Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Scott Gagner “Rhapsody In Blonde”

We were first introduced to Scott Gagner as part of Town and Country, then through his solo effort under the name Cartographer. Both EPs made quite an impression back in 2008. Now Gagner is back with his debut full-length record, “Rhapsody In Blonde”, and no longer hiding behind the name Cartographer.

“Rhapsody In Blonde” begins with one of the most instantly likeable guitar riffs you’re bound to hear all year – a snappy little riff that reminds me of a beach party for some reason. Hand claps and harmonies decorate this power pop confection called “I Hate To Say” but, to be to fair, this sunny treat is not representative of the rest of the album. Most of the other tunes are considerably mellower, but that is not to say that they are boring by any means. “Speak and Spell” is a delightful mid-tempo treat with a clever melodic line from the Todd Rundgren songbook. “Laura No. 1” combines classic doo-wop chord progressions with modern power pop sounds – a unique ear worm. With the rugged “Take Two”, he channels Jason Falkner during his Grays days.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

Cd Review: The Trews “Hope and Ruin”

We should know who The Trews are. This Canadian band has released four albums in the last seven years. Two of them went gold. They’ve had two number one hits and ten Top-10 singles. They’ve played nearly 800 live shows, including support slots for the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Guns N’ Roses, Nickelback and KISS.

Led by an exceptional voice that is nearly a dead ringer for Pat Monahan (Train) on his best day and backed by an organic, roots rock ensemble, The Trews is a refreshing blast of modern pop rock. Producing good hooks just seems to be in the very fabric of this band’s DNA and there’s no shortage of excellent songs to mine from the dozen on their latest, “Hope and Ruin”.

Categories
Features

Sweden’s ‘Dirty Passion’ love their own music, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue not so much – but best of all, they’ll always speak their mind

dirtypassion-03Perhaps it’s just me, but if I had the ability to change one thing about today’s rock scene, I’d bring it back to the ‘80s. Say what you will but I’m a sucker for the era when rock was raw, dirty, unapologetic and, well, mind-blowingly good.

Sweden’s Dirty Passion seem to share my outlook. Formed in 2006 in Malmö, Sweden, Emil Ekbladh (Vocals), Christopher Olsson (Guitar), Björn Wilander (Bass) and Markus Winberg (Drums) draw from the greats of that very scene, infusing their musical stylings into their own tracks to end up with a sound that is simultaneously nostalgic and modern. And, of course, always rockin’.

In early 2010 Dirty Passion will be touring Europe with Faster Pussycat and Enuff Z’ Nuff, and before they set off Emil took some time out to talk to The R&RR about all things rock.