Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Brendan McMahon “About Joe”

Australian singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon has been rather busy as of late. In fact, in only a short amount of time, the musician has created a discography that encompasses two different personas- that of the band Satellite Gods and as himself. Together, the two different sides to McMahon have released four releases. The first album, entitled Falling to Earth was released under the Satellite Gods moniker back in 2015. A few months later, McMahon was back with a new 5-song EP that was released under his own name that he called Universalist. Now, only a few months after that release was put out, McMahon returns with yet another EP. The newest release from McMahon is entitled About Joe.   

The new five-song EP from Brendan McMahon begins with the song “Home”. Throughout the songs that have made up the three releases from McMahon, the songwriter has displayed a writing style that seems to incorporate many different influences. With the track of “Home,” one influence that comes through is that of Colin Hay, the former lead singer of the band Men at Work and a fellow Australian. The track seems to bring to mind the same musical direction found on a Hay-penned song like “Storm in My Heart”. The pop-rock track features a slow tempo and light delivery with just a hint of Celtic flavor to truly bring out the Colin Hay influence. The acoustic guitar that starts off the track is soon joined up with electric guitars that add texture while still keeping the slow pace of the track. The song starts off low-key with that acoustic guitar but ends on a strong note as the electric guitar brings the track to a close.

Many of the songs written by Brendan McMahon have some sort of basis in reality. The EP’s “title track” is just such a song. “Gentleman Joe” is one of the few moments when McMahon creates a track that is somewhat political. The track’s lyrics deal with the subject of hatred as McMahon responds to the fact that many Muslims are sadly grouped together with the more radical faction in the religion who want to cause harm to those who disagree with their views. The main focus of the song was a man who lived his life the best he could while being unfairly grouped with the more radical of the religion. The track’s music features a slow-paced feel as McMahon uses the light pace as a way of emphasizing the meaning behind the lyrics of the track.

Brendan McMahon picks up the pace of the music on the next track called “Fall Down”. The guitar-driven music of the track has a definite commercial feel to it. The song creates a rather timeless musical approach as the song would feel right at home on any current Top 40 radio format on today’s radio as well as formats from the last twenty years. “Fall Down” ends up being one of the standout tracks and one of the strongest songs on the About Joe release.   

The feel of the music changes just slightly on the next track. While the previous songs contain strong Pop-like approaches, “Alive” contains a stronger musical approach with a little more Rock influence to the Pop-Rock music. And much like “Gentleman Joe” from earlier in the release, McMahon creates a track that contains a rather strong message. And with that message comes a rather strong positive vibe. McMahon sings of ways that a person can experience what it feels like to exist, or to be “alive”. The various musical elements combine to create one of the most upbeat moments on the About Joe EP.

The About Joe release from Brendan McMahon comes to a close with the track “Doctor”.  One of the most thought-provoking songs from McMahon’s songwriting, “Doctor” is yet another track that contains a message. The lyrics of the song follow a man as he asks a doctor about his place in the world now that he has returned from war after losing limbs while on patrol in Afghanistan as part of the Aussie Armed Forces. The slow pace to the music adds to the dark nature of the music, adding a lot of emotional feeling to the track. The placement of “Doctor” after the song of “Alive” also adds to that emotional feeling. The track brings the EP to a close on a rather emotional note.

Throughout the last few years, Brendan McMahon has released a lot of music. And with each of the four releases that have been created by him, the listener gets to enjoy different sides to the songwriter’s personality as well as the various different musical influences that help shape the musician’s writing. And while the three releases McMahon has put out all have their own sounds, the About Joe release seems to be the most thought-provoking release by him thus far. The five tracks contained within the EP will make the listener stop and listen more than the two previous releases.

 

To hear some of the music from the About Joe release from Brendan McMahon, check out the EP’s title track of “Gentleman Joe”.

For more information, check out Brendan McMahon’s PR firm, Whiplash PR

To check out the About Joe EP, click on the album cover below: 

 

Categories
Featured Review Reviews and Suggestions

Matheson Kamin’s Best of 2017 List

BEST OF THE ROCK AND ROLL REPORT FOR 2017

1 CD Review: Count’s 77 “Soul Transfusion”

Sometimes, you have to go far out of your way to find real Rock and Roll music these days. Thankfully, there are still those musicians out there that are keeping the feeling of real Rock and roll alive. You just have to know where to look for it. One band that is keeping the spirit of real Rock and Roll alive is Las Vegas-based band Count’s 77. Like the band’s name suggests, Count’s 77 is a Hard Rock band that focuses their musical energy on creating real Rock and Roll. Throughout their album of Soul Transfusion, Count’s 77 makes good use of musical influences that are both modern and a little bit older. The album contains plenty of songs that will end up satisfying and Rock and Roll lover’s need for Good Ole Rock and Roll.   

Read the entire review HERE

2 CD Review: Satellite Gods “Marker 7-58”

Australian singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon found his calling in his early teenage years as he started to listen to bands like Led Zeppelin, KISS and Black Sabbath and discovered he wanted to make music just like those bands and others. After taking time to develop his craft as a musician while being part of several cover bands, McMahon found his own voice and started creating his own songs. Most recently, McMahon has put together a band of his own called the Satellite Gods. Together with this group of musicians, McMahon has released the band’s second album entitled Marker 7-58. Throughout the thirteen tracks that make up the newest release from Satellite Gods called Marker 7-58, Brendan McMahon and the rest of the band creates song after song that make for a very strong and solid album. This is the type of release that should simply be experienced from beginning to end without skipping tracks.

Read the entire review HERE

2B CD Review: Brendan McMahonUniversalist

Brendan McMahon put out his last release entitled Marker 7-58 under the moniker of his band Satellite Gods. One year later, McMahon has included a track by that title in his new release that was put out under his name. Brendan McMahon’s new 5-song release is entitled Universalist. When comparing Marker 7-58 (Brendan McMahon’s last release while he was using the moniker Satellite Gods) to his new EP of Universalist, the biggest difference that you can see is that the new release seems to make use of McMahon’s singer-songwriter side much more than the last album. The last release felt more like an album while the new release seems more like a collection of tunes each deserving to be heard. While not altogether sporadic, Universalist feels a lot looser with its musical variety in the styles contained within each of the songs than Marker 7-58 did. While not as solidified as that last release, Universalist is still a solid release as the five songs that are present show off many sided of Brendan McMahon’s songwriter personality.

Read the entire review HERE 

3 CD Review: Remember Jones “Tranquilizer!

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Anthony D’Amato spent a lot of time on stage. Some of that time on stage was included in the Asbury Park production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch where D’Mato portrayed Hedwig himself. Taking that theatrical experience, which also includes recreating an album from Amy Winehouse live in concert as well as other projects, D’Mato took his experience and created a new persona: Remember Jones. Remember Jones started creating a style that was reminiscent of Las Vegas-type concert experiences. That included an orchestra containing 25 pieces. In fact, the entire experience worked so well that the first album from Remember Jones entitled “Ladies and Gentlemen, Remember Jones!” was created live in concert. And with that album being as big as it was, a new EP was created. The newly-released 5-song EP is entitled Tranquilizer! Tranquilizer! from Anthony D’Mato’s Remember Jones is a short but solid release of five tracks that focus on Soul music while the different styles of the musical genre helps to keep the release fresh throughout the twenty minutes of music. Though rather short, the five tracks on Tranquilizer! make the EP very strong.

Read the entire review HERE

4 CD Review: Mark Bryan “Songs of the Fortnight”

Singer-songwriter Mark Bryan may never be as famous on his own as he had been when he had been part of a band. You see, Bryan was a founding member of a small band called…Hootie and the Blowfish. When the band went its separate ways and Darius Rucker changed directions and goals to enter the world of Country music, Mark Bryan also went for a solo career. But he chose to stay within the Pop-Rock genre that earned his former band its following. Since the band separated Bryan has released three solo albums, having just released the third just recently. The new release from Mark Bryan is entitled Songs of the Fortnight. While it’s been quite a while since Hootie and the Blowfish had been a band, it’s great to know that lead singer Darius Rucker is not the only one from the band that has kept busy since that band ceased to be. The new release of Songs of the Fortnight from Rucker’s ex-bandmate Mark Bryan shows off the talent of the lead guitarist/singer-songwriter. And the various different directions that Bryan takes the music on the release show off the versatility of Bryan.    

Read the entire review HERE

 

5 CD Review: Roadcase Royale “First Things First”

One member of the late, great Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Prince’s band the New Power Generation, Liv Warfield has joined up with former Heart founder Nancy Wilson to create the base for a new musical project. The new project the two women are part of is called Roadcase Royale. In every genre of music, you will end up losing talented musicians or bands or both. The thing is to find other talented individuals to fill that void. And while both Prince and the band known as Heart are no longer around, the void left behind from the loss of those entities has been filled rather nicely by the very same people who had a hand in creating the songs made famous by those artists. Nancy Wilson, Liv Warfield and their bandmates have created a new band in Roadcase Royale that is easily as solid as what the two musicians had come out of. Having already made musical history once, Wilson and Warfield are doing it again with Roadcase Royale. It should come as no surprise that this new ensemble truly ROCKS! The band’s new First Things First release that will immediately catch your attention.

Read the entire review HERE

6 CD Review: Stratospheerius “Guilty of Innocence”

When looking for musicians that have the talent to put on a good show, you don’t have to look any further than seven-string violinist Joe Deninzon. Guilt of Innocence from Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius finds the band in fine form as they create a new album of music. While the album comes with plenty of Progressive Rock tracks, it’s the other songs containing other styles that help to make the release even more entertaining. If you happen to be a fan of Progressive Rock, the new album of Guilty of Innocence album from Joe Deninzon and the band Stratospheerius is one album you need to check out.   

Read the entire review HERE

7 CD Review: Granicus “Better Days”

It was in the city of Cleveland that Granicus founder and drummer Joe Battaglia brought together a band of four other individual musicians in order to create a Hard Rock band to rival the likes of Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Blue Cheer and other bands that were around at the same time. While the bandmembers of Granicus may have changed over the years, this new version of the band is still out there to burn the place down, musically speaking. Better Days from Granicus is a very solid release from a band that has had an extremely interesting history as a group. While it was not created by the same exact group that ended up getting signed to RCA back in the seventies, this version of the band has done a nice job creating a solid group of songs that create an album that live up to what had come before. Drummer and founder of the band Joe Battaglia should be proud of what has been accomplished on Better Days.

Read the entire review HERE 

8 CD Review: Mickey Hart “RAMU”

For his 2017 album of RAMU (which stands for The Random Access Musical Universe), Mickey Hart created each of the tracks on the album using, as he put it, Pythagorean mono-chord, a series of chords tuned in order to create healing. Each track has the same basic flow and therefore the tracks segue into each other rather well. That helps to make the RAMU album one of the most solid and unified albums released within the year 2017. Throughout the twelve tracks that make up Mickey Hart’s new release of RAMU, he and his band of musicians blend a lot of different musical elements to create a release that changes directions from one track to the next. As the songs change so do the influences used to help shape the music. And while the tracks all have a style of their own, Mickey Hart’s use of his Pythagorean mono-chord gives the album a solid foundation that makes the album feel unified in its musical direction.

Read the entire review HERE

9 CD Review: Daniel Welsh “Extra Stout”

Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a solid release from beginning to end. Throughout the six tracks that make up the EP, not one song is a disappointment. In fact, each of the tracks on the release have a very commercial feel to them. While this is an independent release, the EP from Welsh feels as strong as anything a major label could put out. And with Welsh’s former affiliation with Warner Brothers Records, there may be a very good reason for that. If you are a fan of Rock and Roll music that has a timeless feel to it, Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a release you need to check out. 

Read the entire review HERE

10 CD Review: Electric Guest “Plural”

Released earlier in 2017, Plural from Electric Guest is an album of music that fits nicely into the Indie Rock category. The duo of Taccone and Compton combine elements of Rock and Roll, Soul, even a little Hip Hop and Reggae together to create the band’s style that is rather laidback in its delivery. But that laidback delivery creates a sound that would fit easily on most Top 40, Adult Contemporary and Hot A/C radio formats. That nearly universal appeal translates into a wide potential audience for the band’s music. The Plural release from Electric Guest is one of those rare albums that features such strong tracks that you simply put the album on and let the release play out. There isn’t one song on the album that brings down the quality of the release. My only complaint is that I had not discovered this album much sooner in the year.

Read the entire review HERE

Top 10 Songs from 2017
1. Andrew Wiscombe “Holding a Ghost”

2. Remember Jones “Tranquilizer”

3. Count’s 77 “Summer of 77”

4. Stephen Covell “Monuments”

5. Mutts “I’ll Be Around”

6. Mark Bryan “If You Saw Her”

7. Brendan McMahon “Saturday Night in Riga”

8. Robbing Johnny “Sylvia”

9. Mickey Hart “Wayward Son”

10. Electric Guest “Dear to Me“

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Brendan McMahon “Universalist”

A little over a year ago, Brendan McMahon put out his last release, an album entitled Marker 7-58. This release was put out under the moniker of his band Satellite Gods. And while the album contains thirteen tracks, one song that is not included is a track called “Marker 7-58”. One year later, McMahon has included a track by that title in his new release that was put out under his name. Brendan McMahon’s new 5-song release is entitled Universalist.

Brendan McMahon from Brendan McMahon begins with that track entitled “Marker 7-58”. Written as an ode to a park reserve location on a parcel of land near where McMahon recorded his music, the song “Marker 7-58” describes one day in McMahon’s life as he enjoys the view on the top of the hill on the land. McMahon creates a song containing an easy pace to the music that matches the simplistic feel to the song. With the mandolin creating most of the musical sound for the song, the electric guitar on the track adds just a hint of power to the music. The lyrics are matched well with this gentle approach to the music on this track. Whether having been kept off the album that contained the same name was intentional or not, the track “Marker 7-58” is a gentle track that kicks off the Universalist release from Brendan McMahon on a strong note.

Brendan McMahon’s new 5-song EP Universalist continues with the track “Hotel Hemmingway”. The track takes the music of McMahon and picks up the energy level from the easier pace of “Marker 7-58”. The song features a straight-out Rock and Roll approach that is very reminiscent of either Van Morrison or Eric Burdon. In fact, the style of Rock and Roll found on the track “Hotel Hemmingway” would have easily fit right in on Burdon’s I Used to Be an Animal release from 1988.

While Brendan McMahon is Australian by birth, some of his music seems infused with a Celtic influence. In fact, some of his music could easily have been influenced by the rock music that exists in Ireland itself. The song “Fridays in December” is one song that seems to contain a rather large Celtic influence to its music. While not overly noticeable, “Fridays in December” contains a strong Celtic feel that gives the song an international feel that would have felt right at home on commercial Rock radio stations back in the eighties.

The new release from Brendan McMahon is currently being promoted with the single “Mother”. A slow-paced track that is built around the piano, “Mother” features mainly the piano and McMahon’s voice as he sings a love song of sorts to the woman who raised him and helped him become the man he is. With only the sound of the piano to help create the music of the track, the emotion in McMahon’s voice comes out as he sings the lyrics to the song. The minimalistic musical approach also helps to show off his ability as a songwriter.

Brendan McMahon’s latest release comes to an end with the track “Beat”. For the last track of his Universalist release, McMahon picks up the energy level in a big way. For the final track, the inner Rock Star of Brendan McMahon is released as the electric guitar is the main instrument of focus on the track. While the four earlier tracks easily show off the songwriter side of McMahon, “Beat” is the song that really exposes the guitarist in him. While late in the tracking of the EP, the track “Beat” helps to remind the listener that Brendan McMahon can really rock when he wants to.

When comparing Marker 7-58 (Brendan McMahon’s last release while he was using the moniker Satellite Gods) to his new EP of Universalist, the biggest difference that you can see is that the new release seems to make use of McMahon’s singer-songwriter side much more than the last album. The last release felt more like an album while the new release seems more like a collection of tunes, each deserving to be heard. While not altogether sporadic, Universalist feels a lot looser with its musical variety in the styles contained within each of the songs than Marker 7-58 did. While not as solidified as that last release, Universalist is still a solid release as the five songs that are present show off many sides of Brendan McMahon’s songwriter personality.

As very little actual music from the Universalist EP exists on YouTube, check out the preview video for the song “Beat”. Then, check out the track “On My Way” from Brendan McMahon and the rest of the band Satellite Gods.

For more information, check out Brendan McMahon’s PR firm, The RMG Media Group.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of the track “Mother”:Brendan McMahon pic2

 

 

 

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Satellite Gods “Marker 7-58”

Australian singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon found his calling in his early teenage years as he started to listen to bands like Led Zeppelin, KISS and Black Sabbath and discovered he wanted to make music just like those bands and others. After taking time to develop his craft as a musician while being part of several cover bands, McMahon found his own voice and started creating his own songs. Most recently, McMahon has put together a band of his own called the Satellite Gods. Together with this group of musicians, McMahon has released the band’s second album entitled Marker 7-58.

Marker 7-58 from Satellite Gods begins with the track “Falling to Earth”. “Falling to Earth” brings the listener back to a time when there was still a lot of originality being created in the music industry as the style of Alternative Rock was just starting to develop. The sound produced by Satellite Gods on this track features a Rock and Roll style that brings to mind the style of U2 and other bands from the late eighties/early nineties.

The new release from Satellite Gods continues with the track “Saturday Night in Riga”. The band changes musical directions with this track as they bring a lot of influence from Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. The easy pace of the music as well as the light feel of the track itself really brings out the influence of Morrison’s writing as Brendan McMahon creates a song that feels like a vignette set to music as the narrator sings of a normal weekend night in Latvia. “Saturday Night in Riga” comes across as a song that would resonate well with people who enjoy songs with a narrative to them.

Marker 7-58, the new release from Satellite Gods, continues with the track “1 through 8”. Once again, Brendan McMahon and Satellite Gods create a track with a light pop/rock feel to the music as McMahon sings of watching a baby sleep. The poetic feel to the lyrics as he counts all the ways the child is perfect fills the song with plenty of emotion as the listener can all but imagine the child lying in their crib.

After several tracks from Satellite Gods that have a pop/rock feel, the feel of the music changes for the track “Invisible”. The track takes a stronger Alternative Rock sound to the music. While the track takes on a less mainstream feel to the music, the lyrics take on a much more personal feel. The lyrics deal with a person looking for a way to fit in with the rest of society. The slow pace of the music on the track seems to work well with the political overtones of the lyrics as the singer looks for acceptance from the world.

One of the standout tracks on the Marker 7-58 release is the track “My Friend”. This track changes the feel of the album drastically, at least for one track. Unlike the previous songs, “My Friend” begins with Brendan McMahon singing a’ Capella with a few other voices adding harmony. The track then features strings that help to reinforce the beauty of the words being sung by the voices in the track. The alternating between voice and strings on “My Friend” combine to create one of the most powerful moments on the Marker 7-58 album from Satellite Gods.

After taking a moment to create a very sobering track in “My Friend,” Satellite Gods once again bring the fun back to the release. The song “Once” contains a very bouncy, upbeat feel to the music. With the slightly Celtic feel to the music, “Once” comes across as a track that could have been inspired by the likes of the Irish/English band The Pogues. The band even joins in on the refrain of the song to give even more of a party atmosphere feeling to the track.

After many tracks that contain a “single” feel to them, Satellite Gods changes their mindset or the song “Stand By”. On that track, the band seems to let loose and create a track that feels more like an outright musical jam. The members of the band take turns with solos and the result is a track with a jam band feel to the music. And truthfully, the song could actually have been a little longer in its playtime.

Throughout the thirteen tracks that make up the newest release from Satellite Gods called Marker 7-58, Brendan McMahon and the rest of the band creates song after song that make for a very strong and solid album. This is the type of release that should simply be experienced from beginning to end without skipping tracks.

To hear the music of Satellite Gods, check out the song “Saturday Night in Riga”.

For more information, check out The RMG Media Group, the PR firm for Satellite Gods.

To purchase a copy of the music from Satellite Gods, click on the album cover below:

Marker 7-58 CD Cover