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CD Review: The Aces “When My Heart Felt Volcanic”

All-girl bands have been around for several decades and have included the likes of Bananarama, The Bangles, even the band Fanny who most recently released a new album under the moniker Fanny Walked the Earth. One of the most recent all-girl bands is called The Aces.

The Aces (a name that was shortened from the original name of The Blue Aces) is a Utah-based pop-rock quartet composed of Singer and guitarist Cristal Ramirez, guitarist Katie Henderson, bass player McKenna Petty, and drummer Alisa Ramirez (Cristal’s sister); the members of the group came together to create the band after having known each other for most of their lives. Together, the resulting band creates Alternative Rock music with a strong Pop-Rock edge. That musical combination is featured on the band’s 2018 release entitled When My Heart Felt Volcanic. The album was released under the record label of Red Bull Records, one part of the energy drink company Red Bull GmbH.

When My Heart Felt Volcanic from The Aces begins with the “title track” of the release, “Volcanic Love”. The first thing that the listener will notice is that the feel of the track. The guitar-driven Pop/R&B blend of the song takes the listener back to the decade of the eighties as the music as well as the instrumentation itself has a rather retro feel to it. The next thing that you will notice is the vocals from Cristal Ramirez bring to mind artists like Kim Wilde or Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles. Take all of that and blend it together, you end up with a track that has a strong Pop-Rock feel that is ready-made for radio airplay.

The next track on the release is the song “Stuck”. Having been released on the band’s 2017 EP entitled I Don’t Like Being Honest, the band includes it here on their newest album. While the previous track featured a musical direction that felt rather familiar because of earlier musical influences, this track takes a more modern approach to the music. The track’s much stronger Alternative Rock direction makes the song “Stuck” feel like it fits into the Indie Rock category. And while there is an Indie feel to the track, the song still feels like it would fit on any Top 40/Hot Adult Contemporary radio format.

With the next track of the album, the quartet continues their blending of the old and the new with the track “Fake Nice”. The band creates a track with a very current feel to the lyrical content while the music of the track finds the band once again drawing inspiration from music of the eighties with a little of the seventies thrown in for good measure. The lyrical content on “Fake Nice” finds the band creating a track that is very current. Having to do with being someone you’re not, the track should register well with today’s music fans.

As the band continues their release, they create a track called “Lovin’ is Bible”. The track features a strong musical feel that is equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. The blend creates a sound that is rather reminiscent of the Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, the band that made a name for themselves back in the eighties when they created their sound blending together equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. “Lovin’ is Bible” from The Aces feels as modern as it does retro because of the musical blend contained within the track. At the same time, it’s easy to imagine the track being featured on today’s Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats.

One of the songs off of the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from The Aces that is getting the band some positive attention is the song “Last One”. Like the track “Lovin’ is Bible,” the track blends together equal parts R&B and Rock and Roll. Along with the strong groove created by the four members of the band, the call-and-response that happens throughout the track adds an interesting element to the song, as does the inclusion of gang vocals on the refrain where the band mates all lend their vocals to the track. The strong groove on the track, as well as the other previously mentioned elements in the song, help to create one of the strongest moments on the release. “Last One” is easily the standout track on the album.

The Aces return to the eighties on the track “Strong Enough”. The guitars and the keyboards as well as the production on the drums on the track transport the listener back in time with a style that screams eighties. Add on the vocals from singer and guitarist Cristal Ramirez, and you get a track that will make you reminisce about that period in music.  

Most of the new album from The Aces comes with a strong Pop-Rock feel to the music with plenty of energy to the music. All of that changes, however, on the track “Hurricane”. A track that comes rather late in the album, “Hurricane” features a much slower pace to the music as well as a piano comes in to create a completely different feel to the track. That piano mixes well with vocals from singer Cristal Ramirez as well as Katie Henderson who adds plenty of harmony to the track. The song about a relationship that keeps the singer spinning as she tries to figure things out adds plenty of beauty and emotion to the release.

As you make your way through the dozen or so tracks on the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from the all-girl band The Aces, one of the main things you notice is the quick pace at which the songs go by. With the majority of the tracks being under three and-a-half minutes, the resulting album is one that is very listener-friendly. That quick playtime on the tracks goes along well with the pop-rock music that is produced by the quartet that is The Aces. With the help of Red Bull Records, this album has already begun to garner some well-deserved praise for the band. Keep an eye out for The Aces as they make their way through the music industry. 

For more information, check out the band’s record label, Red Bull Records

For a taste of the music from The Aces, check out their video to the track “The Last One”. 

To check out the When My Heart Felt Volcanic release from the all-girl band The Aces, click on the album cover below:

 

 

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Pigshit with Gary Pig Gold: TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED In 2015

Just on the off chance you’ve already made it through all 18 discs, 20 hours, and/or 379 tracks of Bob Dylan’s Cutting Edge Collector’s Edition, then may I suggest you now turn both ears immediately towards…
driftingsand21 DRIFTING SAND Summer Splash (Piña Colada Records) To fill that sonic gap in a year which saw exactly zero new Beach Boys or even Laurie Biagini albums, Rick Escobar and all his fellow Surfer Spuds from the far left coast produce thirty-four-minutes-thirty-four of sounds, sights and even aromas which conjure those Modern Lovers of yore hijacked by Keith “Beachcomber” Moon. Bravely mixing a clutch of entirely too-cool-for-words instrumentals – Dan Burdick’s lonely trumpet being particularly effective – with Muscle Beach Party-pedigree songs to evoke your fave rave Surfaris B-side, Drifting Sand can, will, and do rhyme “splash” with “such a gas,” “July and August” with “Robert August” (!) and, on “Beach Tour USA” alone toss an M.Love-ly sax solo over carnival barking unheard since our last visit to “Amusement Parks USA.” Top with an ultra-vibra-spaghetti-slappin’ cover of Hazlewood/Sinatra’s “Sand” and the end result may well be the sophomore Fantastic Baggys LP we never thought would ever reach shore. P.S.: and guys? When you’re ready to do your next album, lemme know. Coz have I got a song for You!!

wheel of talent2 THE FLESHTONES  Wheel Of Talent (Yep Roc Records) Technically speaking, this 2014 beaut didn’t arrive in the sty, courtesy of our pals over at Rock Beat International, til just a few months ago. But no problem! ’Cause any year’s an ideal time for those Fabulous F-tones. And as ever and always, these veteran garage czars’ unfailing, unflinching embrace of all things rock and naturally roll are intact from the very get-go herein: “Available” blasts direct into the backyard on wings of brazen brash ‘n’ trash …yet with some incongruously appropriate cellos and violas to boot. Likewise, a good half of this talented Wheel – notably “The Right Girl,” “Tear For Tear” and “For A Smile,” the latter featuring the Southern Culture Skid-vocals of Miss Mary Huff – somehow bring a Shadowy Meek sheen of pure pre-Beatle UK pin-up pop to the proceedings (attention! John Waters) without sacrificing one iota of the oomph. Elsewhere, “Roofarama” speeds Jimi’s “Crosstown Traffic” all the way downtown, “Hipster Heaven” sounds tailor-made for the nearest USB latte turntable, and “It Is As It Was” manages to spin the entire Fleshtone fable in a Schoolhouse Rock! as opposed to School of Rock manner; Ghetto Recorder Jim Diamond professorially sees to THAT. And, for anyone left out there who all these years later still doesn’t get the message? Right there on Track 4, “Remember the Ramones.” Got it!

You Are Here3 GARFIELDS BIRTHDAY  You are Here (Pink Hedgehog Records) Another holdover from ’014, “recorded mostly at home with files winging their way from Dorest to Yorkshire via Bristol then back again” in the words of the handy enclosed press sheet. In other words? The fourth, and positively most welcome to date collection of smart, stylish poppin’ rock from the British brothers Felton, Simon and Shane, this time with none other than Lucky Bishops/Schnauser man Alan Strawbridge on drums. And that’s an important factor indeed, lest the Feltons’ files end a tad too GarageBanded as they travel the virtual UK. To wit, as soon as their “Magic Bike” gets rolling we are finely assaulted with a great big meaty and beaty bounty – yes, this being Century 21 the Magic Bus has been downscaled somewhat, but the drive is every bit as present and potent. “Carpet Ride” similarly soars Armenia City’s skies with, and I quote, “one eye on the future and one foot in the past.” Witness as well how “It’s Your Lucky Day” somehow Cyrkles clear ’round those Basement Tapes while “Lunar Eclipse” happily weds Kurt Cobain verses to killer-kilter XTC choruses. Shane Felton’s fearlessly inspired lead guitars are a vital part of the equation throughout, but particular notice must also be paid to the other Felton, Simon’s, magnificent vocals …on “Oxford” (most importantly); a masterful performance, and song, whose files deserve to be shared this very instant with Art Garfunkel for starters. Which reminds me: visit the Pink Hedgehog for a copy of Simon Felton’s recent Emotional Feedback as well. You will be doubly glad you did.

The Grip Weeds4 THE GRIP WEEDS How I Won The War (Jem Recordings) With their latest release, the Grip Weeds have gone and done, by my count, two outstanding things: (1) claimed full lineage at long last to their Richard Lester-ized namesake, and even more importantly (2) made the best album of their career. Here’s how: As no less an authority as Phil Spector once explained, some artists sing ideas, and that the Grip Weeds always have. And it helps immensely, to say the least, that they most fortunately number within their ranks a member who is equally talented on the other side of the microphones too. That would be Kurt Reil, who once again has twiddled knobs brilliantly inside the band’s own House Of Vibes studio to create textures that are lush but not cluttered; bright but never brittle. Overall, the sounds this time out contain much more bite and snarl – in Kurt’s vocals, pointedly – which suits to a “t” the confusion, conflict and, yes, warfare which always seems to boil below the surface. Several short, mainly instrumental segue pieces play a key role as well in making this disc an end-to-end singular experience. Ah! The long-lost art of the Album as a totality. What a concept! But then about two-thirds in, beginning with the completely Zombie-able “Heaven and Earth,” comes a trio of more nuanced numbers which relax things to a whole loftier level. In fact one of these, “Over and Over,” not only serves as a much-needed truce during this great War, but thanks in big part to the lead vocal of Kristin Pinell – always the Grip Weeds’ not-so-secret-anymore weapon – may honestly be the highlight of it all. Which reminds me, Kurt and brother Rick: Where’s HER album already?!!

Pop Spaceman5 RICK HARPER  Pop Spaceman (HiVariety Recordings) Hey, have you noticed everyone and their roommate lately is not only a singer/songwriter/player, but a bonafide home recordist in addition it seems? Well, listen: Rick Harper, in case you hadn’t noticed – and you certainly should have by now – has been toiling at all that and so much more since ’way back in the primordial pre-laptop daze, I kid you not. Which is why he’s so damn good at it, dammit, as Pop Spaceman, the latest in his Demo Teasers series, surely demonstrates. Along with Erich Overhultz’s occasional keyboard, Rick sing/write/plays up a one-man storm of not only undeniable Songs for our far-out Times (“Pax: Kiss of Peace,” “Wind Idiot,” and “Ca$h Poor,” you bet) but offers as well an unusually good selection of classic Rickenharper-clever chord and monumental chorus compositions (“Not About Us” and my favorite “Pretty Fool”). Each note is not only expertly played, but oh-so-properly placed as well: a supreme proficiency at the fine art of orchestration which is even more apparent during the 14-minute “Music From the Film, Cue 1,” a score of truly cinematic proportions which, for best results, requires secure headphones, a recline position, and lights right off. Interesting how this Pop Spaceman appeared on the ol’ Pig Player right alongside Eddie Cochran just the other night …and fit in just fine.

Lemon Clocks6 THE LEMON CLOCKS  Time To Fly (Jam Records) Rather than attempt myself to adequately describe the tight ‘n’ tart dayglo delights of this disc, let us turn instead to the wise words of the three Clocks themselves, Stefan Johansson, Todd Borsch, and Jeremy Morris: In the land of ELECTRIC TOMATOES we can always find the TIME TO FLY. When the FUTURE IS THE PAST we can bend the clock and make time last. We hear the RAINBOW ECHO all around. Our ring is a promise that is growing underground. We will WALK UPON THE WATER because you just CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN. It all happened JUST IN TYME during an UNDERWATER DREAM. AND I FOLLOW in TIME until we’ve FINALLY FOUND OUR HOME. Our lemon clock life is like a GROOVY MOVIE with a very happy ending. It’s full of peace and love coming down from above. So LET THE SUNSHINE IN and let it in your heart. You’ll be really glad you did! It’s THE BEGINNING OF THE END and it’s also THE END OF THE BEGINNING…

Mariam7 MIRIAM  Down Today (Norton Records) As if co-launching Brooklyn’s greatest-ever fanzine (Kicks) then coolest go-to music stop (Norton), as well as providing big beats behind the Cramps, Zantees and A-Bones wasn’t more than enough already the one, the only Miriam Linna again steps from behind her Pearl’s to deliver what must be 2015’s rock-candy ear necessity #1! Alongside producer/multi-musician Sam Elwitt, a dozen sweet Sixties slices of strictly 7-inch caliber are fully reheated and served anew… but with nostalgia thankfully taking a distant back seat to respect and utmost finesse in both arrangement (Gregor Kitzis’ occasional strings, for example, always augment; never swamp) and performance (Miriam has added a definite Bazooka Joe as opposed to Bubblicious snap to her Lisa-Jenio-meets-Mary-Weiss pipes). To wit, the Dave Clark Five’s “Don’t Be Taken In” now sounds more like one of December’s Children, while “One More Rainy Day” – the flip of my favorite Deep Purple (!) 45, by the way – quickly turns, somehow, into a full-on Joey Ramone-opus. But after reveling in a half hour of such Evie Sands, Terry Reid, Neil Diamond et al chestnuts, it’s actually one of Mr. Elwitt’s two own compositions, the wholly ’67 Gibb-worthy title track, that just might steal the show. Yes, in yet another year when words like “power” and “pop” continue to be thrown around far too liberally, Miriam shows not only how it’s done, but precisely how it should be SUNG. Hear, here, for yourself.

Andy reed8 ANDY REED  Relay Vol. 1 (Futureman Records) This little seventeen-minute EP demonstrates the absolute best case imaginable for the wealth of miracles found lurking, quite regrettably, in the nether regions of that musical so-called subculture. Relay 1 happens to be Bay City, Michigan one-man audio factory Andy’s first solo release since 2008 (in the meantime, he is also a member of the Legal Matters who I raved of as one of 2014’s Missed); it, and Vol. 2 are apparently due together soon on an up-coming Futureman vinyl release. Til then, this digital trailer recalls, on say “Dreaming Of The West Coast,” Bruce Johnston by way of Eric Carmen… BUT, luckily, with only the most attractive vocal characteristics of both. “I Love A Long Goodbye” features an octave-leaping melody of Jimmy Webb proportions – and that’s one comparison I rarely get to make anymore! – while “Darlin, You Don’t Know” is a drop-down wonder; an around-the-wide-world trip of sound in three and a half minutes flat. In all, Andy’s work is smart and detailed, sometimes stark, sometimes dense. Someone get this man a gig scoring indie films, quick! Meanwhile, as we await that Relay vinyl, you should seek and love his Oddities And Entities collection as well, which holds over thirteen years’ more rare and precious gems.

thewind39 THE WIND  Re-Wind (Cheft Records) Though it seems more like 300, it’s actually “only” been around thirty years since the original Queens-by-way-of-Miami, Lane Steinberg/Steve Katz/Stephen Burdick-model Wind last made us an album. And it HAS been worth the wait, for the trio’s deftly under-troubled skinny white approach serves as even more urgently-needed fresh air against our current century’s assaults upon ear canals. F’rinstance? “Fight Like A Girl” needs less than three whole minutes to perfectly encapsulate, then broaden wildly upon its Buddy ‘n’ Beatles For Sale history of every little AM radio thing. Spin the dial further and “Think On Your Feet” crouches in some recessed corner of an Emitt Rhodes session, “Which Part Of Goodbye?” really could be The Great Lost Wings B-side we’re still queuing for, “Baby, I Can Take A Punch” finds Todd Rundgren pillow-fighting Squeeze while “There’s A Clamoring” and even more so “Let Me Show You How It’s Done” point Badfingers in thoroughly the right direction. Still, Messrs. Katz and Steinberg roll their tan sleeves all the way up to mix “ambivalence” and “after-dinner mints” with some lo-gummed “Sugar Sugar” keyboard for “Yes And No” …and isn’t “Weak Spot” the theme from Craig Ferguson’s late late, extremely great talk show?! Whatever the cases may be, David Grahame’s co-production keeps all sounds – vocals first! – ice-clean, clear, and to-the-heart at all times; it does take a brave man, not to mention fabulous material, to mix this way. But that’s always been, and apparently continues to be, The Wind. Hopefully it won’t be another thirty years before another album blows our way.

Frank Zappa Roxy10 FRANK ZAPPA  Roxy: The Movie (Eagle Rock Entertainment) Delayed even longer than the mighty Wind is this nifty, sometimes tough, and often quite bitchin audio/video record of Frank and his Mothers’ three-night stint at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood during December of ’73. Why it’s taken sooo long to reach us is – Surprise! – NOT the usual legal morass ‘n’ molasses which coats most things Zappa. No, this time it was a simple [sic!] case of technology sufficient to sync the Roxy audio with the Roxy video not being at hand until just a couple’a years ago. Meaning we can all finally not only hear, but see FZ sucking down endless Winstons, seated on-stage in chair having make-up touched up as George Duke pulls a “Big Swifty,” watching Ralph Humphrey drum duel Chester Thompson with a lot of “Cheepnis,” then even manning an extra set of traps himself to help beat off the “Uncle Meat” variations. Later Bruce Fowler and Napoleon Murphy Brock go trombo-a-saxo too all over their “Be-Bop Tango” before Carl and Rick and Jane (then Lana, Brenda et al) are coerced on stage to, um, dance to it …a sight even more unsettling than I’d imagined all those years ago under headphones spinning Side 4 of Roxy & Elsewhere when I should have been doing my homework. Caveat Emptor however: as Gail Zappa (RIP) of the esteemed Zappa Family Trust says (admits?) in the accompanying liner notes, Frank indeed “shows up here at his geekiest,” as many of the fiercely wrought arrangements, not to mention between-song “announcements” attest. Of course, a mere five years pre-Roxy such a disclaimer would NEVER have been necessary regarding the original Mothers of Invention and those things they did, but…

Gary Pig Gold

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CD Review: Black Rainbows “Hawkdope”

Black Rainbows is a Fuzz Rock band that makes its home in Rome, Italy. The band is composed of Gabriele Fiori on Vocals / Guitars / Keyboards, Dario Iocca on Bass and Alberto Croce on Drums. Together, the trio creates some of the most psychedelic, hardest-hitting and coolest music out there today. If you are a fan of bands like Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet or even Hawkwind, Black Rainbows is a band you need to check out. After releasing the Holy Moon, Supermothafuzzalicious!!  and Twilight in the Desert albums, as well as being included on a couple of split releases with other bands of high quality Hard Rock, Black Rainbows returns with their latest album, 2015’s release entitled Hawkdope.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows begins with the track “The Prophet”. The hard-hitting track features some strong guitar playing from Gabriele Fiori while the drums from Alberto Croce and bass from Dario Iocca help add to the energy of the track. The addition of electronics and other production to the background also add a bit of psychedelic feeling to the song. The combination of all of the elements creates a track that feels slightly aged yet surprisingly fresh at the same time. While “The Prophet” has plenty of energy, with the track “Wolf Eyes,” Black Rainbows takes their music in a stronger direction. The first thing you’ll notice with this track is the use of the fuzz guitar. The sound of that guitar adds a difference to the music and seems to add a lot of body to the song. The lyrics about staying aware of what is around you in case you end up being tracked end up good pieces of advice for anyone.

Perhaps the main piece on Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is the title track of the album. “Hawkdope” is the type of track that would have been right at home on FM radio once the DJs started playing the longer, more underground tracks from people like Iron Butterfly who were more interested in pushing the boundaries of the music than they were with fitting on the more commercial radio formats. Black Rainbows creates a track with “Hawkdope” that is very expansive as the band plays extended instrumental breaks and just allows the music to speak for itself. Like with the earlier track of “The Prophet,” the inclusion of the effects in the background of the track adds a bit of psychedelic feeling to the track.

The band changes directions slightly with the track “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The track finds the members of Black Rainbows being influenced by earlier bands Cream and other early rock bands. The music on the track features a strong Blues influence to it while still containing plenty of Black Rainbows’ style and sound. The changing of the tempo throughout the track keeps the song interesting. The solid Rock ‘n’ Roll feel of the track makes “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” a song that would fit in with other songs of the Classic Rock era of the genre.

Once “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” comes to an end, the band changes directions on the next track of “Waiting for the Sun,” as well. The track begins with only bass, some keyboards and some light percussion. The use of minimal instrumentation creates one of the more interesting tracks on the entire release.

Black Rainbows brings the energy of their music back up once again with the track “Killer Killer Fuzz”. And while they pick up the energy, they slow the pace of their music down for the track. The slower pace of the music adds a bit of intensity to the track as each note being played feels harder. “Killer Killer Fuzz” ends up being one of the songs that seems to stay with you.

The newest release from the Italian band Black Rainbows comes to an end with the track “The Cosmic Picker”. Like “Killer Killer Fuzz” before it, “The Cosmic Picker” features a slower pace to the song. While some of the other tracks on the newest release from Black Rainbows are psychedelic, “The Cosmic Picker” is easily the most psychedelic, musically and lyically. Like some of the stuff from a band like Pink Floyd, “The Cosmic Picker” seems to be the type of song that is best listened to through headphones with the lights off in order to get the full effect of the song.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is a strong release from the very first note. For those looking for bands that make Rock and Roll that is meant to be heard through headphones, Black Rainbows is one band that fits that description. And with the band already having a nice library of releases, this is a nice place to start before digging into the rest of the band’s output.

To hear some of the music of Black Rainbows, check out the title song from the album Hawkdope.

To check out the band’s record label, Heavy Psych Sounds, click HERE. Also check out FLY PR, the band’s PR firm.

To purchase a copy of Hawkdope from Black Rainbows, click on the album cover below.

hawkdope

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CD Review: Heartless Bastards “Restless Ones”

The music business is like a party and there is nothing better than the thrill of being at a party that you weren’t invited to, the knowledge that you could get found out anytime soon. That must be how Heartless Bastards feel about their place in the scheme of things, waiting to get found out and making the most of the situation in the meantime. From the point of view of the other partygoers they are the strange bunch in the corner who seem to be having more fun than anyone else and who, if truth be told, have actually livened things up to the chagrin of the more straight-laced hosts.

Since being signed a decade ago thanks to a chance meeting with Black Keys drummer, Patrick Carney, Heartless Bastards have sought to refresh the sound of rock and roll, take the same building blocks available to everyone else, blues, indie and a sort of underground college rock vibe, but use them to build interesting new shapes, shapes that are both pleasing and surprisingly unique, shapes that have other bands wondering why they didn’t see those same possibilities in their own blueprints.

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CD Review: Chris Bevington And Friends

Chris Bevington is a blues artist based in the Midlands of the UK who released the album Chris Bevington And Friends in 2014. This album quite rightfully gained a lot of critical acclaim and charted in the top ten blues albums within the UK.  Chris is currently working on a studio album full of new original material to be released this summer.

This album Chris Bevington And Friends is a masterclass in how to play blues with an all star guest list including George Glover (Climax Blues Band), Paul Burgess (10cc), Scott Ralph (Song writer for Michael Buble and Robbie Williams), Jim Kirkpatrick (FM, Heavy Weather. Jim has also performed with legendary rockers Whitesnake), Sarah Miller (Nearly Dan) and Kate Robinson. As you might expect, a line up of this quality and calibre does not fail to please at any stage in the playlist.

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Boy On Guitar are set to release ‘We Wait’

Band names can be very descriptive and Boy On Guitar have a name which leads your imagination perfectly. Boy On Guitar are a female-fronted Indie / Pop band based out of two small towns in Central California. The group is comprised of three musicians with a vast array of experience through several different projects.

Genesis and Jonathan Jennings were both previously featured in the band Of Us Giants, whose 2014 album “Nova Scotia” received critical acclaim in several different countries upon its release. The duo also owns the independent record label Ronald Records, which has released music from artists such as The Republic of Wolves and several other musicians from all over the world. The third member of the group, Sean Duncan, was previously featured in the band Fiver (released a 7″ split record with Death Cab for Cutie) and is currently active in Kid Mud, Seanario, and Duncan Booth. Sean also owns the independent record label Way Grimace Records.

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Spotlight on UK Celtic Rockers Quill

As you know here at the Rockandrollreport we not only support what the major labels put out but also the amazing music which so many unsigned and independent bands put out. This is where the passions shine the brightest but sadly so much of this is seemingly overlooked. This article is to highlight a stunning Celtic Rock band based in the Midlands who fit into both categories but have not had as much exposure as their sound and style deserves.

This band called Quill who I believe had their first gig over forty years ago in 1972 shortly before their first single ‘Spent The Rent’ was released on the EMI Parlaphone label. The original band line up was Gill Solwell on drums/harmonica/guitar – Wally Lowe on vocals and ukulele – Mike Smith on Violin – Joy Strachan on vocals and Phil Bates on guitar/bass guitar. Before joining Quill Phil played with Teenbeats and formed the band Trickster, from 1993-99 he was lead guitarist/songwriter and joint lead vocalist for ELO Part 2. In 1970 Phil played for the heavy rock band JUG before joining cabaret/folk band Enigma who then became Quill. Once again Bates also played with Trickster and worked very successfully as a session and solo player during the seventies before rejoining Quill in 1981. Going back to the early years, Ben Brain joined the band on bass guitar and Jo Edmunds joined providing keyboards. Phil Saunders joined on fiddle replacing Mike Smith.

The bottom line is that there are usually many changes within any band which have been playing over such a long period of time. Brian Tatler of Diamond Head fame was with the band for a while in the nineties and performed on three of their albums, Out Of The Hat, Privileged and Back Intact. The quality of Quills rich, warm, lively and wonderful sound has always been obvious. This along with their penchant for constantly providing superb live performances which showcase their guitar, violin and vocal harmonies has earned them an enormous following.

Sadly Ben Brain passed away just over a year ago but the Quill are playing on, their next gig is at the Isle Of Man TT races, you can check their gig guide HERE . You can check their music out on their You Tube Channel HERE or on their MY Space player HERE

and HERE is a link to their official website.

 

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The Tuesday Club

As we all know Rock’n’roll comes in many forms and here at the Rockandrollreport we are bringing you a good variety of styles. One band which has recently gained our attention is The Tuesday Club form Warmington On Sea in the UK. It just so happens that the much loved British sit com Dads Army was set in this town. Since the bands formation in 2011 they have already been described as ‘the Dads Army of spacerock’.

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Interview with Alex Racine of October Sky

Alex Racine of October SkyOctober Sky consists of Karl Raymond – guitar and vocals, Alex Racine – drums and Yanik Rouleau – Keyboards.  The have literally been taking the world by storm with their progressive rock sound.  Friends and band mates for more than 10 years, they have 2 full length albums as well as 2 EPs to their name.  Their latest LP The Aphotic Season is making waves all over the world.  I had a chance to ask the band’s sexy drummer Alex Racine a few questions about their music and their success….

Cat:     Hi Alex!  Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.  You guys have been making music for 10 years now…actually starting as teenagers.  Can you tell me how you met and what inspired you to start playing together?

Alex:    Karl and I met during high school. We were in a big band with 25 other musicians. We had fun and it was a great experience but the only thing we wanted to play and talk about was rock. So we started jamming rock music with a couple of friends in my parent’s basement. It didn’t take long before we decided to work full time on the project. We spent a couple of years to find our own sound and that’s when we decided we wanted a keyboard in the band. Later, Yanik joined and October Sky was born.

Cat:     Your sound is so professional.  Have you, Karl and/or Yanik had formal training in music, or has it been something you’ve developed as a group?

Alex:    We all played music during high school but none of us had formal training. We’ve spent so much time all together jamming or even alone rehearsing. We’ve always taken our musicianship very seriously and I think that’s one of the reasons why our live show has always been the best thing about October Sky. After each show we have a debriefing, we talk about the mistakes we made and the things we could improve. We are not afraid to be honest with each other even when it’s harsh. We are like brothers and we all care about this project.

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Nasty Little Lonely (formerly Rock In Your Pocket)

The good city of Bristol and the whole South West region in the UK has a thriving music scene, the city of Bristol is packed with so many good music venues covering all styles and genres. And then there are the bands. One band band called Rock In Your Pocket was formed in Bristol back in 2009 and they caught my attention very quickly when I found their initial two songs ‘Ugly Face Of Rage’ and ‘Le Son De L’argent (Dirty Hands)’ online. Both of these songs have such a strong fusion of styles which entrapped my enthusiasm for this band. ‘Ugly Face Of Rage’ gels to form a plastic/elastic explosively punked up song. ‘Dirty Hands’ has also been used on the band’s debut album Gutterdub. Nasty Little Lonely are beyond pigeonholing into any specific genre or comparison but they are erogenously eclectic as they mix the power of punk and grunge into a flux with a dash of dub and a light spicing of guitar psychedelia.

Nasty Little Lonely