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PIGSHIT: Ten You May Have Missed In 2019

PIGSHIT: Ten You May Have Missed In 2019
So even though Tarantino’s latest failed to put Paul Revere or his Raiders back up at the Toppermost of the Poppermost, and American Funnyman Neil Hamburger’s long-too-awaited Still Dwelling seems to have passed totally under the fryer, the Pig Player this past year was kept busy as always spinning, alphabetically as always…   

 

 

 

ALEX CHILTON
From Memphis To New Orleans
(Bar/None Records)

“Alex Chilton created a unique body of work when he emerged from a self-imposed exile in the 1980s” says the handy sticker on the shrinkwrap, and this stellar assortment more than ably covers each of the man’s bases, musical and otherwise. From the vengefully autobiographical “Lost My Job” to the Zappa-sharp “Guantanamerika” to, yes, the covers (a fine Brian Wilson-fashion “Let Me Get Close To You” plus a “Little GTO” that would impress Ronny and his Daytonas) there is something here for every ear …as was, more often than not, Alex’s wont in life. Personally, the real revelation to me was the anything but celibate “No Sex” guitar work, the “Dalai Lama” meets Alley Oop – hearing is believing – almost – and, most comi-tragically, how with just a twee bit of a tart-up “Thing For You” could’ve been one of Hall & Oates’ most ginormous-ever chart-toppers …sparing our hero from months of pushing brooms, washing dishes and trimming trees had only, alas, song met singers. “A solid collection for the super fan as well as the new listener,” to quote that sticker again? I’d recommend everyone steering this collection From Memphis To New Orleans to your player of choice asap.       

ALAN CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS
Sol Nova
(Hookah Records)

After a performance last August by the one, the still only Alan Clayson at the Half Moon in Putney (I myself caught a Neil Innes show there a few years ago …but I digress) a gentleman claiming to own a record company expressed interest in immortalizing the man’s quite legendary “Sol Nova” upon ten inches of 21st Century vinyl. “While I was civil enough to him,” Alan reports, “I’m sufficiently battle-hardened by the business to expect nothing and be pleasantly surprised if it turns out he wasn’t talking crap. And, he wasn’t! He seemed to be someone with more money than sense – and I like people like that.” Or, as the official Hookah Press Release perfectly states, “On rare occasion a bright object will appear without warning in the night sky. This might be a sol nova; a star that, via a side-action of radio activity, has mutated suddenly into a celestial behemoth, swallowing and destroying all the planets in its orbit. And their inhabitants. Alan Clayson and The Argonauts have expressed this horror via a single of space-rock persuasion. Please try not to faint.”

FLAMIN’ GROOVIES
Between The Lines: The Complete Jordan/Wilson Songbook ’71-81
(Grown Up Wrong! Records)

Jordan/Wilson as in Cyril and Chris, that is. And while that musical team may for some inexplicable reason still not find themselves uttered in the same circles as Jagger/Richard(s) and, dare I say it, Lennon/McCartney, this above-superb compendium of shoulda-been-Big-BIG-hits from their Golden Decade sets records completely straight in a wholly, well, Groovie way. From the smartly Small Faces “Let Me Rock” clear through the too-bad-the-Ramones-never-got-a-stab-at “So Much In Love,” it’s plain this material, while planted in the past (eg: “Teenage Confidential” is the best song Gene Clark never wrote, while “Yes I Am” encapsulates the entire Aftermath LP in two and a half minutes flat) adroitly set the stage for the power popping paisleys of the Eighties and Nineties to come. Honestly, I still remember how absolutely floored I was when the magnificently Merseybeating “Yes It’s True” and especially “You Tore Me Down” first appeared upon my Pig Player 43-or-so years ago: I put my own band together within a week. P.S.: Also not to be missed in any way whatsoever is Grown Up Wrong’s I’ll Have A… Bucket of Brains collection of all the Groovies’ original, mainly Rockfield recordings from A.D. 1972. All together then, that’ll make four – count ’em! – versions of “Shake Some Action.”

JOHN & YOKO
Above Us Only Sky
(Eagle Vision)

Just when you thought there was categorically nothing left to see, let alone hear, about John Lennon comes this unexpectedly revealing study of J & Y circa 1971. Ostensibly a fly-on-the-studio-wall charting of the Imagine album sessions – quite possibly the most (over?) documented five days in recorded music history – Above Us Only Sky veers into all sorts of fascinating directions; most intriguingly into the backstories of both Yoko and John… which explains not only why the two got together, but why they stayed together. These 113 minutes also illuminate, as never before, the sly yet festering radicalism which lurks, not just lyrically, beneath much of the “sugar coating” which John later described, in perhaps attempting to excuse, the finished product’s orchestral gloss. Speaking of which, of particular note throughout is the ubiquitous, perpetually sunglassed Phil Spector: “a very heavy presence” in the understated words of Sounds photographer Kieron “Spud” Murphy. On much the other hand however is the vintage ’69 Bonus footage of John, Yoko, and Apple publicist Derek Taylor (!) busking “Oh Yoko!” in a Bahamian hotel room. Who knew Mrs. Lennon could be so skilled at harmony singing?!!      

LIBRARIANS WITH HICKEYS
“Black Velvet Dress” / “Alex”
(Big Stir Records)

For anyone out there who may still, for some unfathomable reason, question the power and the glory of the three-minute four-chord p-o-p song done right, “Black Velvet Dress” will in no way fail to raise you off your settee and shove things direct towards the nearest Volume UP knob. “I heard you were giving a funeral today” may indeed be the first words voiced here, but what follows instead is a deceptively cheery deep breeze through all the brightest and the best of a circa-’78 playlist from your most trusted music geek’s audio closet. Nostalgic? No. The word would be “timeless.” N.B.: stay tuned for the coda too. Meanwhile, “Alex” sports the exceptionally ethereal sheen of, say, the Springfield or even Who at their most subtle and nuanced …and the concluding 30 seconds are just about the most gorgeous I’ve spent all year. Oh! and Hunt down then repeatedly hear these Librarians’ “And Then She’s Gone” b/w “Until There Was You” as well. And let’s all hope their long-promised full-length album isn’t much longer overdue.   

 

KIMBERLEY REW AND LEE CAVE-BERRY
Enjoy The Rest Of Your Day
(KL Recording)

And on the subject of pop done right, connoisseurs of the jangle genre, while already well acquainted with Mr. Rew’s renowned past will be as tickled as I at the breadth, bravado, and downright panache he and Lee pack into this singularly unassuming little disc. Donning their Blue Caps straight out of the gate on “Flat Cat,” rollicking towards The Great Lost Buckingham Nicks gem “Jess,” the two can make one incredible string band (“Angel On Earth”) one moment, then with “Sad Case” ricochet with precisely the kind of Northern beat ballad last heard on your fave rave Hollies B-side. Lee’s “Backing Singer Blues” places her 20 feet from stardom, certainly, but in a less bitter, more sweet way while “All The Colours” and maybe even the T.Rex-y “Sister Cow” demonstrate a most fruitful future awaits K & L if ever they should decide to explore the wide wild world of children’s entertainment. No, really! These songs are exhilaratingly all-ages, you bet, but with a keen eye and ear towards the canny sophistication which comes with musicians and songwriters who’ve been around. All the way around. And don’t it feel good?    

“THE ROLLING STONES ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS”
(ABKCO Films)

As the onslaught of over-boxed (not to mention all too frequently over-hyped and -priced) 50th Anniversary Christmastime Commemorative Issues roll onward and outward, how refreshing to hear – and see! – a package that more than deserves its place not only in socio-musical history, but right up there on your nearest collectors’ shelf too. This exquisitely restored and bountifully expanded edition of the Rolling Stones’ sorta-ill-fated 1968 all-star-and-then-some television spectacular is worth treasuring today if only to savor fresh commentary tracks from Mick and Keith, Marianne and Yoko, and director Michael Lindsay-Hogg …not to mention a bonus trio of additional Taj Mahal performances and even a Dirty Mac rehearsal of the latest Beatle B-side “Revolution.” Nevertheless, when all is said and sung, it remains The Who and their still-incendiary-after-all-these-years “A Quick One While He’s Away” that continues to steal the show; “for a brief moment it seemed that rock ‘n’ roll would inherit the Earth,” as no less an authority as official Circus chronicler David Dalton reminds us.    

 

SEX CLARK FIVE
The Orange Album
(Records to Russia)

It’s getting harder each and every decade to “miss” our beloved SC5, as they inch ever so closer to genuine mainstream underground acclaim and success: Now, in a mere 40 (!) minutes, are 23 (!!) good 2019 reasons why. Including “The Orange Album Song” (clocking in at 0:44), “Feel Too Hard” (adept vocal counterpointing), “Leni Riefenstahl,” “Jeanne d’Arc” and “Merchant of Venice” (acute melodic name-dropping; the latter complete with transcription sampling), “Those Days Are Gone” (psych!), “Cosmic Brain” (power!), “Home at Last” (pop!!), “Danielle” (I love the Honeycombs too), “Girl” (beats the Beatles’), “Hold On” (beats the Hermits’!), “Another Glad Life” (should’ve ended up in that Queen movie), “Dark Age Saint” (should’ve ended up on Disc 4 of the Kinks’ new Arthur box) …and I have still left a full ten other tracks thoroughly unaccounted for! Yes, James Butler and Rick Storey have produced yet another album which, remarkably, remains unfailingly loyal to their very own style of sound; as unmistakable today as it was in, unbelievably, 1985. If you missed them then, don’t miss them now.

SQUIRES OF THE SUBTERRAIN
Radio Silence
(Rocket Racket Records)

Our noble Squire may have taken ’018 off, but he’s back …in all of his “recorded in the basement on analog gear” splendor. And you know what? This whole project seems, and surely sounds, positively soused from start to finish. But, in the kind of way that might make even the 1972 Raymond Douglas Davies green with ARLD. Tracks titled “Fever Eyes,” “Whiskey Closet” and “Tequila And Gin” provide clues, of course; not to mention the “Last call, Harry Nilsson!” aroma ’round “Too Much Of A Good Thing.” Elsewhere though, there’s the “8th Wonder Of The World” (yep, it’s the eighth number of the program) which should immediately be sent David Lynch’s way, the severely alt. country – even Hank Hardwood might appreciate – “Shadow,” and the Bradley brothers’ brass-propelled clean outta Nola and into the swamp “House Of Ghosts.” Add a shot of Speedy Keen on the title track accompanied by the most, um, mischievously tuned pianos this side of Quadrophenia and the Radio Silence becomes truly deafening.    


JOHNNY THUNDERS    
Madrid Memory
(Cleopatra Records)

Had I been anywhere in Spain on the evening of June 14, 1984, I would have made damn sure I was right there cheering on everyone’s favorite Doll as he and veteran partner-in-grime S. Sylvain hurled themselves through this typically shambled set of classics, soon-to-be-classics, and Grade A clunkers to boot. Introduced with simulated lightning and, yes, thunder, then the dulcet tones of “Pipeline,” a JT resplendent in his finest Dr. as opposed to Sgt. Pepper matador finery kicks off with an expertly ragged one-two “Personality Crisis”/”Too Much Junkie Business” slap before settling into the slipstream of things, Madrid-style. That means a shot of “Tequila” mixed with the “Just Another Girl” guitar solo, Sylvain ravaging his portable 88’s for a Booker T. by way of Terry Adams “Green Onions” I kid you not and, ladies and gentlemen, Jerry Nolan beating beautifully during “Don’t Mess With Cupid” especially. Break the merriment with an interview segment featuring, and I quote, Composer and Painter Carlos Berlanga, Music Producer, Manager and Starmaker Miguel Angel Arenas and three-quarters of the Zoquillos Punk Rock Band, follow with a four-song acoustic encore featuring a flamenco “Eve of Destruction” (!)… all memories you can put more than your arms around. Then, for even more fun, Don’t Forget to check in to Room 37 on your way out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Hadley Kennary “Habits”

Chicago, Illinois native Hadley Kennary is a singer-songwriter who, like many trying to make it in the music industry, has moved to Nashville to be part of the vibrant music scene in that town. And being in Nashville, Kennary is starting to get noticed. That has to do with her strong vocals and her writing ability. Both of those qualities have led to many accolades such as winning second place in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Songwriting Competition, as well as being included in several other contests.  

To date, Hadley Kennary released a self-titled release in 2011, the In Fall album in 2013 and the Momentum EP in 2016. Just recently, Kennary released her newest EP of music. The 2019 release from the singer-songwriter is titled Habits. And to help Hadley bring her music to life on that release, she’s joined by Collin Pastore on pedal steel, Austin Webb on guitar, Andrew Brown on Bass, and Jake Finch on drums and background vocals. While Hadley Kennary won that Second Place finish in the aforementioned Bluegrass Songwriting contest, together, Kennary and company create a release that blends together a generous amount of Pop and Rock influences.

Habits from Hadley Kennary begins with the track “First Love”. The track begins with the sound of the guitar and some light percussion as Kennary adds soft vocals to the provided music. Before long, the song changes from the light musical approach to a track with a full-on Pop-Rock musical feel. In fact, the track feels like something from Shania Twain except with a much stronger Rock and Roll influence to the music as Hadley and band create a track that would feel right at home alongside Twain’s “I’m Gonna Getcha Good,” especially since both tracks contain an upbeat delivery on the music as well as containing lyrics about pursing your love interest. The commercial feel of the track ensures a strong showing on the charts if the song gets a chance.

With the next track, Hadley Kennary takes her music in a much different direction. The track “Right by You” is a track that contains a sound that will remind the listener of something from the mid-eighties. In fact, the musical Pop-Rock approach of “Right by You” contains a sound that places the track next to songs from artists like Kim Wilde, Sheena Easton and/or Kim Carnes. The musical vibe of the track comes courtesy of the bassline from Andrew Brown as well as the guitar playing from Austin Webb. As the track continues, the addition of the drums just helps to reinforce that approach. Together, the musicians help create that musical vibe that places the song musically into the eighties. For those who enjoy the sound of that era, “Right by You” will satisfy the craving for music from that decade.

Hadley Kennary and band slow things down on the next track of the EP. The song “Accountability” once again features a Pop-Rock feel to the music as the song begins with the sound of the acoustic guitar and Kennary’s vocals. The simplicity of that combination creates the basis of the track and that simplicity lasts throughout the three minutes of the song, creating a track with a gentle feeling to the music. The inclusion of electric guitar, slide guitar and other instrumentation in the background adds depth to the track. However, that added instrumentation stays rather low-key throughout, allowing the vocals of Kennery to shine as harmonies add even more to the track. Altogether, the soft gentle music of the song brings to mind the musical stylings of someone like Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos or other singer-songwriters who stay on the softer side of Pop-Rock.

The harder side of Hadley Kennary and her music returns on the track called “Casual”. The beginning of the track starts with the light sound of the bass before the electric guitar joins in to create a Rock and Roll feel to the music. In fact, it is the electric guitar that stands out on this song, adding power to the music while creating a sound that would fit squarely on the today’s radio airwaves. The full sound of the guitar and the strength of the music creates an Alternative Rock feel to the track. At the beginning of the song, the electric guitar and Alternative Rock feel of the music brings to mind someone like Alanis Morrissett. However, the track changes slightly as some Pop influence is added to the music. The track ultimately feels like a blend of Alanis Morrissett and the more Rock and Roll side of No Doubt. “Casual” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the release, as well as one of the most commercial. And with that in mind, it’s easy to see why the track is one of the singles on the EP.

It is with the track “Potential” that Hadley Kennary brings her new Habits EP to a close. Much like with the previous track of “Casual,” Kennary creates a track with a strong Rock and Roll backbone to it. But the song also contains a Pop feel to the music at the same time. The track is one of the more energetic of the songs on the release as it contains a driving feel to the music. As far as style is concerned, the music falls somewhere between the nineties and today, creating a very modern feel to the song. You can imagine the track fitting on any Alternative Rock, Modern Rock or even Top 40/Hot A/C radio formats. The energetic feel to the music as well as its commercial vibe makes “Potential” a very listener-friendly track. It also makes the inclusion of the track at the very end of the release a good move as it brings Habits from Hadley Kennary to a close on a strong note.

Habits from Hadley Kennary is a strong five–song release. And with the Pop-Rock, Alternative Rock, even Top 40 influences in the songs, the album gives the listener a short, but accurate indication of the talents of Kennary. Whether you are a fan of Pop-Rock, Alternative Rock, even Top 40 music, there’s something here for any lover of Rock and Roll music.  

For a taste of the music from Hadley Kennary, check out the single “Casual”.

To check out the Habits release from Hadley Kennary, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: Gretchen Pleuss “Daughter of the Broader Skies”

Gretchen Pleuss is an Ohio-bred singer-songwriter who makes her home in Akron and performs regularly around the Northeastern Ohio region. Not only does she perform her own music in venues around the area, she also hosts an Open-mic night at the Uncorked Wine Bar. As a singer-songwriter, Pleuss creates music that is strongly based in Folk-Rock. And it is that style of music that can be found on Pleuss’ albums Out of Dreams (2013) and From Birth, To Breath, To Bone (2016). Pleuss recently added to that discography with her latest album, 2019’s Daughter of the Broader Skies.

As a musician, Gretchen Pleuss is a guitarist that has developed a rather jazzy style to her playing. That jazzy playing style from Pleuss helps to shape the feel of her Folk-Rock music, which is very evident in her latest album of Daughter of the Broader Skies. And to bring that new 2019 release to life, Gretchen Pleuss is joined by her backing band, which consists of drummer Holbrook Riles III, bassist Matt DeRubertis and percussionist Anthony Taddeo. Pleuss and band is also joined by Ray Flanagan who adds his touches to the music of the album. The resulting release is helped along by the studio production of Jim Wirt.

Daughter of the Broader Skies from Gretchen Pleuss begins with the track “If You Saw Me Now”. The track that has become the second single off of the release features a Folk/Pop-Rock blend to the music, placing the song squarely in the Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary genre. The song features a light, rather bouncy feel to the track, thanks to the fingerpicking guitar style from Pleuss. And while there is that lightness in the music, the subject matter is anything but light. The track finds the subject of the song speaking to her deceased mother, looking for guidance. As Pleuss sings, she describes a relationship that is far from healthy; a relationship the subject can’t seem to get away from. Pleuss seems to be wondering what her mother would say about the matter if only she were here. With the subject matter being rather serious in nature, “If You Saw Me Now” is a track that will make you think. However, it’s still a track that draws the listener in with its commercial sound that is readymade for radio airplay.   

Gretchen Pleuss continues her new release with the song “Everybody’s Pretty,” the first single off of the release. The song follows a woman as she makes her way through Queens in New York. The singer describes the scene as she encounters many different people whom she interacts with. As she makes her way through the city, she notices the fake quality of those people who are all too pretty to be real. The track makes one wish for the realness of the everyday world that you won’t find in that city. Much like with the previous track, “Everybody’s Pretty” features Pleuss’ fingerpicking style of playing, which gives the music its jazzy musical approach. You could easily imagine this track being on Adult Contemporary radio formats.

Pleuss continues Daughter of the Broader Skies with the song “Sheepish”. While the previous track features a fingerpicking style of playing in the guitar, Gretchen Pleuss chooses a much simpler strumming style of playing on this track. That creates a more usual feel to the Folk-Rock music on the track. Much like with the previous track where Pleuss described her interaction with the people she encountered, “Sheepish” finds her describing another scene in much the same way. Except in this case, Pleuss sings of doing a little inner soul-searching as she looks for a higher power. With the choice of creating Folk-Rock, Pleuss draws inspiration from the likes of singer-songwriters of years gone by. With this track, you can almost hear Joni Mitchell and/or Carole King in this track.

Gretchen Pleuss’ fingerpicking style of playing returns on the title track of her latest release. The song “Daughter of the Broader Skies” begins with a laidback feel to the Folk-Rock music. That laidback feel is short-lived however as the addition of percussion and a stronger bass delivery to the track adds a bit of energy to the music. That energetic delivery adds a different feel to the album. As the track progresses, more instrumentation is added to the track. Instead of featuring a Folk-Rock sound, the song comes across as more of an Indie Rock track. “Daughter of the Broader Skies” is one of the strongest tracks on the release.

Many singer-songwriters writer songs about themes that they are passionate about. And in today’s political climate, many are taking a stand on the poor conditions the people being held near the border of the U.S/Mexico border. Gretchen Pleuss is no different as she has written the song “Borders” as her way of making a statement on the subject. The lyrics about how some people are being treated and the conditions they are existing under are matched up with music that features a gentle feel to the Folk/Rock blend that Pleuss has created to help stress the feel of the words. While the lyrics could be more extreme and poignant, the resulting track still helps to remind people of the situation taking place.

Daughter of the Broader Skies from Gretchen Pleuss continues with the track “Rainy Days”. With a track that features a Lite Rock approach to the music much like songs from Tori Amos and/or Sarah McLachlan. That Lite Rock approach comes with a generous Pop feel to it. And just like “If You Saw Me Now” from earlier in the release, “Rainy Days” features a slightly bouncy feel to the music. The track that finds Pleuss reflecting on a part relationship has very catchy and commercial quality to it. There is enough of a commercial appeal to the track that it could become the next single off of the album if Pleuss ever wanted to release it that way.

The newest release from Gretchen Pleuss comes to a close with the song “One for All”. Like the song “Borders,” this song finds Pleuss in a political mood standing up for what she believes. The song “One for All” features lyrics about the failure of the American Dream to live up to the promise that should come with it. Pleuss sings of the things that could be attained IF you are just the right person with just the right background…and the reality of what actually happens. The very poignant track brings the new release from the singer-songwriter to a close in a way that leaves you contemplating the words long after the last note of the track fades.

Gretchen Pleuss’ Daughter of the Broader Skies release contains many songs that have a light, bouncy feel to them. But the songs on the album that come with a message keep the release from getting too light and easy. The dozen tracks on the release show off the talent of Gretchen Pleuss as a singer-songwriter as well as musician.     

To discover the music of Gretchen Pleuss, check out the track of “If You Saw Me Now”. 

To hear the entire album of Daughter of the Broader Skies from Gretchen Pleuss, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: The Persian Leaps “Electrical Living”

Drew Forsberg is the driving force behind the St. Paul, Minnesota-based band called The Persian Leaps. Having been created by Forsberg back in the early days of this decade, the band was mainly a musical outlet for Forsberg who used the moniker of The Persian Leaps to release his solo music. Eventually, however, it became necessary to create a real band to perform the music. And through the lifetime of The Persian Leaps, the musical outfit has gone through several stages, from the solo project to a full band, changing sizes depending on how many people were in the band at the time.

Throughout the time that The Persian Leaps have existed, the musical outfit has released a generous amount of 5-song EPs. Then the band released its first full-length album, Pop That Goes Crunch, last year. And having already released one album of music, The Persian Leaps returns in 2019 with yet another one. This time, the new release from the band is entitled Electrical Living. The line-up that helped create the music on this album consists of Forsberg on guitar, keyboards and drum programming, with Jon Hunt on bass, background vocals and some piano.   

Electrical Living from The Persian Leaps begins with the track called “The Art Form”. Together, Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt create a song with a strong Rock and Roll approach in the music. With the strong guitar presence in the track, the song feels as if it could have been created right around the time that the eighties were turning into the nineties, the type of Rock and Roll that was in existence before the advent of Alternative Rock radio formats. With the strength of the music in the track, the minute-long song of “The Art Form” kicks off the release with a lot of energy.

The new release from The Persian Leaps continues with the song “Catnip for Cupid”. With this song, Forsberg and Hunt create music with a Power Pop feel. The combination of the guitars and a rather bouncy feel to the music is what makes the track fall into the Power Pop genre. And much like the previous track, “Catnip for Cupid” comes with a rather short playtime. But at two minutes, it’s twice the length of the lead-off song of “The Art Form”.

Electrical Living continues with the song “Expert Witness”. Much like with “Catnip for Cupid,” the duo of Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt put together another track with a bouncy feel to the music. This time, however, the bass in the song is a little more prominent than it had been with the earlier tracks. The song also contains a slightly stronger Alternative Rock feel to the music, which would place the song squarely in the mid-nineties. But with the bouncy feel to the music and the stronger bassline, you could easily imagine this track on either today’s Pop-Rock radio formats or Alternative Rock stations. And with the track being almost three minutes in length, it’s the perfect length for commercial airplay.

Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt take their sound back into the nineties with the track “Sweet Nothings”. As a matter of fact, the duo seems to have drawn upon the sound of the band Weezer for the feel of this track. And for the first time, the duo adds the sound of Jon Hunt’s keyboards into the background of the track, giving the track a Pop-Rock/Alternative feel. With that combination, the track would fall within the music of bands from the nineties.

For the next track called “About Your Record,” Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt create a song that features the influence of Brit-Pop music. In fact, the track brings to mind the little-known British band The Family Cat, as the track would have fit in rather nicely in that band’s final album entitled Magic Happens. The vocals from Drew Forsberg even recall The Family Cat frontman Paul Frederick while the Power Pop on this track recalls that band’s musical style, placing the song from The Persian Leaps alongside tracks such as “Amazing Hangover”.

With the song “The Problem Is…,” The Persian Leaps take their music solidly into the direction of Pop-Rock. The track begins with the solo sound of the electric guitar of Drew Forsberg. The gentle feel of the guitar transitions into a full-band sound that takes the gentle feel of that guitar and creates a Pop-Rock track with an easy pace. On this track, the duo draws inspiration from the British band The Smiths. Containing the same musical feel as music from The Smiths, “The Problem Is…,” from The Persian Leaps would fit right in with any of the tracks from The Smiths’ discography.

The Persian Leaps bring their musical style back to the Rock and Roll sound of the late eighties/early nineties on the song “Take Me to The Mountain”. On this track, Drew Forsberg sings about the need to get away from it all. With this track, Forsberg, together with Jon Hunt, creates a track that brings to mind the Scottish band Teenage Fanclub and the band’s songs like “Star Sign” from their album Bandwagonesque from 1991. The track has a strong commercial feel that would be right at home among Alternative Rock songs from the nineties.  

“Chalk Line Behemoth,” the next track on Electrical Living, keeps the sound of The Persian Leaps’ music within the feel of the late nineties/early 2000s. This track brings to mind some of the sound of the band Smash Mouth. “Chalk Line Behemoth” recalls Smash Mouth’s Reggae-influenced track of “Road Man;” especially since the two songs share a few bars of music as well as overall feel of the music, even if Smash Mouth’s song is Reggae-influenced while “Chalk Line Behemoth” from The Persian Leaps contains a straight-out Rock and Roll feel to the music.  

The Persian Leaps bring their latest release to a close with the song called “Dominoes”. The song contains a strong Alternative Rock feel to the music, recalling bands like Weezer or Better than Ezra. In fact, “Dominoes” from The Persian Leaps even feels similar to Better Than Ezra’s 1993 song entitled “Good” from that band’s 1993 release entitled Deluxe.

Throughout the release entitled Electrical Living, The Persian Leaps create an album that alternates between Power Pop and Alternative Rock. When combined together, the eleven songs on the release create one solid album that features many radio-friendly tracks for those who like the music of the late eighties/early nineties. And while this particular album is a break from the norm for The Persian Leaps founder Drew Forsberg, the choice to go in a different direction resulted in a strong release that is absolutely worth checking out.

 

For more information, check out The Persian Leap’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from The Persian Leaps, check out their song “Catnip for Cupid”.

To check out the release entitled Electrical Living from The Persian Leaps, click on the album cover below: 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Automatic “Signal”

Los Angeles-based band Automatic came together when they met within the music scene of that city. Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals) are the three women who make up the band. It was back in 2017 when Izzy had been invited by Halle to plug her guitar into the bass amp. Since then, however, the band’s makeup changed from guitar-based to keyboard-based music when Izzy Glaudini decided to set the guitar aside and started jamming on the keyboards. With this version of the lineup, the three musicians draw their musical inspiration (as well as the name) from the band called The Go-Gos as well as others. Other influences to Automatic’s music come from the likes of punk bands like Bauhaus and others.

While Automatic draws some inspiration from Punk (due to several factors including the fact that Lola Dompé’s father is none other than Daniel Ash of Bauhaus), the band’s sound is much more closely related to Indie Rock with some New Wave flavor thrown in. You can call the band’s sound “electronic post-punk”. That sound can be found on the band’s debut album entitled Signal.

Signal from Automatic begins with the track “Too Much Money”. It’s the sound of Halle Saxon’s bass that starts the track off, with Izzy Glaudini’s keyboards adding a bit of Industrial Distortion to the background of the track. When Lola Dompé’s drums are added into the mix, the resulting track takes the listener back in time to the early days of New Wave when the bands like Ultravox and Kraftwerk were influencing the direction of Rock and Roll over in England. The unmistakable New Wave feel of the music is joined by lead vocals from drummer Lola Dompé and background vocals from keyboard player Izzy Glaudini that, together, recall bands like Bananarama and/or the aforementioned Go-Gos. While the track has a slightly dark feel, the quick pace of the music adds some lightness into the mix. “Too Much Money” is a fun listen, in a throwback kind of way.

Automatic continues their album with the track “Calling It”. Like with the previous track, the song begins with the pounding bass from Halle Saxon with a light drumbeat from Lola Dompé. The two musicians create a rhythmic pattern that is added to by atmospheric noise from Izzy Glaudini’s keyboards. That rhythmic pattern and atmospheric noise create a track of minimalistic simplicity as the vocals from Izzy Glaudini on the track are delivered in a sing-song, monotone manner. The lyrics about bringing a relationship to a close just adds to the darkness of the track. The song ends up being the type of tracks that would fit in with either New Wave artists and/or Alternative Rock artists.

With the track “Suicide in Texas,” the band creates another song with a rather simplistic feel to the music. Like with the previous track, “Suicide in Texas” contains a light delivery on the drums as well as atmospheric noise in the background. Along with the light percussion, the song features a strong bassline and swirling keyboards that constantly seem to loop upon themselves. This creates a track that has a definite Pop-like pace to the music and a beat that is rather infectious. That being said, however, the song is hardly the type of song that you would find on a Top 40 radio format. As a result, “Suicide in Texas” contains a sound that is both underground and listener-friendly at the same time, creating one of the more interesting songs on the album.

The next track, called “I Love You, Fine,” begins with a heartbeat-like pulse from Halle Saxon’s bass and a keyboard sound that comes with a slightly dark feel to it. The bass/keyboard sound is then joined by sonar-like pulse, which, combined together creates dark, foreboding music. It is with the inclusion of Lola Dompé’s drums that the song actually gains a little lightness to the music. When the band finally picks up the pace on the song, the track takes on a Post-Punk musical approach, making the track feel like it came from the late seventies/early eighties.

As much of the music contained on the Signal release from Automatic contains some influence from New Wave music from the eighties, it should come as no surprise that the band added a slightly robotic feel to their music on the title track of the release. The addition of the sound effects in the music on the song “Signal” also gives the song a mechanical feel to it. With the robotic feel to the drums and bass on the song, as well as the use of sound effect, the track “Signal” feels very much like it was influenced by the band Devo. The band even continues the mechanical feel of the music with the next track of “Humanoid”.

With the bass riff at the beginning of the track “Electrocution,” the band Automatic feels as if they are calling upon the influence of the group A Flock of Seagulls. The quick drumbeat even adds to that reference. But with the light keyboards at the beginning of the song, the track also feels like it was influenced by the likes of The Cure. The Call-and-Return feel of the lead vocals and background vocals in the refrain of the track adds a nice amount of depth to the track. You could imagine this track being played on College Radio back in the late eighties/early nineties.

The Signal album from Automatic comes to a close with the song “Strange Conversation”. The track’s heavy bassline and strong keyboards mix with keyboard player Izzy Glaudini’s vocals to create a track that feels like it would have come from the mid-eighties. In fact, the track would have felt right at home being played alongside either “I Could Be Happy” or “Happy Birthday” from the Scottish New Wave band Altered Images.

Signal from Automatic is a strong album, with the various influences from Alternative Rock and/or New Wave, and from bands like Kraftwerk, A Flock of Seagulls, The Cure among others. But with the music on the release alternating between Post-Punk, Industrial, and New Wave, the album is more suited towards those looking for Indie Rock than those looking for Top 40/Adult Contemporary music. If you’re a fan of slightly darker takes on music, this may well be the album for you.

For a taste of the music from Automatic, check out the music video to the band’s song called “Too Much Money”.

To check out the Signal album from Automatic on spotify, click on the album cover below:

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Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Booker T. Jones Releases New Album Entitled “Note By Note”

Musician and songwriter Booker T. Jones has had a long and legendary musical career. So much so, that he and his band Booker T. and the MG’s have been a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1992 as one of the very first bands to get enshrined into the museum.

During his career, which began while he was still in high school, Booker T. Jones recorded thirteen studio albums with the MG’s and was part of numerous other albums, as well. Along with their own music, the band ended up playing on hundreds of recordings by artists including Wilson PickettOtis ReddingBill WithersSam & DaveCarla ThomasRufus ThomasJohnnie Taylor and Albert King

As far as Booker T. himself is concerned, his last album was released back in 2011 under the title of The Road from Memphis. That album found Jones recording an album with some of today’s most talented artists helping to form the songs with him. Yim Yames (Jim James of My Morning Jacket), Sharon Jones and even Biz Markie added to the magic of that release.

Just recently, Booker T. Jones entered the studio to create yet another album. The new album from Booker T. Jones is Note By Note.

The album of Note By Note from Booker T. Jones is a collection of eleven tracks. These tracks are just a sampling of all of the songs that Jones has recorded over the many phases of his career, including two tracks written by Booker and his son Teddy Jones which bring the album to a close. And much like the previous release from Jones entitled The Road from MemphisNote By Note finds Jones entering the recording studio and recording with some of today’s artists. The album was created by Booker T. Jones with Jones being behind the organ and joined by Matt Berninger (The National), Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble), longtime Tom Petty drummer Steve Ferrone as well as Jones’ son Teddy Jones on lead guitar.

The album of Note By Note from Booker T. Jones begins with the very first big hit for Stax Records: “Cause I Love You”. On this track, Jones is joined by two artists that found their way to stardom through winning talent contests on some well-known television shows: Joshua Ledet comes from his time on the 2012 season of American Idol, whereas Evvie McKinney won her season of The Four. McKinney was also a student of Jones’ at Stax Music Academy. Together, Jones, Ledet and McKinney create a brand new take on the duet originally recorded by Carla & Rufus Thomas with Booker T. and the MG’s playing the music. The updated version of the track still contains the same feel as the original, keeping the memory of the track alive.

The next track on the Note By Note album from Booker T. Jones is the classic track from Albert King called “Born under a Bad Sign”. While Albert King’s version of the track featured the vocals of King, this version of the song does not come with a vocalist. Instead, the new recording features a style much like the instrumental songs from Booker T. and the MG’s such as “Green Onions”. In fact, given the time period when the tracks was originally released, and given the sound of the new track recalls the style of that band, “Born under a Bad Sign” on Note By Note feels as if it could have been recorded by Booker T. and the MG’s as an instrumental instead of a track with vocals.

Booker T. Jones’ new album also features the song “I Want You,” a track that brings out the Soul influence of Jones in a very dominant way. The strong Soul track features the vocals from DeAndre Brackensick. The track comes from the solo release from Jones of the same name from back in 1981. Unlike with the previous tracks, this song seems to have found Jones wanting to simply recreate the tune. As the listener puts the song on, the track feels very reminiscent of the version from ’81. Singer DeAndre Brackensick handles the vocals of the song with plenty of feeling. The new version of the track brings back the memory of the song, making it fresh on the minds of the music-buying public.

The feeling of the album changes for several reasons with the next track entitled “Precious Lord”. First, the tracks adds a certain amount of spiritual feeling to the album. Second, the track slows things down because of that spiritual approach to the music. And third, the addition of singer Sharlotte Gibson adds a lot of emotion to the track. The track is split nearly in half as the first part of the song features only Gibson on vocals and Jones on organ. The second half of the song features the instrumentation of bass and drums to add to the feeling of the song. What results is a track that feels very much like something from inside a Sunday gathering.

With the track “These Arms of Mine,” Jones and band brings back the classic track from Otis Redding. Just like with the earlier song of “Born under a Bad Sign,” the resulting song brings back the feel of the music of Booker T. and the MG’s with horns thrown in to fill out the sound of the track. It is vocalist Ty Taylor who adds his voice to the track to bring the song to life. Together, Jones and Taylor do a good job of revisiting the classic track, sending the listener back to the sixties when the song was popular.

Obviously, one of the tracks on the new album from Booker T. Jones that stands out would be the title track of the album. “Time is Tight” is a track that was a big part of the history of Booker T. and the MG’s as the band would record the song twice during their career: One version would be recorded as the single, and the other featured several changes in the pace and feel of the music and was longer. It is the latter version of the track that is drawn from for the new album. But with this version of the song, Booker T. Jones and band turn the song into an extended jam, pushing the song over the nine-minute mark. For those who enjoy this track, the extended feel of the song is just what you’re looking for.

Booker T. Jones brings his newest album of Note By Note to a close with the tracks “Maybe I Need Saving” and “Paralyzed”. As was explained earlier, these final two tracks feature father and son as Booker T. is joined by vocalist Teddy Jones for two original tracks. While both tracks are fantastic, it is the track of “Paralyzed” that caught my attention. The track features music that combines some Soul flavor, some Blues, and a hefty amount of Jazz influence together. The result is a track that would easily fit on today’s Smooth Jazz radio format. And with the rather commercial feel of the track, it could easily end up making its way up the Jazz Singles Charts. The song is the perfect track to bring the latest release from Booker T. Jones to a close.

Today, Booker T. Jones can be found reflecting on his time in the music industry. And by doing so, Jones has just written a new book that focuses on his life and his time in the industry. That new book from Jones is entitled Time Is Tight: My Life, Note By Note. It was this new book and the creation of it that led to new creative juices flowing from Booker T Jones. Those creative juices resulted not only in the book, but also the new album to coincide with the release of the book, which has just been reviewed above. 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch the behind the scenes video for the making of this release here:

 

Here is the newest song from Booker T Jones called “Paralyzed“: 

To check out the entire album of Note By Note from Booker T. Jones, click on the album cover below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo of Booker T. Jones used in this article copyrighted by Piper Ferguson)

 

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CD Review: Maura Rogers and the Bellows “Always”

For Maura Rogers and Meredith Pangrace, it was a match made in heaven. Or maybe destiny. Whatever it was, the two women got to know each other. And then, because of a medical emergency when Rogers needed a second chance in life, Pangrace was there for her. Once that situation was handled, a relationship that was blooming became stronger and so did a songwriting partnership. Along with their relationship, Maura Rogers and Meredith Pangrace create music as part of a band known as Maura Rogers and the Bellows. Until just recently, the band had released three albums: 2012’s A Good Heart Will Break, 2015’s In Light and 2016’s Live at the Beachland Ballroom.

Today, Maura Rogers and Meredith Pangrace are still creating music under the Maura Rogers and the Bellows moniker, a name that came about because of the inclusion of the accordion played by Pangrace. With Maura Rogers on guitar and vocals and Meredith Pengrace on keys and accordion, the duo is joined by the rest of the band which consists of: Al Moses on lead guitar, Quinn Hyland on bass, and Jeff Babinkski on drums. Together, this band is currently creating music that could fall into the Americana genre as it draws from several different musical styles and seems to have been inspired by the music of several different eras of music as well. It is with this version of the band that has created the fourth and newest release under the Maura Rogers and the Bellows moniker called Always.

The Always release was actually a form of therapy in and of itself for Maura Rogers. The reason for that is because the music for the album was recorded during the time when Rogers was in kidney failure. The band went into the studio to get the album recorded before things got worse for Rogers. Luckily, things worked out, Rogers has a working kidney and the band’s newest album was released. The drive to finish the project may actually have helped Rogers survive the day-to-day wait until she had the operation that saved her life.

Always from Maura Rogers and the Bellows begins with the track “Moses and the Tide”. The track begins with the sound of the bass and drums to create a strong beat. That beat is soon joined by the accordion from Meredith Pangrace. The combination of music feels very gypsy-like in nature. Add the rest of the instrumentation in and what results is a track that brings to mind Sixties-era Jefferson Airplane. You can almost imagine “Moses and the Tide” being played alongside a track from Jefferson Airplane such as “Go Ask Alice”.

The band continues a slight retro feel to their music on the second track called “Let Go”. While this track doesn’t have the same Sixties vibe as the previous song, this song still feels rather retro in nature as the song contains a light Rock and Roll approach. The Lite Rock of the track is mixed with Maura Rogers’ vocals that had a somewhat familiar vibe to them as her vocal delivery recalls that of singer Linda Ronstadt. Together, the track feels like it would have been right at home at AM radio back in the seventies.

For the first few seconds of the track “Anything At All,” Maura Rogers and the Bellows create a passage that feels like an acoustic version of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” from Guns ‘N Roses. Soon after that, however, the track takes on a musical direction with a strong Folk-Rock sound to it. The track contains an easy pace to the music which lends itself well to the sadness in the lyrics about one person reflecting on a relationship that has been played out. Lyrics such as “Do You Feel What I Feel? Do You Feel Anything At All?” give the song its sad feel.

Before Always from Maura Rogers and the Bellows was released, the track entitled “92 Days” was used as the first single off the release in order to promote the still-upcoming album. The title of the track refers to the amount of time that Maura Rogers was laid-up recovering from her kidney transplant back in 2012. The lyrics of the track reflect some of the things Rogers thought about when recovering, especially how love can truly affect the outcome of certain things. The song contains a Folk-Rock musical approach, but the electric guitar on the track pushes the song closer to the Rock and Roll side of things. “92 Days” ends up being a rather emotional track but also one of the strongest moments on the album.

The track called “Tequila” is one of the more unusual songs on the Always album. Having a lyrical content about losing one’s inhibitions after a few drinks, the track finds the band creating a track with a Folk-Rock/Zydeco blend. While the musical blend sets the track apart from the rest of the release, another thing that is different is the atmosphere around the song as the track feels more like a group effort than the rest of the release. The reason for that is the inclusion of more than just Maura Rogers’ vocals as both female and male vocalists take turns singing parts of the song. And when many and/or all of the musicians creating the track join in on the background vocals, it helps give the song a completely different feel than what came before.

One of the more emotional tracks comes late in the album. The song “There’s a Fire” slows things down on the Always release as Maura Rogers sings of the passion in her relationship. The slow-paced track features a Folk-Rock feel to the music with a slight touch of Blues to give the music that emotional edge. The slow pace and tempo of the song match up well with the emotional feeling to the lyrics and helps to create a track that just begs the listener to grab their lover and start a slow dance.

The new release from Maura Rogers and the Bellows comes to a close with the title track of the album. For the track called “Always,” Rogers creates a song that feels more like poetry set to music than just a regular song. Inside of that poetic lyrical approach, Rogers writes of inviting the one she loves in to create a couple; a family, as she says in the lyrics. As far as the music of the track is concerned, Rogers and the rest of the band combine to create a slow-paced, expansive song that takes on the feel of a jam-band like track in the style of bands like the Grateful Dead and/or Phish as several solos are taken within the song. The extended nature of the music and the emotional feel of the lyrics to the song “Always” create a song that feels just right as the final track on the release.

Maura Rogers and the Bellows released their current album of Always earlier this year. Since that time, Rogers and the band have continued to create music. In fact, the band just recently released their latest song entitled “Lullabye”. As you might imagine, “Lullabye” is a slow-paced track that deals with the love between mother and child. This song was originally released by Maura Rogers almost a decade ago as she had placed it on her Get Up Girl album when she was still a solo performer. But since the lives of Maura Rogers changed not that long ago with the arrival of two twins, one boy and one girl. That event made it the perfect time to revisit the track and that is exactly what has happened. 

 Always from Maura Rogers and the Bellows is a strong release that makes good use of the various musical influences found in the band’s songs. Those various influences of Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk and Rock ‘n’ Roll. The combination of those styles help shape the album and create a release that is firmly situated within the music genre of Americana.

As a way of promoting the Always release from Maura Rogers and the Bellows before the album was released, the band put out the song “92 Days” as a promo track. Here is the video to that track. 

Maura Rogers and the Bellows is currently promoting their newly recorded version of the track “Lullabye”. The track is available only through the band. You can reach them through their Facebook profile.  Here is the live version of the track recorded in concert at the Music Box Supper Club the night of the track’s release.

To hear the Always release from Maura Rogers and the Bellows, click on the album cover below for the spotify profile for the release:

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CD Review: Silvermouse “Earthadelik”

Silvermouse is the moniker for an electronic music duo. The musical duo now based in Puerto Rico consists of: electronic music producer Joanne Hunt (who goes by the stage name of Miss Jojo) and multi-instrumentalist Justin Handley (whose musical arsenal includes guitar, violin, mandolin, flute, ukulele and traditional Puerto Rican 3-string ‘cigar box’ guitar). Together, the two musical artists create one concept that blends together her electronic sounds and his organic sounds that results in a style referred to as “Livetronica,” music that is both psychedelic and improvisational at the same time. Having already released three previous albums, the duo has just put out their latest release entitled Earthadelik.

Earthadelik from Silvermouse begins with the track “New Moon”. The track begins with Joanne Hunt creating an electronic musical passage that sounds like a rather musical heartbeat, repeating the way a heart does but with a lot more melody. A rhythmic pattern creates a drumbeat to establish the beat of the song. Add in some electronic noise, and the track begins to take shape. Eventually, the track builds to include guitars in the background as well as different forms of percussion to add layers to the music. What results is a track with plenty of energy and a virtual swirling effect to the music, as if the music is all around the listener. The lack of a bassline keeps the track light, regardless of how many layers are part of the track. With the energy given off by the music, you can imagine dancing to the track in the middle of a music festival.

The duo continues their new release of Earthadelik with one track that seems to perfectly define just what is meant by the term “Earthadelik”. Featuring electronic music much like the previous track, the track “Existence Experience” also contains an Eastern Indian feel to the music, while still containing a definite psychedelic feel. Like most dance tracks of the Techno, Trance, Happy Hardcore variety, the track begins with a very soft feel to the music before it gains energy. That soft approach to the music contains a mandolin being played in the background, adding that mystical and exotic feel to the track. The track builds as light electronic percussion is added. “Existence Experience” is one track on the new album from Silvermouse that feels rather spiritual in nature, as if the track could add ambiance to meditation or prayer if it wasn’t for the dance beat that is such a big part of it.

Silvermouse brings a little Rock and Roll flavor to their music on the track “Down”. Like the previous tracks, the song begins with strong electronic music created by Joanne Hunt. While the music itself has that electronic vibe, the rhythm to the song contains a slight Latin feel to it. That Latin vibe is added to with the addition of the ukulele from Justin Handley. The Alternative Rock and the ukulele give the dance track a slight influence from the likes of Santana. But with the addition of transformers in the electronic portion of the track, the dance feel of the track is enhanced. You can easily imagine this track being featured in an Electronic Dance Music Club Night at your local dance club.

While the previous tracks on the release of Earthadelik find the music beginning with Joanne Hunt and her electronic music only to have Justin Handley join her after a few measures, the next track called “Little Ratty” is one song on the release where Hunt and Handley seem to create the track together from the very beginning of the song, after two or three bars of music. The music begins with a pulsing feel to the electronic portion of the song when a electric violin joins in seconds later. The electronic music creates a swirling musical bed for Handley’s violin while that guitar contains a strong amount of reverb. Together, the two musicians begin the track with an Alternative Rock approach to the song. A strong drumbeat is added and the various elements combine to create a track with a strong Gothic Industrial feel.

One of the tracks on the Earthadelik album from Silvermouse that is being featured is the song “Beef in D Minor”. Much like the composition from Johann Sebastian Bach entitled “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” “Beef in D Minor” begins with the sound of church organ. But in this case, much like the electric violin from Justin Handley on “Little Ratty,” the organ’s sound has been treated. The treated organ’s sound is matched up with a guitar that also has some production quality to it. Together, the two instruments feature a sound that feels very psychedelic in nature. This creates a sound that would have fit in with other music from the sixties. As the song progresses, the sixties vibe dissipates and more of a dance feel replaces it. All of this happens while the guitar and organ seem to have been placed into a loop that repeats over and over. The music eventually morphs as it moves along and a funky groove is produced.

After nine tracks of various musical elements with a dance approach to them, the new release of Earthadelik from Silvermouse comes to a close with the track “Spores in My Dermis”. One definition to the word music is “Organized Noise”. That easily describes the musical approach for “Spores in My Dermis”. As the track begins, various elements play out with no rhyme or reason…or so it seems. Elements build on top of each other and the track swells until the various elements finally come together to form a track with easily the slowest pace and most relaxed feel to the music. And where the previous tracks contain a straight-out danceable feel to the music, the music on “Spores in My Dermis” comes across as much more experimental than anything else. The most unusual track on the release brings Earthadelik from Silvermouse to a close.

Earthadelik from Silvermouse is a release that will most likely be a hit with fans of electronic music. However, the various other elements that swirl around in the release and add to the quality of the music may also bring fans of those styles to the release.  


For more information, check out Silvermouse’s PR firm 
of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

       

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from Silvermouse, check out the track “Beef in D Minor”.

To check out the Earthadelik album from Silvermouse, click on the album cover below: 



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CD Review: The Unbroken “Human Crown”

Brooklyn, New York-based band The Unbroken is a group that draws inspiration from several different eras of Heavy Metal while throwing in a little amount of melody to create a Heavy Metal sound that feels different than much of what is currently out there right now. The Brooklyn, New York outfit consists of: Chester on Lead Vocals and Guitar, Mark on Lead Guitar, Jeff on Bass, and Tamas on Drums. Together, the members of the band are creating music that is as good as anything on a major record label right now. The band is currently promoting their newly-released five-song EP entitled Human Crown.

Human Crown from The Unbroken begins with the track “Stuck in the Way”. As the track begins, the band launches into a Heavy Metal sound that draws inspiration from the likes of Pantera. The blistering guitars at the beginning of the song combine with the bass and drums to create music that seems to have a driving feel to it. That driving feel to the music gives the track plenty of energy. While the one guitar provides the energy, another guitar adds some nice harmony to the background of the song, giving the track depth. And when Chester adds his vocals to the track, a rather strong track is created. As the song continues, a refrain changes the feel of the music as Chester’s vocals add a little more melody to the track. The driving feel to the track changes a little later in the track as the song slows down. What results in the later moments of the song is a Heavy Metal sound that draws inspiration from the Heavy Metal of the late eighties/early nineties. At just over four minutes, “Stuck in the Way” is a very busy track with a lot of changes and a lot of energy. As the first track of the EP, the track sets the bar rather high, making the listener want to hear more.

The Unbroken slow their new release down with the next track called “Suffering in Silence”. And while the track does have a slower pace than the previous song, it’s only because of the driving nature of “Stuck in the Way”. This is not to say that “Suffering in Silence” is a slow track or one that lacks energy. Far from it. This track simply has a more moderate pace to the music. And like the later parts of the previous song, this track appears to draw inspiration from Heavy Metal from the eighties and/or early nineties. Part of the reason for that reference is because of the music itself produced by the band, part of that is because of the production quality on the track as the sound of the instruments have a timeless feel to them. The drums, in particular, give off a certain eighties vibe in the way they sound. “Suffering in Silence” is easily the track for those looking for Old School Heavy Metal.

One of the more melodic moments of the Human Crown release from The Unbroken happens on the title track of the EP. The track also features one of the slower paces of the five tracks included on the release. It is on the song that the guitar work from Chester and Mark truly shine as the two guitarists create music with lots of melody and harmony, creating a track with plenty of depth. Where the previous two songs were all about the energy of the music, it is with this song that the musicianship of the band members is truly shown off. The band has chosen to slow things down to allow for the instruments to speak for themselves. At least for the first two minutes of the song. After those first two minutes, the energy and pace of the music picks up. But the band maintains the melodic nature of the music while stepping up that energy. Guitarist and lead vocalist Chester is also featured as he adds a vocal delivery that contains a slightly stronger melodic delivery on those vocals. With the melodic nature of “Human Crown,” it is rather easy to see why this song was chosen to be the title track of the EP.

With the next track entitled “I Never Forget,” The Unbroken brings their music back to a much more energetic musical delivery, producing another Heavy Metal track with a brutal nature to its music. In fact, with this track, the musicians create one track that features one of the telltale signs of pure Heavy Metal- screeching guitars. When the previous songs had the energy, this song features those screeching guitars, as well as also containing pummeling drums from Tamas who adds plenty of energy to the track. For this song, the energetic music is matched up well with Chester’s powerful vocals. The guitar solo from Mark late in the song adds even more energy to the track.

The quartet known as The Unbroken brings their Human Crown release to a close with the track called “Nothing Left to Sell”. Much like with the title track of the release, the track of “Nothing Left to Sell” features a stronger melodic feel to the music. But unlike that particular song, this track contains a strong, driving feel to the music. It’s that balance in the melody and the energy that helps give the track its personality. While not as brutal as the previous track of “I Never Forget,” the energy level of the song creates one of the best moments on the new EP from The Unbroken.

Human Crown from The Unbroken is everything that a fan of Heavy Metal should be looking for. The strong guitars, deep bass, pummeling drums as well as strong musical deliveries and even some melodic moments add up to a five-track EP with plenty of things to satisfy fans of Heavy Metal. In fact, this is one of the strongest Metal releases I’ve heard in a long time. And it’s welcome, in my opinion.  

For more information, check out The Unbroken’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from The Unbroken, check out their video to the song “Suffering in Silence”. 

To check out the Human Crown EP from The Unbroken, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: Matt Zaddy “Be”

Singer-songwriter Matt Zaddy is a Canadian-born artist that comes from the town of Missisaugua, where he is part of the Missisaugua Art Council. Having spent time in the Canadian band called Starring Janet Leigh, Zaddy is now creating a much different sound with his own music that is created by blending together Blues, Soul, and some light Rock & Roll. Matt Zaddy also includes just a touch of Jazz in the music. With that musical blend, he also calls upon several of today’s hottest artists for inspiration. Artists like John Mayer, Neil Young, Jason Mraz, Passenger, Ed Sheeran, and plenty of others help shape the music of Zaddy. With these and other influences, Matt Zaddy’s music is just as fresh and inviting as anything currently found on the radio.

Within the last few years, Matt Zaddy has been focusing on refining his style and sound. But during that time, he has released a single here or there as well as the 2015 five-track EP called Perfect Moments. Since the time of that release, Zaddy has been writing new music and will shortly be releasing his first album.  And to bring the new album to life, Zaddy called upon a group of talented musicians to help flesh out his songs. Along with Matt Zaddy on vocals and guitar, the rest of the band consists of: Thomas Francis on keys; Heather Christine on backing vocals; Stacey Shopsowitz on bass; Adam Cannon on drums; as well as Joash Paul on drums; Ian MacKay on drums; Jeremy Tozero on backing vocals, bass; and Ross Citrullo who adds some slide guitar to the mix. 

Matt Zaddy’s first album entitled Be begins with the lead-off single of the album, “Busy”. On this track, the band takes Zaddy’s various musical influences, blends them together and creates a track that draws largely upon the Blues style of Johnny Lang while also adding some influence of someone like the afore-mentioned John Mayer. The single of “Busy” features a strong, powerful guitar base perfect for the Blues while also containing some light Rock and Roll flavor. It’s a perfect Mayer/Lang mashup. Zaddy’s guitar on the track is, of course, the focal point of the music. However, the keys from Thomas Francis add a definite Soul influence to the song and maybe a little Jazz feel, as well. Altogether, the Soul, Blues, Jazz and Rock and Roll influences combine to create a track that could be the ultimate crossover hit. The music for the single feels as if it could be included on any of several radio formats such as Smooth Jazz, Hot A/C and/or Top 40.

For the second track of the new release from Matt Zaddy, the music takes on a rather familiar feel to the music. It is on the song of “A Dear Friend” that the light feel to the Alt-Rock track brings to mind the musical stylings of the band Vertical Horizon. One of the main reasons for that musical reference is the light and easy blend of the music from the guitar from Zaddy and keyboards on the track from Thomas Francis. Together with the drums from Ian MacKay and bass from Stacey Shopsowitz, the song takes on a rather laidback, almost Smooth Jazz-like feel to the music. Because of that, the listener can almost imagine this song being included on the later albums from Vertical Horizon when Matt Scannell took complete control of the writing of the songs. “A Dear Friend” has a very commercial feel to it and would fit right in on any Adult Contemporary radio station.

The Be album continues with the track “The Truth”. On this song, Matt Zaddy creates a track that once again features an easy approach to the music. While containing a slight Jack Johnson vibe to the track, there is also a stronger influence in both music and lyrical content that brings to mind the music of Rob Thomas. In fact, the listener may be able to hear some reference to Thomas’ “Streetcorner Symphony” in the music of the track. The combination of those two contemporary influences in the music gives “The Truth” an unmistakably modern feel to the song that should guarantee that the song would feel right at home within any Adult Contemporary radio format.

Matt Zaddy’s new release of Be continues with the song “A Tiny Spark”. Much like the previous tracks, the song contains a light musical delivery right at the beginning. The lonesome sound of one guitar and vocals from Matt Zaddy create a quiet passage in the music before the track picks up the bass from Jeremy Tozer and drums from Joash Paul. Add in some organ from Thomas Francis in the background to complete the feel of the track. The light and easy feel of the music is mixed together with vocals from Zaddy that bring to mind the vocal delivery from Rob Hotchkiss. Together, the track features a sound and delivery very reminiscent of the band Train.

On the track “Brighter Days,” Matt Zaddy blends together some Rock and Roll influence with some Blues to create a track that keeps the release in a modern-day musical state of mind. In fact, the Rock/Blues blend with a light Latin musical delivery creates a track that feels like something that may have come off the 1999 Supernatural release from Santana. And with Zaddy having that slight Rob Thomas feel in his voice that returns for this song, the Santana reference is rather obvious on this track.

Matt Zaddy brings his new release called Be to a close with the final track called “Greater Things”. With this track, Zaddy creates a song with yet another Blues/Rock/Soul music blend. With the strong electric guitar on this track, the energy level is raised a little. The electric guitar and the organ from Thomas Francis on the track help to give the song one of the most energetic deliveries on the release. And with that energetic feeling, Matt Zaddy brings his new release to a close on a solid note.

The Soul, Blues, Jazz and Rock & Roll influences in Matt Zaddy’s music are well defined. And the various musicians he draws influence from are too. Together, those various influences help to give Zaddy’s music character and depth. While Be from Matt Zaddy is only seven tracks long, those tracks included in the mix combine to create a release with a very commercial feel to it that should appeal to a large audience. 


The newly-released album called Be from Matt Zaddy is currently being promoted with the single called “Busy”.

To check out Be from Matt Zaddy, you can find the release of spotify. Click on the album cover below to check it out.