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CD Review: Stolen Apple “Wagon Songs”

Italian band Stolen Apple came together back in 2008 after one band called Nest came to an end. The previous band would release two albums during its existence before calling it quits: Drifting in 2001 and Isn’t it? in 2007. And when the band’s time was over, Riccardo Dugini (vocals, guitar) and Luca Petrarchi (guitar) would search out musicians for their next project which would be Stolen Apple. The resulting band would include Dugini and Petrarchi, as well as Massimiliano Zatini on percussion and Alessandro Pagani on bass.

For nearly a dozen years, Stolen Apple has been creating their own brand of music. Together, the quartet draws inspiration from numerous forms of music: “From psychedelic rock to post punk; from folk to indie rock; from cosmic & post atomic rock to new wave; from country to italo disco.” This ever-changing blend of music can be found on Stolen Apple’s albums entitled When We Rise (2015) and Trenches (2016). Just recently, the band added one more album to that discography. The 2020 release from Stolen Apple is entitled Wagon Songs.

Wagon Songs from Stolen Apple begins with the track “Suicide”. With this track, the Italian band seems to be influenced by the likes of Iggy Pop and the Stooges. The track contains the same kind of musical approach as the Detroit group’s proto-punk sound back around 1969.  In fact, this track easily brings to mind the music of that band’s song “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. “Suicide” is a strong track that will easily appeal to those Rock and Roll fans looking for the “Real Deal,” and this is a straight-out Rock and Roll track for those looking for that.

Stolen Apple continues their album with one of the track “Renegade Sun (Brexit)”. The band takes their music into a much more current time. The music of this track comes with a style that blends together influences from the Queens of the Stone Age and those of The Black Keys. Those influences are used to create a track that is hard hitting and ready for today’s Modern Rock radio formats. Much like the previous song, the modern feel of the music on “Renegade Sun (Brexit)” will definitely appeal to the fans of hard hitting Rock and Roll music.

With the next track called “Masturbation,” Stolen Apple brings a little bit of the Italian side of the band into the music as they seem to flavor the song with just a little bit of the music found in a Spaghetti Western soundtrack. That Spaghetti Western flavoring added to a slightly New Wave Feel to the music ends up creating a track that is rather reminiscent of the eighties New Wave/Post-Punk band Wall of Voodoo, excepting maybe a little harder in its delivery. To go along with the slight Spaghetti Western flavoring in the music, the addition of a rather strong Italian accent in the lyrical delivery brings out more of that Italian base to the band’s music.

On the next track called “Out of Fashion,” Stolen Apple creates a track taking several different approaches at once. As the track begins, the slightly off-tone vocals mixed with the strong but gentle pace to the music created by the guitar, bass and drums create an easy approach to the song. Soon enough, however, the band picks up the energy level to the music. What occurs is a track with a strong Alternative Rock feel that blends together influences from the likes of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. The resulting track of “Out of Fashion” would easily fall directly into the Alternative Rock scene from the middle of nineties.

The Wagon Songs release from Stolen Apple continues with the track “Kid”. With this track, the band slows things down quite a bit as they explores a more Progressive Rock sound. The track finds the band drawing inspiration from Classic Rockers Pink Floyd. In fact, the Pink Floyd influence seems to be there is several ways. Among those ways is the fact that the track itself seems to have a strong musical resemblance to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” track. The basic slow pace to the music of the track recalls Floyd’s style on that song. And then the accompanying strings add even more of a resemblance to Floyd’s song. Not to mention the extended length of the track which adds to the Progressive feel of the track. 

Before Alternative Rock became a radio genre, it was simply known as College Rock, music that would never have gotten played on Commercial Radio formats in the late seventies, early eighties. It’s within this concept that the track “Up Your Mind” from Stolen Apple falls. Bringing some of the influence from the early days of The Motels, Gang of Four, Wall of Voodoo and others from that era, the style of Rock and Roll featured on “Up Your Mind” is the type of music that would have felt right at home on College Radio in the early eighties. While not really commercial for the eighties, this would have been the type of song that would have gone on to influence the artists included in the early days of Alternative Rock. 

The latest release from Italy’s Stolen Apple comes to a close with the track “Easier”. During the first ninety seconds or so of the track, the band creates yet another track much like with “Up Your Mind” before it inasmuch as the song “Easier” features music that feels like it would have been right at home between the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties. With the instrumental feel of the music, the track draws some of its influence from New Wave music and some influence from Punk Rock of that era.  Adding the vocals in, the track ultimately feels like something from the Art Punk band Pere Ubu. 

Wagon Songs from Stolen Apple finds the Italian band creating very strong Rock and Roll through the album’s nine tracks. And with the various influences, styles and musical elements that the band draws from and includes in their music, this album is for anyone who enjoys Rock and Roll from any era from the seventies through today. 

To hear just a little bit from the Wagon Songs album from Stolen Apple , check out one of the very first tracks released to promote the release,  “Renegade Sun (Brexit)”.

To check out the Wagon Songs release from Stolen Apple on spotify, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: Sundodger “Bigger Waves”

Seattle, Washington-based Sundodger is a band that combines elements of seventies Rock and Roll and some modern-day influences to form a style of Rock and Roll that is easily timeless. The band Sundodger is comprised of: Dan Engel – Vocals, rhythm guitar; Jeff Norman – Lead guitar; Don Currie – Bass guitar and Mark Fiebig – Drums, percussion. Together, the band has created several albums of music with the newest one being called Bigger Waves.

Bigger Waves from Sundodger begins with the track “Too Much Too Soon”. The track begins right off with a strong guitar part. That guitar part gives the track a Classic Rock feel. Soon, however, the refrain of the song gives the track a much more modern feel. The track continues to move along and change as it goes. As it moves along, the band’s music even gives off a little Pink Floyd feel to it. The different elements in the track give the song a style that will grab the attention of Rock and Roll lovers, no matter what style of the genre they happen to gravitate towards.

As “Too Much Too Soon” comes to an end, the track “Banner Days” begins. And just like with the previous song, “Banner Days” contains several different musical feelings. However, as “Too Much Too Soon” contains an ever-changing feel to the music, “Banner Days” seems to contain several different musical elements all at the same time. The blending of several different musical styles within the entire length of the track means the listener can hear different influences all at once. “Banner Days” is easily one of the strongest songs on the release.

Sundodger continues their new release with the track “Shayla”. Lying somewhere between Punk and New Wave, the track “Shayla” comes across as a Green Day song with just a little eighties British influence to the music. The track features a strong, driving pace to the music courtesy of the bass and drums with a strong electric guitar presence that gives the track plenty of energy. The reverb that comes from the guitar even adds a touch of depth to the music. “Shayla” feels as if it would have been right at home on the radio back in the nineties but is still fresh enough to feel at home on today’s Rock formats.

The band takes their music in a slightly different direction on the track “Keeping a Light On”. Where the previous track makes good use of the band’s Punk influences, “Keeping a Light On” seems to find the band blend some U2 influence into their sound. While the song doesn’t feel like a direction copy of U2’s style, the influence is strong enough to be evident as you listen. The track features a strong Rock and Roll feel with a modern-day British influence. Together, the track feels readymade for today’s Top 40 radio formats.

With the song “Epitaph,” the band raises the intensity within their music. The stronger Rock and Roll that is present on the track raises the energy level on the album. While the song “Shayla” feels rather Green Day-ish, “Epitaph” from Sundodger seems as if the band took a hidden influence from a band like The Ramones and added it into their music that already has plenty of depth to it. With the influence from The Ramones, “Epitaph” is one of the loudest, strongest tracks on the entire release.

On the next song called “Grace,” the track begins with a musical approach that brings to mind the music of Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit” before the band truly launches the song. While “Give a Little Bit” found its way onto radio back in the seventies, the rest of the track contains a strong Alternative Rock approach that would have been right at home on radio back in the nineties.

Bigger Waves, the new release from Sundodger, comes to a close with the track “Echoes”. For the final track of their album, the band seems to have slipped back in time to the seventies. “Echoes” is a track that will easily conjure up visions of Pink Floyd as the track contains the same feel as many of the songs that Floyd has produced over the years. Along with a slow, easy feel to the music, the song also contains some production value that adds some atmosphere to the track, which was helped along with the addition of Don Currie who played The Mellotron electro-mechanical keyboard. That atmospheric addition to the track helps bring out the Pink Floyd influence in the band’s music.

Sundodger’s newest album called Bigger Waves is the first album from the band that has been released on vinyl as well as digitally. If you are a fan of records, this is your chance to add a solid release to your music collection on record.

To hear the music of Sundodger, check out the song “Too Much Too Soon“. 

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

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the Bigger Waves album from Sundodger, click on the album cover below:

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CD Review: Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah S/T

Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is a San Francisco-based musical ensemble made up of members who made their way to that area from all over the United States. The organ/guitar-drive band creates a Rock and Roll sound that contains a rather generous amount of psychedelic flavor to it. While the band’s music feels rather retro because of the nature of the band’s musical influences, they still have a style that would fit in with many of the bands out there in today’s music scene. Because their music is both fresh and new while still containing that retro feel to it, Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah has had the opportunity to expand their fanbase after performing with the likes of Leon Russell, Heartless Bastards, Living Colour and even The Doobie Brothers.

As leader of the band, Lee Gallagher has a voice that brings to mind earlier vocalists such as Robert Plant from Led Zepplin, Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd and Neil Young. That vocal style proves that Gallagher’s voice contains a rather timeless sound to it.

Along with Lee Gallagher, the rest of the band consists of Kirby Hammel, Jacob Landry, Joe Miller, Jimmy Dewald. Together, the musicians create a Rock and Roll sound that is multi-layered and rather varied. The band Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is currently promoting their 2015 self-titled release.

The self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah begins with the band’s theme song of sorts. The music for “The Hallelujah Prelude” seems to draw influence from the likes of Pink Floyd as the track has the same laidback feel as a song like “Comfortably Numb”. The use of things like the rainstick at the beginning of the song added that psychedelic feeling. The ninety seconds that make up “The Hallelujah Prelude” only hint at those musical influences before the track comes to an end.

With the second that, the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah really picks up steam. The track “Sugartown” finds the ensemble creating a straight-out Rock and Roll track that feels very timeless. The six-plus minute track indicates that the band has a style that makes use of a jamband style. And the guitar solos included in the track truly show off that jamband style. “Sugartown” gives the listener of a very good indication of just what the band can do while it also indicates what is to come during the rest of the release. Lee Gallagher and the rest of the band continue the album with the track “Empty Stars”. With this track, the organ stands out a lot more among the rest of the instrumentation. The keyboards add to the laid-back feel of the music. “Empty Stars” is one track on the album that truly feels as if it should have come from the late sixties/early seventies era.

The energy of the music picks up on the track “Gloryland”. With this track, the band creates a track that feels like a hybrid of something from Led Zeppelin mixed with something from Bob Seger. The resulting track has a strong piano feel and a few strong electric guitar solos that add that unmistakable Rock and Roll feel to the track. “Gloryland” is one track that feels as if it should be played on Classic Rock radio formats.

One particular track that stands out the most is “Night Trip”. The music of the song mixed with the lyrics combine to create a very trippy song that easily takes the listener back into the late sixties/early seventies. Like many tracks from that period, “Night Trip’s” easy pace, somewhat psychedelic production and musical arrangement all combine to create a track that begs the listener to turn the lights down low and just enjoy the song in the darkness, no pun intended. “Night Trip” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah’s album comes to a close with the track “1935”. With this track, the band creates a track with a slow pace but plenty of energy. The band all join in to create a track with a very strong ensemble feel to the music. While all of the band contributes a lot to the track, it’s the electric guitar and the organ that seem to share the spotlight throughout the three-and-a-half minutes. With how strong the music of the track is, “1935” feels like the perfect track to bring the 2014 album to a close.

The songs on the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah are all strong and enjoyable to listen to. With the band using other bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin This is the type of release that begs the listener to listen through a pair of headphones. As you put on the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah and just allow the album to play out, the time and album seem to slip away rather quickly. Before you know it, you end up wanting even more than the eleven tracks that make up the album. This is the type of album that is rarely found in today’s music industry. If you are a fan of Classic Rock, the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah is something you must check out.

To check out the music from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah, check out their song “1935“.

Click on the album cover below to check out the self-titled release from Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah.

cover

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CD Review: The Von “Ei8ht”

Florida-based band The Von consists of vocalist/bassist Luis Bonilla and guitarist Marek Schneider. For much of their career as The Von, Bonilla and Schneider existed as a trio with someone helping to fill out the band’s sound on the drums. The band now exists with drummer Elisa Seda who had replaced the drummer who helped to create the band’s newest release of Ei8ht. On this new release, you can hear the band’s influences such as Papa Roach and Linkin Park, as well as other modern-day rock bands. It is with the album of Ei8ht that The Von is currently touring.

Ei8ht from The Von begins with the track “Nothing to Fear”. “Nothing to Fear” is a song that draws heavily from the modern-day rock styles. With the music on the track, you can hear influences from someone like Linkin Park. The song contains a strong rock approach with the electric guitar leading the way. But when the band takes a few minutes to allow the acoustic guitar to shine, the track suddenly takes on a completely different feeling before the band resumes the electric approach. “Nothing to Fear” is a strong tune to lead off the band’s new album.

Aside from the musical side to the band, The Von also has a slightly political side, as well. With the track “The Machine,” the band makes reference to the way people are manipulated by their government or religion to help achieve a certain outcome. The lyrics of the song suggest that we simply go along with what we are told and are slowly losing ourselves.

For the song “Cry of War,” a personal anthem of sorts, The Von unleashes some of the strongest electronic influence in the band’s music. There is a very strong Rock and Roll feel to the music of the tune as the band creates a song that contains a strong driving force helped out by a strong drumbeat. It is the guitar that is the featured instrument while the keyboards help to add a lot of body to the song. “Cry of War” hits the listener with plenty of energy. And then, the band adds the electronics. With the Rock and Roll feel, the energetic driving feel and the electronics, the song becomes a track that is definitely worthy of headphones. Put the headphones on and just let the song take you over.

With the track “Love Supreme,” The Von brings a little more Classic Rock feel to their music. The song contains a guitar part that brings to mind the playing of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. That Classic Rock guitar along with the electronics in the background combine to create a track that feels both retro and modern at the same time. And like other tracks before it, “Love Supreme” ends up being rather strong.

For the track “Atomic Sun,” the band slows down the pace of their music. It is with this song that the band creates a running them throughout the track’s lyrics. While containing a definite romantic touch, the lyrics also revolve around the sun and energy. The lyrical play on “Atomic Sun” helps to create one of the more original moments on the album of Ei8ht from The Von. The guitar work on the song brings to mind that of songs from the eighties.

“Let It Out” is a song that finds the band creating a musical moment that features a spiritual feeling. The lyrics on the song deal with delving into the mind and soul and find the truth inside. The song begins with a musical approach that will remind some of “Tom Sawyer” from Rush before The Von takes the track in a slightly different direction that still contains a progressive rock approach. The electronics in the background add to “Tom Sawyer” reference. The multiple guitar sounds on the track gives the song a lot of depth to the music. The whistling at the end as the singer seems to walk off into the distance adds even more to the lyrics.

Ei8ht from The Von comes to an end with the title track “Ei8ht” begins with an acoustic approach on the guitar before the band moves into a much harder electric approach. Once again, the band creates lyrics that have a definite spiritual and reflective quality to them. The acoustic/electric quality to the music creates a song that has a lot of depth to it.

The Ei8ht release from The Von is an album that is well-written as well as well-played. While the lyrics on each of the tracks are much more intellectual than most of today’s music, the band keeps the lyrics relatable enough that the listener will not be turned off. The album is one of the most intelligent releases out there today and that is truly welcome in the midst of today’s music that has been dumbed down in order to appeal to the biggest audience. From the first note, Ei8ht from The Von is an album that is best listened to through headphones and should be listened to straight through.

The Von will be releasing their new album Ei8ht on November 13th, 2015. Until then, you can check out the band’s music on the Nothing to Fear maxi single. Click on the cover below.The Von
Click HERE to check out “Nothing to Fear,” The single from The Von.

Click HERE to check out the band’s PR Firm Cyber PR.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Luxury “Bones & Beaten Heart”

The Luxury is a Rock and Roll band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band that currently consists of:  Jason Dunn – vocals, guitar Matt Diekmann – bass, vocals Mark McGettrick – drums, vocals Rob Sistare – guitar, vocals Taylor Kirkwood – keys. Together, the band creates a sound that combines strong keyboard influence with equal influence from guitar. The keyboard/guitar sound from the band creates a style that feels very much like a combination of New Wave Rock and Roll and Indie Rock. The band’s unique sound can be found on their four releases of three albums and one EP. The latest of the albums from The Luxury is 2015’s Bones and Beaten Heart.

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CD Review: White Orange “Onawa”

Portland, Oregon musician Dustin Hill is a busy guy: With the fact that he has not one, but two bands in which he plays, he hardly has time to stop and relax. Hill can be found creating music in the band Black Pussy where he took the time to create every sound heard on the band’s 2012 release On Blonde. After he put the finishing touches on the On Blonde release, he called upon guitarist Ryan McIntire, drummer Dean Carroll, & bassist Adam Pike to help him recreate the sound of the music on stage.

Because the three other musicians are now as much a part of Black Pussy as Dustin Hill is, the four musicians went about creating their own music as a complete band. The resulting band (which also includes Chief O’Dell on farfisa organ) is known as White Orange. White Orange has just recently released a new three-song release called Onawa.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Black Earth “Pink Champagne”

Black EarthWhile the sound of rock and roll has changed throughout the years, you can still find bands that have been influenced by the sound of Classic Rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cream and others. One current band that has focused their musical energy on creating new music with that Classic Rock feel is Austin, Texas-based Black Earth.

Black Earth is a trio consisting of guitarist/vocalist Jason “Ving” Calise, bassist/vocalist Dave Rangel and drummer Jason Reese. Together, these three musicians create a trio that any Classic Rock lover will enjoy. This trio is currently promoting their latest release entitled Pink Champagne, a ten-song album that was recorded over two five-day sessions.

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CD Review: Granicus “Thieves, Liars and Traitors”

Psychedelic hard rock band Granicus existed alongside bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. The Cleveland-formed band left the area to seek their musical fortunes out in New York. RCA signed the band and released their self-titled debut release. However, it would be their only major label release, as bad management and a bad record deal left Granicus’ potential as a band unfulfilled. By the mid-seventies, Granicus had ceased to be.
Jumping ahead three and a half decades to 2010, unfinished demos were uncovered as band members were cleaning and the idea to release the ‘album that never was’ was born.

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CD REVIEW: Black Lips “Arabia Mountain”

They call themselves “flower punk” and that’s probably the best description anyone can come up with when referring to Black Lips. Formed in 1999 in Atlanta, the Lips are part of the garage rock revival movement that ushered in the 21st century. Along with groups like The Flaming Sideburns, The Hives, The Strokes, King Khan and the Shrines, The White Stripes, and Jay Reatard, to name a few, Black Lips have been imperative in helping produce the new old styles and sounds of garage punk.

Unlike their previous albums, even up to their 2009 release 200 Million Thousand, Arabia Mountain is a lot tighter in sound. This is probably due in part to Mark Ronson, who holds producing credits on the album. Arabia Mountain manages to keep the core throwback sound of the Lips, even though the record is much more cleaned up. Ronson was careful not to lose the idiosyncrasies of Black Lips in the production, and the result is an enjoyable record that still has the true Lips style stamped all over it.

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Features

Deep Manalishi and Manalishi Purple were considered, but Black Manalishi was born

Black Manalishi are emanating, illuminating and blasting out of the Northwest corner of the U.K. They have a classic/heavy rock style shaped by many great influences such as Black Sabbath, Cream, Crosby, Deep Purple, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynrd, Nash & Young, Pink Floyd and a great many more.

I recommend you check out their tunes, as these guys have got everything that a true classic rock fan is looking for, in triplicate. The band members are Nathan Moore on guitar, Adam Ward on vocals, Lee Gallagher on drums and Sean Gallagher on bass. Yes, you may have guessed the fact that Sean and Lee are brothers, which must add so much to the bands synergised, taught sound. Black Manalishi stimulate your mind, body and soul with an amazing wall of guitar sound and vocals backed up so well with that brotherly rhythm section. I recently threw a few questions at Nathan…

Q: How did Black Manalishi come to form initially and what inspired the choice of name?

A: I met Adam Ward through a mutual friend when forming a cover band for fun. I decided to form a new band and continue writing and performing original material, something I had done since first learning to play. Being a great vocalist, with a style reminiscent of some of my favourite rock singers, Adam was the perfect choice for vocals. The other members have always been auditioned to find the best musicians when needed.