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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Morning Bird “Lonesome Leaving Sound”

The Morning Bird is a band that is still rather new when compared to other bands in their situation. The reason I say that is because very few bands come together and create as much original material in such a short amount of time as this band seems to have.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Jeremy Taylor, The Morning Bird is a band that combines Rock and Roll, Country, Folk and other genres of music together to create a style of Americana that centers on the softer side of Rock and Roll. Because of that musical blend, the band could easily be grouped together with acts such as Mumford & Sons, Wilco, as well as Jason Isbell. You could even place them alongside Johnny Cash. Along with singer, songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Taylor, the rest of the band consists of: Daniel Rice, guitar and backing vocals; Mark Mazak, bass guitar and vocals; and David Shullenberger on drums.  

Jeremy Taylor and the rest of The Morning Bird have just created a five-song EP to give those who have yet to hear them a glimpse into their musical style. The band’s new EP is entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound.

Lonesome Leaving Sound from The Morning Bird begins with the track “Sober”. Right from the very first note, the Country/Rock blend of the band comes through with the twang from the lead guitar from Daniel Rice. The track features a slow, steady pace to the track and that seems to allow for Jeremy Taylor’s vocals to come through strong. The track features vocals about a person who’s trying to take control of their life…for the umpteenth time. The vocals feature a slightly sad, yet humorous approach as the story plays out. “Sober” ends up reaching over the five-minute mark, but that just comes from the fact that the album version of the track feels much like the track when played live in concert.

With the next track, the Country side to the band’s music that comes through is a little stronger than what was there on the previous track. The song entitled “Tomorrow” contains a musical mix that is still part Rock and Roll and part Country, but the Country influence wins out this time. What results is a slow, driving pace to the easy feeling of the music. The track’s lyrics are about heading out on one’s own in search of wide open spaces where you can stretch out and relax. The song takes the band’s music back in time to the seventies or thereabouts. “Tomorrow” from Morning Bird would have fit right in with Conway Twitty, Glenn Campbell, John Denver and would have been right at home among songs like “Falling In and Out of Love” from Pure Prairie League or “Take it Easy” from The Eagles.

The Morning Bird pick up the energy level on the next track called “Sweet Wine”. While the first two tracks on the EP feature a blend of music that contained a good deal of Country influence, the track of “Sweet Wine” finds Jeremy Taylor, Daniel Rice, Mark Mazak and David Shullenberger creating a track with a much stronger Rock and Roll influence. The Rock and Roll influence on the track is also accompanied by a good amount of Folk influence. The Folk influence on “Sweet Wine” keeps the feel of the song on the soft side. However, no matter how much Folk influence there is in the song, this track is easily the strongest song on the release and perhaps the most commercial as well. You could easily imagine this track on any Top 40 or Adult Contemporary radio format.

For the next track, The Morning Bird takes their music back in time yet again. But with this track, the music style goes back to the nineties. It is on the track “Underneath” that the band embraces the style of the music from that decade. The easy feel to the music, mixed with strong electric guitars, brings to mind the music of bands like The Counting Crows, Sister Hazel, and most specifically, Toad the Wet Sprocket. In fact, you can hear quite a bit of influence from Toad the Wet Sprocket on this track. “Underneath,” much like “Sweet Wine” before it, features a style that would be perfect for radio play; especially if the track was played among the previously-mentioned bands. And as the lyrics deal with seeing only what you want to see and not what needs to be seen, those lyrics create a track that feels very personal and relatable.

The final track to the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is the song “Swinging”. Much like the track “Sober,” The Morning Bird creates a track with a definite Country twang to it. In fact, with the lyrics about being betrayed by a woman easily puts the song squarely into the Country genre, especially if you place the song among the hit singles of the late seventies, early eighties when much of the genre’s music dealt with pain and hardship. This track would have fit right in with music from that time.   

The adage of “Leave them wanting more” is true. And many people take those words to heart. The Morning Bird is one band that truly believes in that saying. The band has been known to be able to perform about ninety minutes of original music at one time without repeating themselves. So they could easily have created an entire album of music. Instead, they provide the listener with only a small segment of sounds they have created on their five-song release entitled Lonesome Leaving Sound. There is plenty more to come from The Morning Bird, as they have not included tracks like “Maryanne” and “Suitcase,” two of the band’s strongest songs, on this EP. However, the Lonesome Leaving Sound EP is definitely a good place to start if you have yet to be introduced to the band. 

 

Check out a live performance of “Sweet Wine” from The Morning Bird’s Jeremy Taylor and Daniel Rice live at The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

To check out entire Lonesome Leaving Sound EP from The Morning Bird on spotify, click on the album cover below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Falling Stars “Let it All Go”

Falling Stars is a Cleveland, Ohio-based Rock and Roll band. The main backbone of the band, Chris Allen and Tim Parnin have been creating music within the Greater Cleveland area for around fifty years of combined experience. That experience came from time that both musicians spent in other bands that had existed in the Cleveland area music scene.

While Chris Allen and Tim Parnin have been kicking around the area for years, it was only when the two artists decided to collaborate that they actually played together. And once Chris Allen and Tim Parnin decided to create music together, they called upon Dave Padrutt and Gary Porter for their new band. And in 2017, the band put out their initial release called Stranded in the Future, an album that found the band drawing from several different styles and time periods of Rock and Roll in order to bring their songs to life. What resulted was a release that was the perfect addition to any Rock and Roll lover’s music collection.

Two years have passed since Chris Allen, Tim Parnin and the rest released the band’s first album. In that time, they have written more music and have since created four new songs that are about to be released as the band’s second release, an EP called Let It All Go. And just like with the band’s previous release, Let It All Go features the talents of Christopher Allen and Tim Parnin on guitars, Dave Padrutt on bass, backing vocals, percussion & keys and Gerry Porter on percussion.

Let It All Go from Falling Stars begins with the track called “We Are the Future”. While much of the music that Falling Stars has created contains a sound or feel that draws from current musical trends, this track features a slight throwback feel to the music. The track contains a strong guitar-driven feel that takes the listener back to the solid Rock and Roll music that was around during the seventies and early eighties. The musical direction on “We Are the Future” brings to mind bands like T-Rex and others who were around during the New Wave/Glam Rock era.

Falling Stars continues their newest release with the track “Neptune Baby”. The track features a strong Power Pop sound. Taking that Power Pop base, the track’s sound seems to borrow a lot from the likes of the band The White Stripes. The track’s rather bouncy musical feel features a strong drumbeat and guitar sound that brings to mind the playing of Jack and Meg White’s musical approach. While there is a slight sparseness to the music at the beginning of the track, the sound fills out as the track proceeds. “Neptune Baby” is the type of track that would be very popular on Alternative Rock radio formats.

The newest release from Falling Stars continues with the title track of the EP. The song “Let It All Go”. While the track “Neptune Baby” features a sound that is reminiscent of The White Stripes, “Let It All Go” contains a musical approach that features a strong, driving pace that is helped along with some Pop-Rock influence on the music. This song is one track on the release that easily contains musical influences from previous bands that Chris Allen and Tim Parnin have been a part of over the years. “Let It All Go” contains a Pop-Rock sound that brings to mind the same type of music that had been produced by Parnin’s band from the early 2000’s called Uptown Sinclair. While this track has its own style, the influence from Uptown Sinclair seems to have snuck in somehow. “Let It All Go” is easily the strongest track on the release.

The first three tracks of the Let It All Go release from Falling Stars have a certain sound to them thanks to Gary Rhamy. However, that production quality is replaced with a much different feel on the final track of the Let It All Go EP. The reason for that is because this final song was produced with the help of Don Dixon, a musician and music producer who works and performs alongside Chris Allen in the Christmas-themed band called The Ohio City Singers. With Dixon at the helm for the song “Downstream,” the track contains a slightly acoustic feel to the music with the addition of some acoustic guitar. It’s that acoustic guitar feel that changes the musical direction. A slightly lighter approach on the music puts more of a Pop-Rock feel on the track. While it feels very different from the rest of the tracks, “Downstream” allows the listener to get a much different view of the talent of the band members in Falling Stars.

Let It All Go, the newest release from Falling Stars, is rather short with only four tracks. And those four tracks contain only about eleven minutes of music as each of the four songs lasts for just over two-and-a-half minutes a piece. But no matter how short the EP happens to be, each track shows off the various musical influences that help to shape the sound of the band. Whether it is the genres of music that the band draws from, or the person behind the production board who helps to shape the sound of the tracks, the four songs contained within Let It All Go from Falling Stars combine to create an EP that shows off the progression of the four band mates of Chris Allen, Tim Parnin, Dave Padrutt and Gerry Porter as a group.

To check out the music of Falling Stars, check out the video to the song “Let It All Go”.

To check out the Let It All Go EP from Falling Stars, click on the album cover below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Album Preview

Preview of Mark Huff’s New Album To Be Released Soon

Singer-songwriter Mark Huff began creating music back in 1989. And for the next 20 years, Huff has continuously added to his musical library. Huff would release his first studio album of music from his new home of Nashville in 2005. That album, entitled Gravity, helped push him in the right direction. And since the time of that release, Huff has put out an entire collection of albums, the latest of which was 2018’s Stars for Eyes.

Having just released the Stars for Eyes release about sixteen months ago, Mark Huff is busy currently working on the next album. The difference between this upcoming album and the last two releases that Huff put out is that Huff plans on staying more in the groove of an electrified sound as opposed to the ever-changing approach that came with those releases. And while that album is still in the middle of the creative process, Huff has released two tracks as a way of promoting that new release. Those two tracks are available on the “Made By Hand” single.

The first of the two newest tracks from Mark Huff is the single itself called “Made by Hand”. “Made by Hand” is a slow-paced track with a strong Rock and Roll vibe that features the electric guitar. For the music, the electric guitar is the prominent instrument on the track. However, the keyboard also adds a lot of texture to the track. The music of the track itself, as well as the playing of the guitar on the track, bring to mind the style of Tom Petty. In fact, when listening to the track, you can almost hear Huff channeling Petty in his vocals in the song.

The second track on the new single from Mark Huff is the track called “Break Through”. This track picks up the energy level of the music. This track features a much stronger guitar approach. What results is a song that will easily remind the listener of something from John Mellencamp. With that style, the track would fit onto any Classic Rock stations as “Break Through” feels like it would have belonged on radio back in the eighties. While the track features a large amount of influence from the likes of John Mellencamp, there are a few more influences in the music. The keyboards on the track feature a sound that would also have felt right at home having been part of the music of The Cars. The combination of the Mellencamp influence as well as the influence from The Cars puts the track squarely in the middle of the eighties.

With his last album entitled Stars for Eyes Mark Huff created tracks that took inspiration from many different musical influences. And while the new album from Mark Huff is not yet available, the two tracks used to help promote Huff’s upcoming release show a side of Huff that finds him drawing more from his Rock and Roll influences more than on his last release. The tracks of “Made by Hand” and “Break Through” from that upcoming release give the listener a good indication of what is in store for fans of the Nashville-based singer-songwriter.

To discover the new music from Mark Huff off of his soon-to-be-released album, check out the music below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Itch “Round 2”

Begrade, Serbia is where the multi-dimensional Rock band called Itch came together. It was back in 2010 that the original lineup of the band brought their love of music and interests of creating something new together to create the band simply known as Itch. It was under that moniker that the various members of the band combined their eclectic musical influences together. And after being together for about two years, the band released their debut album back in 2012.

But since the release of that album called Lullulu, the band had to reorganize after the lead singer and the bass player both walked away from the group. With the new version of the band now consisting of Nina Budjinski on Vocal, Dušan Simic on guitar, Vihor Ristic on bass and Filip Stanišic on drums, Itch is now ready to make some noise in the music industry. With a label behind them and the current momentum that is carrying them forward, the band is proud to announce the release of their new album called Round 2.

Round 2 from Itch begins with one of the two tracks that have already been released as singles off of the album, “Prison Disco”. The track begins with a guitar riff from guitarist Dušan Simic and drumbeat from Filip Stanišic that brings to mind the feel of the seventies and the feel of Disco specifically. That musical feel changes immediately as bassist Vihor Ristic joins in to fill out the sound of the music. What results is a musical direction that brings to mind the very rockin’ side of the band No Doubt, especially when that band focused more on the Rock and Roll side of their personality and less on the Ska side. For more than half the track, “Prison Disco” contains a steady pace to the music. However, about halfway through, the band picks up the pace and the energy of the music. That quicker pace carries the song to its conclusion about a minute or so later. “Prison Disco” is a great track to begin the Round 2 album off with and would be easily welcomed on any Top 40 or Modern Rock radio format.

Itch’s new album continues with the track called “My Oh My”. Much like the track before it, “My Oh My” contains a very commercial quality to its music. But with this track, the band incorporates a good amount of Alternative Rock as well as some Progressive Rock influence. While the previous track contains a direction that could fall into the Pop-Rock category of music, this track is much heavier in nature. “My Oh My” contains both a Dance influence as well as an Alternative Rock influence. During the opening moments of the song “Prison Disco,” Itch gives the listener just a taste of Disco in the music of the track before moving on. On the song “My Oh My,” that Disco influence returns as a larger part of the makeup of this track, though the Disco influence is mainly in the beat of the track in certain places.

With the next track, guitarist Dušan Simic, bassist Vihor Ristic, and drummer Filip Stanišic show off their various influences. The track called “Tree Men” is easily the most spastic and uneven song on the album. The reason for that description is because the music of the song is all over the place. The track starts off with a few bars of music that feature an easy and relaxed nature to guitarist Dušan Simic’s playing, with vocalist Nina Budjinski singing the lyrics in a similar fashion as her vocals are relaxed and easy. Soon, when bassist Vihor Ristic, and drummer Filip Stanišic join in, the feel of the song changes and the track takes on an Alternative Rock feel. About halfway through the song, the trio of musicians segue the music into something with a Funk feel to it and with the inclusion of the wah-wah pedal on the guitar, the track takes on a Disco feel for a few musical bars before the Alternative Rock approach returns. “Tree Men” is all over the place throughout its not-quite-four-minutes playtime.

Much like with the track “Tree Men,” the next song called “Defpotec” also finds itself changing directions throughout its playtime. The track begins with an Alternative Rock sound that could have been found on Alternative Rock formats back in the nineties. With singer Nina Budjinski’s “boo-yah, boo-yah…” vocalizing, you could also add in some influence from the band of The B-52’s into the song. Soon, the song changes directions and the music takes on a Funk influence to the music. Before it’s all said and done, the song also features some influence from the band Santana as the track takes on just a little of that band’s sound in its music. One of the more unusual features of the track is the inclusion of the Jaw Harp in the background of the music late in the track. Needless-to-say, “Defpotec” ends up being just as unique as the track’s title.

Round 2 from Itch continues with the song “Captain Love”. “Captain Love” is a track that blends together a generous amount of Alternative Rock with equal amounts of influence from Rock and Roll music from the sixties. What results is a track that feels like a blend of The Cranberries and Jefferson Airplane. And on this track, singer Nina Budjinski seems to be channeling English singer-songwriter Kate Bush as Budjinski’s vocals easily recall Bush’s unique vocal quality. Together, what is created is a rather laidback song that features moments where the band kicks up the energy of the music from time to time. While it does have a slightly retro feel to it, “Captain Love” also has a strong commercial feel to it.

The band called Itch brings the energy of the music back up on the track called “Sun Will Rise”. On this track, the band brings out their Progressive Rock influences. The track begins with a few measures of what could only be described as Heavy Metal before the music shifts to music that, once again, brings to mind the sound of Jefferson Airplane; at least, what they sounded like back in the late sixties. With a little bit more energy, the track continues and the music along with Nina Budjinski’s vocals again feel as if they were influenced by the likes of The Cranberries.

Itch winds up their new album with the track “Mangata”. Equal parts of Rock and Roll, Jazz and Heavy Metal combine to create a track that changes constantly. Because of that, “Mangata” can only be described as a Progressive Rock track. The second of the tracks to be released ahead of the release in anticipation of the album, “Mangata” brings the album of Round 2 from Itch to a close.

Begarde, Serbia’s Itch has created an album in Round 2 that truly makes good use of the various musical elements that help shape the band’s music. The ever-changing blend of styles create one track after another that combine to make one enjoyable release. This album, and the fact that the band had just recently been nominated for the Independent Music Awards for the tracks “Prison Disco” and “Mangata” add up to the band having a lot of momentum. The band is currently on tour in support of their Round 2 album being released on Latticesphere Records.

 

To discover the music of Itch for yourself, check out the band’s song “Prison Disco,” one of the band’s songs that was nominated for the Independent Music Awards. 

The band is also now promoting their latest single called “Spell”. Check that song out here: 

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR & Management.

 

 

 

 

Check out Round 2 from Itch on Bandcamp by clicking on the album cover below: 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Lost Millions “Novellas Dantes”

While there are plenty of bands out there that follow the current trends in Rock/Alternative music, there are still those bands that draw inspiration from older musical genres. Austin, Texas is home to one of the bands that are creating new music that is inspired by Classic Rock as well as other older styles. The band in question is The Lost Millions.

The Lost Millions is a band that consists of: Matt Westfield on Vocals/Guitar, David Lines on Guitar, Scott Bettersworth on Drums, as well as Heath McBurnett on Bass. Together, this quartet of musicians combines elements of Classic Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative Rock and other sounds to help shape the music that can be found on their two releases: 2017’s 101, along with the band’s recently recorded EP called Novellas Dantes.

Novellas Dantes from The Lost Millions begins with the track called “See the Light”. The track starts off with a strong bassline from Heath McBunett before the drums and guitars join in to create a track with a Classic Rock sound from the seventies. The track also seems to blend in some Stoner Rock influence into the music. The heavy nature of the track brings out that Stoner Rock influence. As the track begins, the band creates a minute-long jam that combines the Classic Rock and Stoner Rock approaches together. For those who like their Rock and Roll heavy, this is the perfect example of that. And while the track is heavy, it is also melodic as guitarists Matt Westfield and David Lines create a harmonic feel to the music. With the various musical elements that are contained within the track, “See the Light” kicks off the new release from The Lost Millions with lots of energy.

After the energetic feel of the song “See the Light,” The Lost Millions lightens things up with a track that features a slower, less intense feel with the track “My Street”. On this track, the band brings out a stronger Classic Rock approach to the music. The Classic Rock feel on the song brings to mind The Rolling Stones.  As a matter of fact, the song “My Street” could easily remind the listener of The Rolling Stones during the same time in which they produced the song “Miss You”. While the track “See the Light” from The Lost Millions is not a carbon copy of the track from The Rolling Stones, you can hear the inspiration from the legendary band’s influence in the music of The Lost Millions. The track features a playtime of over five minutes, giving the band the chance to jam out a bit. This gives the listener a good chance to hear the talent of the musicians who make up the group.

“Wisdom of the Mad Priest,” the third track off of the Novellas Dantes EP from The Lost Millions, starts with a strong guitar riff that could remind some of the playing of legendary guitar player Duane Eddy as it brings to mind the feel of Classic Rock/Oldies music. The Classic Rock riff is soon joined with a rather Bluesy feel to the music. The Classic Rock/Blues blend creates a base to the track that soon segues into a straight-out Rock and Roll track that feels as if it could have been created during the 1980s. While “Wisdom of the Mad Priest” does feel as if it came right out of the eighties, it is still one of the strongest and most listener-friendly songs of the five that make up the EP.

The Novellas Dantes EP continues with the track “Mad at the Sun”. With the song, The Lost Millions create a track that contains a sound that falls somewhere between the late eighties Rock and Roll and early Alternative Rock. There is elements of both of those styles of music in the song. The track starts off slow and light with an easy pace to the music as only the guitars create the moment. The harmonic playing of the guitars creates one of the prettier passages on the release before the rest of the band joins in to create that Rock and Roll/Alternative Rock blend. After the easy beginning to the track, the music builds and what results is a track that would fall into the Modern Rock genre. “Mad at the Sun” is one of the strongest tracks on the release.  

The Lost Millions slow things down on the final track of the EP entitled “Complicated”. And just like with the first song “See the Light,” the band starts things off with an instrumental passage that lasts for around one minute before the vocals from singer/guitarist Matt Westfield join the song. This track features a slight psychedelic feel to the music as well as a jam band like quality to it that comes from the easy, slow pace of the music. “Complicated” brings the EP to a close on an easy note.

Novellas Dantes from The Lost Millions is a five-track release that makes the listener wish for more. The five tracks show off the band’s different musical influences while creating a very entertaining release that goes by too quickly.

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the Novellas Dantes release from The Lost Millions check out the band’s single “See the Light”. 

To hear the entire Novellas Dantes release from The Lost Millions, check out the band’s spotify account by clicking on the album cover below: