Are the 1992 Doc Martens and flannel shirts that are stuffed in the back of your closet whispering sweet nothings to you whenever you open the door? If so, the Black Clouds are a necessity in your life. The New Jersey band has been kicking around since 2004, taking DIY to a whole new level by recording, producing, releasing, and touring for their albums on their own. What’s more, the Black Clouds have managed to do what literally hundreds of bands attempt to do but fail at miserably – revive grunge from its heroin-induced coma.
Sometimes a band can exist under the radar for years without people outside of their area knowing about them. One such band that has put in their time but have yet to break out to national praise is the Iowa folk-rock band The Nadas. The four musicians who make up today's version of the band are singers/guitarists Mike Butterworth and Jason Walsmith, bassist Brian Duffey, and drummer Brandon Stone. The Des Moines-based band has been around long enough to create eight full-length releases with the last album, Alamanac, having been released in 2010. After a three-year break, the band has just released a new album called Lovejoy Revival.
Lovejoy Revival starts with the track "Star Crossed". The a’cappella vocals at the very beginning of the track lead themselves into a track that features music that is part rock music and part folk. The combination creates a song that has a very catchy, commercial sound while still having a bit of an alternative rock feel.
Toronto’s Grant Lyle has long been making his mark on the Canadian music scene with his authentic version of acoustic blues. With already seven albums under his belt, Lyle has become one of the few ambassadors for classic rock in the digital age of music. His latest release, So There, employs a refreshingly classic sound that is complemented by his breezy and sing-along lyrics.
So There is straight up, no nonsense rock and roll, rooted in a sound of blues rock that is reminiscent of the styles of Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. With his world-weary vocals, perfect guitar picking, and bluesy melodies, Lyle’s style is so faithful to the blues rock blueprint that the album sounds as though it was recorded in the studio next to Clapton while he was recording Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with Derek and the Dominos.
The album opens with the sticky reverb and spacey vibrations of “Impressions,” a three minute atmospheric instrumental that sets the stage for the rest of the blues tunes to come. The first song on So There is “Let It Out,” which can easily be mistaken for a Clapton cover.
Lyle has been in the music game for a long time, and his experience with production and songwriting is apparent on the album. Making sure not to pigeonhole himself into one category, Lyle builds on his standard of blues rock by branching out and taking elements from other genres to make his own distinct sound.
Do you ever find yourself to be intrigued by the name of a band or more to the point, how that name got to be chosen in first place? One band who formed in the late sixties and have been a major international name in the music world ever since. Not only have Black Sabbath created such a plethora of genre bending and shaping music, but they have also got one of the most memorable and striking band names in the history of Rock music. The first name which the band created by Iommi/Ward/Butler/Osbourne was called Rare Breed.
Chicago-based Safe Haven started when lead guitarist Patrick Lyons got together with drummer Tony Tabor. And while the two musicians created yet another drum and guitar duo to add to the number of musical duos that have formed since the success of The Black Keys, Safe Haven is so much more as they draw upon the talents of other musicians to help flesh out their sound. When other two-member bands have a hollow sound to their music because of the lack of other musicians, Safe Haven is a musical outfit that has plenty of body to their music.
Take Me to the Pilot is a rock band that takes their sound from bands like Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard and All Time Low. The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based band is Mike Bilenki – Vocals/ Guitar, Eric Grabowecky – Guitar, Adam Brown – Bass/ Vocals and Jonathan James – Drums. Having already released a self-titled album back in 2010, the band has returned with a new release is currently promoting their 2012 album entitled What Makes You.
What Makes You from Take Me to the Pilot begins with the track “Baby, We’re Gonna Be Rich”. The pop-rock feel to the song would fit well with today’s Top 40 radio formats. The song about having fun while you have the opportunity has the type of fun, lightheartedness that many people can identify with. Sometimes, it’s good to live with reckless abandon and this would be the song to have on your radio when you’re having that fun night out on the town.
…even after watching Louise Palanker’s absolutely riveting Family Band documentary:
· Susan Claire Cowsill is the youngest human being ever to score a genuine Billboard Top Ten hit.
· John Patrick Cowsill, still the youngest male of the original family band, retains fond memories indeed of drumming four sets a night inside Rhode Island bars and wine cellars as a seven-and-a-half-year-old (“I remember the cops coming and shutting it down. We needed to get special permission from the mayor”).
· A detailed survey of “16” Magazines between January of 1968 and March of 1971 reveals John appeared on the cover the most times – 12, compared with Barry (9), Paul and Susan (tied at 6 apiece) and Bob with only one.
“On the evening of February 1st, 2013 at the Beachland Ballroom, 169 musicians were drawn from all reaches of Cleveland’s vibrant music scene and drafted into 42 bands. And the third season of the Cleveland Lottery League was born.” So begins the description of the events which led up to the magic night of April 13th, 2013 when those 42 bands came together, all for the first time, to perform their initial live performances as groups.
It was back in 2008 that the original idea of the Lottery League was thought up by a group who called themselves the Council of Chiefs. In 2008, a hypothetical situation was proposed by the original Council of Chiefs and that situation was this:
“What if all these rock band recidivists around [Cleveland] had to quit playing the same old shit with their same old friends and got forced into new bands at random?”
Back in January this year Maryland maestros Clutch played a one off, twice upgraded sell out gig in London in order to promote their stunning new album Earthrocker. Sadly I was not able to get to this gig, but I have heard Earthrocker which is the tenth stupendously good album from Clutch. The press release which I recieved states that 'The much-loved Maryland four-piece have been honing their live chops for more than two decades. There is no question that seeing Clutch perform is a revelatory experience not to be missed'. This is such a valid statement which I can personally vouch for as I have been blessed by seeing Clutch play live on a couple of occassions. They ARE simply magnificent…..
Clutch have just announced four more UK dates that will be shaking the following venues,
Mon 8th Jul – NORWICH Waterfront
Tue 9th Jul – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wed 10th Jul – MANCHESTER Academy 2
Thu 11th Jul – LONDON Forum
Expect all shows to be packed full of heart, soul, and badass riffery! Tickets are priced £15 regionally / £16 London (subject to booking fee) and will go on sale on Friday 5th April at 10am. Tickets for Manchester & London are available from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Columbus, Ohio’s Alert New London is a modern-day rock outfit. The quintet is made up of guitarist/vocalist Cory Nicol, guitarist/vocalist Dave Woodrow, bassist Sawyer Shepard, keyboardist Gavin McKenzie and drummer Jim Fowler. While the band’s music is heavily guitar-influenced, the additions of keyboards to the music helps give the band’s sound a feel and direction that is a lot richer and more creative than much of the music put out by many of the bands that are currently signed to record labels.
Alert New London’s current release, Youth, was released at the end of 2011. The album begins with the track “Alice,” a more-than-evident nod to the main character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland book. Along with lyrics that have to do with certain references to the book, the song contains a Melodic Rock sound and the resulting track allows the guitars to create a harmonic approach that builds while including all five band members in the shaping of the song’s direction. When Cory Nicol and Dave Woodrow come together to harmonize on the lyrics late in the track, the two vocal parts blending together help make the track one of the most interesting songs on the 2011 release.