you good enough to do these? Well, you’d fucking better be.”

            The difference is that Twelve Noon uses these standards and other “metal tropes” if you will, not for the purpose of checking off boxes or making grades. They use the various techniques where they are appropriate, where they come as surprises, always themed in a pattern that plays into the idea that it was constructed for the greater good of the song. Twelve Noon is a team. They come off as a band, not a bunch of free agents, and that is their primary appeal once you take in how damned good they are in their given roles.

The funny thing is that their image is a strange one, weird optics, and if one looks at them without hearing the music it might seem that they come from different parts of the world. Loew has perfect short hair and that perfect cowboy jaw, like a Hollywood star wearing sunglasses, while Clark and Runkel look like they work for Harley Davidson. Devlin could live next door to you, while Heil is your partner in fantasy football and the clean-up hitter on your softball team. But the real funny thing (funny-ironic) is that it is clear they were born to play together, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how well they mesh once the song starts. Moreover, the track is a hit, and you don’t have to have a bunch of tunes from Octane to compare it to. Sometimes you just know. Twelve Noon makes it easy.

It is clear the band musically follows the vision of guitar extraordinaire Rob Heil. I have watched the video eleven times today, and come away from each performance in its entirety with a feeling of absolute joy. I think it’s the idea that he has that rare ability not only to help engineer a smash single, but float in and out of it through a kaleidoscope of techniques that are as diverse from each other as they are holistically true to the general theme. There is a finger picking intro, tasteful as hell, gripping at your heartstrings the way old time songs bring you back to some specific moment in your past that you measured yourself by. Effortlessly, that becomes a riff, into a call-to-arms lead, into a quickie-run, into the hard picking that backs the verse, into the tapping in the themed bridge during the growl vocal, into the speed-metal riff, into the half-chord lead mixture supporting the catchy chorus. Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better after verse and chorus number two respectively, there is the power chord transition where Runkel does his entertaining cross-cymbal crashes, the slow down to the uplifting wake-me-up-with-the-sunrise strumming (two measures), then the pull-off lead, the melodic chunk-a-chunk, the acrobatic lead, and back to the chorus of the decade.

Hell. If I was a guitar instructor, this song would be my demonstration for the parents at the spring festival showing that I was worthy. Like everyone, I have seen and heard those song/videos where the guitar player is just showing off tricks (The Freebird Syndrome…even though I still love that song), and this is not one of those ego-filled demonstrations. It is one of the most beautifully textured and engineered backbones to a song that I have ever seen. And the Van Halen bird-chirp tapping (really introduced in 1932 on the ukulele by Roy Smeck) is delivered with such a specific Heil appeal, that we can do nothing but smile right along with him and give a nod to the allusion.

Musically, there are other areas in here that add to the “wow” factor of Twelve Noon. While Loew is the stud on vocals, managing a broad range of tapestries and personalities, Clark is exceptional in his doubling work, playing it rough or tonal depending on the echo that best flavors the phrase. And Runkel reminds me of a very, very tight evolution of Deep Purple’s Ian Paice, hard and everything metal, but smooth on the fills like fine silk.

On literary grounds, this band is all about growth and hard rites of passage, the theme of Hemingway’s debut, In Our Time. In his collection of short stories, we are given a variety of tales and scenarios of attempted bravery by those too young to address the given circumstances. It is no small coincidence that lyrics in No Way Out mirror these things, with exclamations such as, “Here’s my anthem from the time I was young,” and “A change inside me ignites,” moving to “Turn the tables on the things I have done.” All this reflects tests of youth and the following transition to adulthood, and Hemingway fans will literally sit back with a satisfied smile when they hear, “Fighting the bull now. And grab it by the horns,” as the central vignettes in the book In Our Time are all about bull fighters, and whether they face their deaths bravely.

Instead of grabbing them by the horns, however, Hemingway has his performers get it “through his sword hand” and “through the belly” (83), and after the trials and tribulations in the bull ring, metaphorical and literal, Hemingway has his non-bull-fighting lead character (Nick Adams) healing his own sorts of wounds at the Big Two-Hearted River, looking in the rushing water at his distorted reflection trying to figure out who he is and how he got there. The most striking part of this comparison between art forms and generations, however, remains both audible and visual, as Loew tries to “Re-enable what I have become,” only reversing it into the question, “Re-enable what have I become?” sharing the idea with Hemingway that we spend much of our time in a state of “static odyssey,” standing in place while we sort through our shattered self-images. Why else would Twelve Noon use the otherwise random effect of having the camera filming the band intermittently “shake” as if something was just dropped into river-water, creating this disturbed liquid mirror?

Twelve Noon is a worthwhile, legitimate, and talented rock band performing on a label with an established reputation for precision and excellence, statement and metaphor. No Way Out is a part of the canvas, an important thread in the broadcloth, a rich aesthetic, a guitar player’s golden template. But mostly, it works. Mostly, it moves us, and altogether, when everything is all said and done, it’s simply just one great fucking rock song.

Click here to see the official video for No Way Out.

This review is in anticipation of Twelve Noon’s album – Saints and Sinners, to be released in the Summer of 2017.

Michael Aronovitz is a college professor of English. He was a professional metal musician in the 1980’s and currently writes horror fiction. He has a story called “Breath” coming soon in a Hippocampus anthology titled Nemesis, and another short story titled “The One Armed Brakeman” to appear in S.T. Joshi’s upcoming anthology Apostles of the Weird. Aronovitz is the author of the novels Alice Walks and Phantom Effect.

Serious commentary on horror and how it relates to new bands that matter

To Taunt, To Tempt, and To Never be Tamed

Phoebe Pinnock and Heaven the Axe

By Michael Aronovitz

The literary perception we have of the “willful woman,” or more currently, the “bad girl,” has never been quite fully realized, not in a sense we would consider holistic or real. It is possible that this phenomenon exists because men have always dominated the literary world as well as the mass media. Consequently, women as characters have been historically pigeon-holed as abused and subservient as most of us observe in our earliest contact with literature, most notably the Disney versions of European fairy tales popularized in 1812 by The Brothers Grimm (Rapunzel is trapped in a tower, Snow White is poisoned, and Cinderella is surrounded by abusive relatives). This tradition has been mirrored throughout the various movements century to century, and modernized by the “Scream Queen” of horror films, falling down for no reason, dropping the knife, and volunteering to go out to the woodshed for a beer when the maniac with the burlap bag over his head is waiting for her with a butcher knife in one hand and a Mineral Mountain Battle Hatchet in the other.

Phoebe4sm William James

This is not to say that the rebellious female as a literary prototype has not been given a preliminary sort of pattern and contour. In 441 B.C. Antigone openly defied her uncle Creon by demanding her brother be buried rather than left out and devoured by carrion. In 1400, Chaucer gave us The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales, she who took her fifth husband to task by punching him in the face for reading out of a book about “wicked wives.” In 1590, William Shakespeare offered us a vision of the sexual shrew: impatient, waspish, sullen, and sour, and a few centuries later our “agonist” female heroines defied the odds and braved the cold world on their own in the name of independence and spirituality.

Still, Antigone hung herself in a cave. The Wife of Bath’s husband Jankyn responded to her arrogance by hitting her so hard in the head she became deaf in one ear. Katherina the “shrew’ wound up kneeling before Petruchio and holding his foot submissively, just as the agonist heroines inevitably latched onto older, fatherly figures because they could not make it on their own.

And so the rebel-girl never got very far, at least not in books written before 1900.

 

Yet even in the modern era with the dawn of technology and “liberation,” women of potential strength wound up flawed, almost in a weakened, flickering sister-image of the classic male heroes of yesteryear. In 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald created Daisy Buchanan, beautiful yes, but also flighty, annoying, and irresponsible when it came to looking after her child. In that same year Anita Loos teased us with Lorelei Lee (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), laughing and sleeping her way up the ladder like a “professional girl,” yet many critics and readers saw this as the poster-piece for masculine privilege, architecting the social design that would make feministic presence a soulless one, synonymous with exchange and commodity. Of course, Hemingway tried to combat all this in 1926 with Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises, she who knocked back whiskey with the boys, but she came off more masculine than feminine, and it was almost as if the blueprint for the female persona got lost in the translation through the ages even though the artists kept coming back to the canvas with the best of intentions.

Modern film makers have made their own sort of stab at investing in more exciting portrayals of strong, assertive woman, but in shedding the sheepskin they all too often soared into hyperbole, yielding a wide playing field of one dimensional cardboard cutouts. In 1981, Faye Dunaway showed us cruelty personified in Mommie Dearest. 1987 was when Glenn Close demonstrated just how unappetizing sex could become in Fatal Attraction, and all the assassins in the Kill Bill series (weird skinny Uma aside) wound up too maimed (scalped, blinded, and subjected to amputation) to think of as anything but corpses or cripples. Of course, there was Cat Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer / Halle Berry) but that character, after all, is a cartoon. The “Mean Girls” were parodies, and the witchy young women in The Craft only found empowerment through magic that inevitably failed them.

This brings up the question of whether it is possible for a woman with a backbone to come forward in the entertainment field without being a caricature of someone else’s outline of an archetype. It seems that rock music has offered an avenue of sorts that certain women have decided to travel down in an effort to at least shed a few of the aforementioned stereotypes, like Ann Wilson, Joan Jett, and others like them that I have mentioned in prior reviews, yet it so often seems that being “different” (or female) comes with a damaging price. Pat Benatar with her short, boyish hair (throwback to Hemingway) admitted that her lover was the “invincible winner” and Cindi Lauper, while “having fun,” did it in those weird boots and grandma dresses that inevitably made her so easy to laugh off and dismiss. And of course, there have been those countless others, bitching about their hearts aching or eclipsing or breaking in two, and while that is appealing in that we’ve blandly accepted it as a sort of common nostalgic emblem, more specifically, it is the nineteenth century all over again: Miss Poor-Poor-Pitiful-Me looking for her sugar daddy to take her away from all this.

Phoebe 3smMatt Allen, Silk Imagery

On the other hand, it seems that lately in terms of female fronted rock bands, there have been flashes and starts along the landscape, stutter-shocks of lightening illuminating a fresh canvas where emotional poetry and raw talent are allowed to dance with attitude and sexuality in a manner that not only pleases the observer, but fills him or her with a feeling of absolute joy.

To the point, one simply cannot watch a Heaven the Axe video without feeling a rush of elation. First off, the instrumentation is extraordinarily powerful in terms of presentation, dexterity, and stylistic diversity. Vocals aside for the moment, the various musicians provide their fans satisfying, innovative rhythm tracks and syncopated changes and progressions that would please those looking for a hard pop feel (Enemy), elements of legit in-your-face Industrial Metal (Good Things Come to Those Who Hate), and the type of addictive power-hook we grew up on with Motley Crue and Judas Priest, brilliantly redefined with what one might now call the “Heaven the Axe” commercial signature (Bogan Hunters Anthem).

In terms of being “tight” I would argue that the bass and percussion tracks in all three aforementioned compositions provide a backbone that is so powerful and intricate, it rings similar to that point in writing a novel where you hit the climax and every word, phrase, and sentence is on fire. Moreover, the guitar playing overall is stellar, complex, unabashed, and creative. And before I leave this particular thread behind, I do have to give a hats off and a nod to Heaven the Axe for offering the viewer the specific section in “Good Things Come to Those Who Hate” where the camera closes in on the fingers playing the lead guitar track. For years I have been frustrated when that particular spot in a song comes up and the producers opt for showing the drummer twirling his sticks, or fans screaming and weeping, or the other players wind-milling their arms at the same time. It’s called “lead” for a reason, and I must offer kudos to the band for getting it right.

But if we are going to discuss the concept of taking the proverbial lead, grabbing the spotlight, and mesmerizing the viewer and listener, one must recognize singer / front person Phoebe Pinnock, and here, I am making the argument that she should not just be considered a front runner in current pop culture, but an agent of historical change and more universal significance.

Plainly, once you see a Heaven the Axe video, you cannot get Phoebe Pinnock out of your head. I know I can’t. And I am not necessarily talking about beauty. (Yes, she’s beautiful). I am not specifically talking about sensuality either. (Yes, she’s sexy). Moreover, I am not altogether talking about vocal ability. (Yes, she’s extraordinarily talented). I am talking about presence and attitude. I am referring to the way she approaches the microphone with the confidence of a lioness and rips through a vocal in a way that reinvents the genre, changing the game, reanimating the way we look at aesthetics altogether starting with those old fucking fairy tales she makes us want to rip to shreds and throw into the bonfire.

Phoebe Pinnock is not just a “bad girl.”

She is a nuclear explosion.

And the thing that is so very striking about this performer is the idea that she embodies a sort of rebellion that is accompanied by a smile, sometimes warm, often crafty, always letting you feel somehow that you can be in on it with her, even when she is tearing down the very walls around you with a vocal tinged with that devastating, high register death growl. Concurrently, we must consider Pinnock’s musical diversity, in that she can also sing traditionally and with memorable heart rending potency, as evidenced in songs like “Enemy” and “Bogan Hunters Anthem.”

In specific reference to “Enemy,” there is an immediate connection with Phoebe Pinnock when the song kicks in after the brief courtroom (story) footage. In what seems to be a Heaven the Axe trademark of sorts, she fills the camera with a sudden and erotic burst of her vocal in close-up. The first note she holds is stunning, and while one could so easily get caught up in the striking visual component she offers, (the unbridled blonde hair and pouting lips, my GOODNESS), the most compelling aspect of the performance is in the subtle, yet rather sophisticated vocal line that explores range and harmony in a manner both surprising and pleasing, creating before our very ears the hooks we were always searching for, but were not quite articulate enough to realize (until Pinnock sang them for us, of course).

Phoebe 2smChucky’s Photography

Then we have (at least in my paradigm) the gargantuan centerpiece – “Good Things Come to Those Who Hate,” as wonderful a display of symbol and anger I can recall in a rock song. With the opening chords, we see inter-spliced mid shots of Pinnock with that hallmark look of mischief, yet she is wearing what appears to be some strange set of Catholic School garb, part black and embroidered with a conservative white collar. She has put that unruly blonde hair into pig-tails, but her bangs, coming down to the chin, act as a veil, only partially covering her disillusionment, that which has come of age, ready to burst into emotional flames. While there are certainly religious overtones to the piece emblematic of more spiritual and therefore global historical fallacy, the most striking part of the vocal emerges when she initiates a more personal “conversation” by claiming “I’ve drank the blood of my innocence,” followed later in the piece with, “In retrospect you never earned your stripes as friend.” In this, Pinnock shows us a terrific awakening which is only accomplished by devouring the prior naiveté of the self, and then recognizing one’s social network as nothing more than a web of apathetic pseudo-psychology. She has been betrayed transcendentally and interactively, societally and most privately, in the heart, the mind, and the marrow. No wonder she’s pissed, and it feels oh-so-good to join into it with her.

Speaking of which, there is no party I would rather attend than the outdoor bash going on in the “Bogan Hunters Anthem” video. In this, Pinnock still wears the girlish pigtails, but now has on military clothing, more poetic antithesis, as she delivers that wonderful, full throated vocal amidst what looks like some raucous and glorious carnival of drunken insanity. There is plenty of footage from what I would imagine is the Australian television show the song is used for (congrats on that!) including women flashing their breasts, men streaking, cars tearing smoking donuts onto the asphalt, and bikini-clad females mud wrestling. In a fashion one comes to expect from a sophisticated project like this, there is a huge change of rhythm in the song three quarters of the way through (going to halves when Pinnock cues us a few times with the warning, “They’re coming”) that which is refreshingly dramatic, and one simply cannot watch this video without wanting to get up and scream. And dance. And above all, celebrate.

phoebeAnthony Pinder

Phoebe Pinnock somehow gets in your blood, in your veins. Included in the body of this review is the picture I found of her on line in those pig-tails, grinning and giving the finger with her long bangs hanging in her face. I would argue that this image in itself is somehow definitive and iconic. I wish I could support this with better phraseology, but plainly, I have never felt so uplifted and ecstatic getting flipped off, and this is finally the point. Ms. Pinnock approaches her aesthetic from what seems an endless number of visual and auditory perspectives and trigger-points, and somehow works the game in a perfect sort of irony (the sharpest tool of the artist and critic). She is the bad girl who gets straight A’s in school, the one that gives you sass but lets you into her world, the one your mother hates and your crazy aunt adores, the one who is tough as nails yet offers you everything.

Phoebe Pinnock is not just shredding fairy tales.

She’s rewriting the story chapter and verse.

 

Michael Aronovitz is a published author of horror fiction: Seven Deadly Pleasures (collection) Hippocampus Press, 2009 Alice Walks (novel) Hard Cover – Centipede Press, 2013, Paperback / Dark Renaissance Press, 2014 The Voices in Our Heads (collection) Horrified Press, 2014 The Witch of the Wood (novel) Hippocampus Press, 2015

Aronovitz has always loved hard rock music, and fronted a heavy metal band that played Philadelphia and New Jersey clubs in the mid 80’s. Currently he is a Professor of English and lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. His latest novel titled Phantom Effect has a release date of February 2nd, 2016 through Night Shade Books.