CD Review: Micah Olsan and the Many “All Around”

Micah Olsan is a Milwaukee-based singer-songwriter who creates music that has many different musical influences to it. And while that may be the case, those influences help to create a sound that is very solid and very listener-friendly. To bring his music to life, Micah Olsan is joined by four other musicians that seem to have the same creative drive to their playing ability. The resulting band creates a sound that is equal parts Folk, Blues, Soul and Rock. The band of Micah Olsan and the Many consists of: Micah Olsan- Vocals, Guitar; Cody Calderon- Drums; Adam Dosemagen- Bass; Dan Alexander- Keyboard; Eric Lemieux- Guitar. Together, this band has created a five-song EP called All Around.

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Charlton Lane shows us the good stuff as we Get Off The Good Foot with him

Charlton Lane is an artist based in South West UK and is set to release the ten track album Get Off The Good Foot on the 23rd March 2015 through Weiner/Burger Records, iTunes and also Bandcamp. There are only one hundred copies available on a high bias, high quality cassette which comes with unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp App plus high quality downloads in various formats.

 

This great release is a highly enjoyable listen as it combines an electro pop style back beat overlaid with traditional rock’n’roll style guitar and vox. Charlton describes his style as electro kraut blues so this combination of descriptions should give you a fair idea of what to expect.

During 2014 Charlton Lane released the singles "Butcher Man Blues" and "Good Stuff". Both of these superb tracks are in the album Get Off The Good Foot, which is a highly enjoyable and addictive listen. "Good Stuff" starts the album and hooks you in as it gets your feet tapping sweetly before you slip into "Tight Pants". This leads onto ‘Crazy’ which adds a sweet fever to the Tracklist. "Butcher Man Blues' slows the pace slightly while adding more of a blues element to this album. I can assure you that this track, just like all of the tracks but especially this one is a very passionate track which comes straight from the heart.

"Work It Out" is another very bluesy number which leads to "Yeah Yeah C’mon" which is far more electro kraut rock’n’roll. "No More" is a slightly melancholic number which leads into "Burn The Rubber". As the title implies this track picks up the pace very nicely once again and leads onto "Charlton Lane Blues". This bluesy number slows the pace whilst adding some harmonica into the mix just before the final track "Get Your Kicks (On The A46)" starts up. This tune is a smoulderingly good track which, in a respectful ‘tongue in cheek’ fashion is very reminiscent of the Stones track.

To sum it up, Get Off The Good Foot from Charlton Lane is a true gem and a highly enjoyable listen which is well worth checking out. 8/10

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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“Wear & Tear” is coming from False-heads

If lead single "Wrap Up" set up our expectations for this subsequent e.p. to be a squalling, brattish love letter to every snotty, underground music genre of modern times, it certainly didn’t prepare us for the subtleties and dynamic shifts that the band are able to employ. Far from being the wall-to-wall garage band attitude, there is a lot more at work here. "Twenty Nothing", whilst sticking to the loud-quiet template does so with more panache than you would expect, weaving in elements of jangle but stopping far short of any indie twee-ness.

The Pixies comparisons, that seem to be the yardstick that most journalists are measuring them by, only really raise their head on "Snatch," a 90’s college rock beast, all skittering drums and slabs of bass forming a platform for some wonderfully driven and uncompromising guitar salvos.

But it is swansong "Nothing In There" that is the real surprise, a sludgy, doom-pop masterpiece of atmospherics and musical pomp, like Underneath What playing a Nick Cave torch song, big anthemic structures and sinister vocals not even hinted at on the previous three songs.

It should be obvious to anyone who crosses this E.P's path just how great it is, how wonderfully it represents every underdog genre and every misunderstood band or every songwriter shut out by the mainstream music industry. In the space of four songs they seem to have summed up the forgotten and abused underbelly of contemporary music. If you don’t get that, on any level, then don’t play me anything from your record collection. Ever.

Wear and Tear is set for release on April 13th 2015 through Hi4Head Records

 You can find False Heads on Bandcamp.

You can also find the band on Facebook.

This review was written by Dave Franklin.  

CD Review: Crowsaw “Karma”

In early 2014 the wonderful Firebrand Rock Radio and its crew took me under their wing to work as a ‘rookie’ radio host. This is why I have had a slight hiatus from the rock and roll report. Firebrand Rock Radio has recently closed, leaving Firebrand Magazine to operate as usual and giving myself a little time to try and catch up here on the rock and roll report. I have got many reccomendations to bring to your attention along with the ever expanding contents of my inbox. In no particular order I need to tell you a little about Crowsaw from the UK.

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CD Review: The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club “Veva, Hold On!”

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club is a band that makes their home in Chicago, Illinois. Made up of: Billy Giricz – vocals, guitar, keyboards; Paulette Bertrand – vocals, keyboards, guitar; Dan Passarelli – bass, vocals; Luke Smith – drums and Darin Gregg – guitar, trumpet, the band creates music that is equal parts rock and roll and pop-rock. That combination helps to create a sound that is very infectious and very radio-friendly at the same time. The style of the band’s songs alternates between modern-day rock and roll and rock and roll from years gone by. The band calls upon influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones and Wilco and those influences creates a nice mixture of styles to draw from, making the band’s music very different from one track to the next. Having already adding to their musical library by releasing an 11-song self-titled release in August 2014, the band returned the very next month with another EP, the 7-track release entitled Veva, Hold On!

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Upside Down World by Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham

 Life is a funny old thing, when at its best it usually throws some stunning surprises at you. I have been awaiting news of the next release by Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham for some time now. This incredibly creative pair has already made a strong mark in the music world. Once again, Doris is collaborating with producer and multi-instrumentalist Lee Dunham, guitarist of rock/metal band Primary Slave, this time using an array of musicians to contribute to the progressive sound. Doris is the daughter of famed classical pianist Alfred Brendel, her distinctive vocals were the driving force behind 1990s alt-rockers The Violet Hour, who were signed to Sony when they released their now revered, classic album ‘The Fire Sermon’ in 1991. Combine all of this with the delightfully driven husky vocals delivered with true inimitable style and then you may get an inkling of what to expect. Do not be fooled and expect the unexpected as Upside Down World will take you on a sumptuous journey through a musical kaleidoscope lasting about 48 minutes. This album both explores and showcases a plethora of musical facets, Upside Down World is a thrilling ride.

 

Upside Down World Cover Art

 

From the start of this album, beginning with the outstanding cover art by surrealist Igor Morski, this album nails you down and spins you around. Upside Down World kicks off with a deliciously raunchy track, The Devil Closed The Door On Me which pushes Doz’s incredible vocals to a variety of limits and is a hard hitting dynamically delightful tongue in cheek rock track. Every time that I hit the play button this album stops me in my tracks, it is beyond belief and utterly irresistible. The Devil Closed The Door On Me is a magnificent introduction to Upside Down World. Release date April 20th.

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CD Review: Bone Cave Ballet “Will of the Waves”

Because of the nature of Progressive Rock, you either like it or you don’t. Bands like Yes or Pater Gabriel-era Genesis fall into the “love ‘em or leave ‘em” category. Because of that, you rarely hear of bands from today that have made the plunge into the Progressive Rock genre.

One band that exists today that has decided to create Progressive Rock music is the Seattle-based group Bone Cave Ballet. The four-piece band consists of Jacqui Gilroy on guitar and vocals; Kelly Mynes on drums; Ezekiel Lords on bass and Jeff Blancato on guitar. Together, the members of Bone Cave Ballet create a band that has the talent, ability and creativity to handle the rhythm and tempo changes that come with playing Progressive Rock. To showcase the band’s style and playing ability, the band released a five-song EP entitled Will of the Waves.

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CD Review: Rocket 3 “Burn”

Portland-based band Rocket 3 is a three-piece rock outfit that features the playing of Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Ramune Nagisetty; Drummer Drew Anymouse and bassist Tony Guzman. Each of the three musicians found their way to Portland from different parts of the country only to discover each other in Portland and from there they put together a band that combines different genres of rock and roll to create their sound. Rocket 3 is currently promoting their current album entitled Burn.

Burn from Rocket 3 begins with the track “Fate”. The track is a strong rock track that adds a little bit of flavor from a band like the Ramones. The track also picks up a little New Wave Rock feel from a band like Blondie to create a track with a lot of depth as well as mass appeal.

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GREY “Self-Titled”

We are facing hundreds of new releases of singles, EP’s and albums every day, but only a few can make you suck up into their music because only quality and uniqueness can make you a loyal fan of the artist instantly.

This is what happened when I first heard Grey’s debut self-titled EP through one of the many streaming services after a friend recommended it to me through social media. After listening to the 4 songs on their self-titled EP I knew this is a band I will listen for a lifetime. Their sound is hard yet melodic and the leading vocalist has such a powerful voice. The lyrics of the songs, although different, are all containing strong messages.

Impressed and a bit obsessed I did a little digging in attempt to find out more about the band and although there is a very positive buzz on social media, I didn’t find any articles which really surprised me.

Grey is a rather new alternative rock band (formed in 2012) named after the color that balances black and white, trying to send a message that everything in life is about balance. This is exactly what they manage to bring with their first self-titled EP which is a perfect balance between hard and melodic. I was surprised that a band so new has such a mature sound.

If you want something new and unique and you are a fan of hard rock music do give ‘Grey’ a listen. The band has released lyric videos for all of the songs from the EP and if my source is correct, they are about to be signed with a major label so we can expect a full album release and a tour very soon!

I hope this article will bring Grey’s music closer to you and will give you a band that will have an impact on your life because these guys are here to stay!

Click on the links that follow to check out the music of Grey:

 "Use Me"

"We Have Crossed the Line"

"Destroying Angel"

"Hope"

(article written and contributed to The Rock And Roll Report by Jenna Paskey)