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Reviews & Suggestions

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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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: SixTwoSeven “Some Other’s Day”

What happens when a band parts ways? Some people go on with their lives and some decide they want to continue with creating music. Seattle-based musician illfunk (Greg Bilderback) was one such musician who wanted to stay on the path to musical enlightenment. After his last band called it quits, illfunk decided to create music on his own terms…or so that was the plan. What happened was the formation of a new musical ensemble called SIXTWOSEVEN.

Together with musicians bassist MK Ultra (AKA Mike Knapp), Rhythm/Lead Guitarist  J Danger (AKA Jason Bilderback) and the Machine (AKA Matt Bilderback) on keyboards and backup vocals, and DC (AKA Dave Cook) on drums, illfunk created a new group in SIXTWOSEVEN that seems to have decided to create music that carries on the traditions of bands from the nineties. The band’s sound borrows its Alternative style from groups like Nirvana, Foo Fighters and even Queens of the Stone Age. The heaviness in the music from SIXTWOSEVEN’s various musical influences shines through in their own music. About one year ago, SIXTWOSEVEN released a four-song EP. That release is entitled Some Other’s Day.

Some Other’s Day from SIXTWOSEVEN begins with the track “Wreckless Soul”. The song’s musical base has a large amount of Weezer’s sound for starters. The Alternative Rock track also has some other influences as well, which help to add more body to the music. “Wreckless Soul” is truly a classic Alternative Rock song, especially when comparing it to the early days of Alternative Rock. The track would have seemed rather out of place in commercial radio playlists from the mid-nineties but would have fit right in on the early Alternative Rock formats that were popping up throughout the country. “Wreckless Soul” is the perfect track for those looking for the “good ole days” of Alternative Rock when it was more about the music than fitting in on radio.

The second track off of Some Other’s Day from SIXTWOSEVEN is the song “Joshua’s Song”. Like the track before it, this song finds the band in a very nostalgic mood as the band once again borrows their sound from one of the best Alternative Rock bands. With the track, the band launches into a track that brings to mind the Red Hot Chili Peppers; more specifically, that band’s song “Californication”. As the listener makes their way through the track, they’ll notice the driving nature of the guitars as well as a very strong thumping bassline. While the track has plenty of SIXTWOSEVEN influence, ultimately, the track feels like old-school Alternative Rock. And just like the track before it, “Joshua’s Song” keeps the spirit of that style alive rather nicely.

Changing things up for the next track, SIXTWOSEVEN goes from Alternative Rock to Old-School Punk. The track “Top of the World” contains a title that is rather misleading. While the title suggests something rather upbeat, it’s something totally different that the listener encounters as the band performs a Punk tune about how fast things can from one moment to the next. Like the first two tracks, the band uses their musical influences rather well when creating their music. The resulting Punk track in “Top of the World” borrows more from bands like The Ramones than from Punk-pop bands like Green Day. When looking for an “anthem” of sorts, the listener should look elsewhere as the track is about a man who is down on his luck. If looking for a powerful Punk track that never eases up, “Top of the World” from SIXTWOSEVEN is definitely something to check out.

illfunk and the rest of SIXTWOSEVEN bring their 2016 release of Some Other’s Day to a close with the song “One Single Night”. While the previous track on the album contain plenty of energy, SIXTWOSEVEN comes at the listener “with everything that they’ve got,” to paraphrase the band from a lyric contained within the song. “One Single Night” contains strong guitars and keyboards that blend together to create a track that feels much like a three and-a-half minute jam session. The band feel tighter on this track than any of the other three tracks. Of any of the four songs contained on Some Other’s Day, SIXTWOSEVEN chose the right one to end their newest release with as leaves the listener wanting more.

Some Other’s Day from SIXTWOSEVEN is a four-song EP that is just what you want: A strong release from a talented band that knows how to make use of their musical influences. While the band uses influences from bands that were at their peaks more than twenty years ago, these influences help SIXTWOSEVEN to create a release that blows many of today’s bands away.

To check out some of the music from SixTwoSeven, check out the video to “Wreckless Soul“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, The RMG Media Group.

To check out Some Other’s Day from SIXTWOSEVEN, click on the album cover below:

627 Some Other's Day

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Voice of Addiction “The Lost Art of Empathy”

There are many different musicians and artists that make a statement in their art. One such musician who has been using his music as a way to make a statement about the way the world is Ian Tomele.

Ian Tomele grew up in the city of Cleveland, Ohio where many find living in the Rust Belt to be rather tough. But living in the Blue Collar town helped to form Tomele’s view of the world and that view of the world would later help to influence the Punk Rock music of Voice of Addiction, a Chicago, Illinois-based band that released its debut self-titled release in 2004.

Years have passed, but Tomele is still being influenced by the ways of the world. And his band of Voice of Addiction is still making a statement through their music. And while the band has seen a continuous line of musicians come and go, it was with the lineup of Dennis Tynan on drums, Jake Smith on guitars/backing vocals, Luke Ostojic on backing vocals that the band’s newest album was created. The newest album from Voice of Addiction is entitled The Lost Art of Empathy.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction begins with the track “Rustbelt”. Having grown up in the city of Cleveland, “Rustbelt” is Ian Tomele’s ode to the town that helped make him who he is today. The track features a quick pace to the music which seems to add energy to the lyrics about living in a town where you have to be tough to survive. The energetic nature of “Rustbelt” helps kick off the album in a strong way.

Voice of Addiction’s latest release continues with the track “Dead by Dawn”. The band picks up the intensity of the music and brings a lot more energy to the track than the previous song had. In fact, Ian Tomele, Dennis Tynan and Jake Smith combine their talents to create music that inches closer to Hardcore than Punk Rock on the track. The heaviness of the guitars on the track, as well as the intensity of the lyrics saying that we need to stick together in order to survive shows off just how intense the musicians in Voice of Addiction can be.

To show they are a pure Punk Rock band, Voice of Addiction included a definite punk track on their newest release of The Lost Art of Empathy. “Unity” is a track that finds the band showing off their defiant side as they tell those who want to oppress us that they will not be held down. The track’s quick and energetic pace adds to the punk nature of the track. “Unity” is definitely a pure Punk Rock lover’s dream track.

As a way of showing off his vocal abilities, the beginning of the track “Corporate Pariah” features just the voice of Ian Tomele and Jake Smith’s guitar. The track soon finds the rest of the band joining in. On the track, the band shifts from a straight-out Rock and Roll beginning to a Reggae delivery for a few measures before they take up the Punk Rock style once again. The shifting from one style to the next shows off the abilities of the members of the band. “Corporate Pariah” is easily the most creative track on the new twelve-song release from Voice of Addiction.

With the band Voice of Addiction, Ian Tomele writes and records straight Punk Rock. However, with the track “Lockwood,” Tomele changes directions a bit by creating a track that features a more Pop Punk-like musical delivery. The lighter, bouncier feel of the track makes for a strong and listener-friendly track. The track features lyrics dedicated to the memory of a fan and promotor of Punk Rock in the city of Chicago. While “Lockwood” is about one particular person, the track is a fitting tribute to anyone who helps to keep the style of Punk Rock alive.

On the track “Everything Must Go,” Voice of Addiction goes from one extreme to another. While “Lockwood” features a “pop” feel to the music, on “Everything Must Go,” the band creates a song that brings to mind the sound and style of some of the earlier Punk bands. In the song, you can hear elements of The Sex Pistols and/or The Ramones in the music. With the two tracks together, you get a good indication of just how strong the band’s influences are.

The newest release from Voice of Addiction comes to a close with the track “Are We Even Human Anymore”. This is the only track where the listener gets to experience the talent of Ian Tomele totally as the resulting track features only Tomele and his acoustic guitar. The simple feel of the song sets the track apart from the rest of the album.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction is a strong Punk Rock album. And while most of the release finds the band making use of their Punk Rock influences, the inclusion of Pop, Hardcore and other musical elements helps to give the album plenty of depth. As the band has been around for over a decade, the newest release from Voice of Addiction proves that the band still has plenty to say and the talent to continue making music that lets their voice be heard.

To hear the music of Voice of Addiction, check out the song “Rustbelt“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, RMG Artist Development.

To purchase The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction, click on the album cover below:

The Lost Art of Empathy

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Rocket 3 “Burn”

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

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

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Features

Apparently, Punk Is Dead…

July has brought about many exciting things for yours truly in the world of music and celebration (and the occasional disappointment) but in the midst of the supernova that is summer 2012, I had my first taste of something completely different – Vans Warped Tour.

Now, let me begin by saying that while I am a metalhead by profession, I am open to all sorts of music and excited at the possibility of discovering something new and awesome and I had never been to VWT and my hair was standing on end to experience something fresh. Unfortunately for me, and for the Warped Tour, I do not think I could have ever been prepared for what I experienced.
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Features

‘Set up the bar and set up the band’ – The guys of Limozine are experts at balancing work and good times

We all know that, generally, all forms of new music are just a whole pile of old styles thrown into a mixing pot, which is then stirred and blended while adding additional spices and condiments. Limozine take gratuitous doses of punk and rock n’ roll, mix them up into a truly intoxicating and unique format, before punching and snarling out of the mixing pot.

Singer Dean and guitarist Johnny are originally from the Midlands. They met in Coventry in the legendary Cabin Recording Studios through record producer Paul Sampson. Both heavily influenced by wild psychotic debris of previous rock eras, Dean and Johnny formed Limozine and began creating a rock n’ roll sound for the present. A few months later bassist Karl and drummer Tim joined the band.

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Features

Mean Creek doing nicely for themselves: Chris Keene talks Boston, Bill Hicks, Converse, and cover art

Mean Creek is Boston’s best band, and you don’t need to take my word for it—the readers of the Boston Phoenix agree. With two acclaimed albums under their belt and a reputation for riveting live performances, the title is certainly well-earned. Having just released a new 7″, The Comedian [a worthy follow-up to the cthonic intensity and lofty melancholia of their last offering, The Sky (or the Underground)], Mean Creek is preparing to play shows next month in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania. Before hitting the road, frontman Chris Keene was kind enough to field a few questions on the meaning of it all.

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Features Rock History

PIGSHIT by Gary Pig Gold – VERA RAMONE and her POISONED HEART Part Two

VeraRamoneAlthough I first met America’s last great rock and roll band when they hit Toronto – literally! – in the Summer of 1977, it took Vera Ramone’s grand new book “Poisoned Heart” to truly bring me back to both her, and my, gabba gabba heydays.

Yes, in those supposedly dark ages before the Internets and/or Pro Tools, it really was possible to change the world with just three chords and a full tank of gas: Over the course of twenty-two years, the Ramones performed two thousand, two hundred and sixty three concerts. I wish I could have been at every one of them.

As we pick up where we left off last Friday, Vera and Dee Dee Ramone have just made it legal, and along with Joey, Johnny, and Marky are headed towards the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the silver screen, AND Phil Spector’s recording studio…..

As you married Dee Dee in September of 1978, the Ramones were just entering what can now be seen as the peak of their initial success. They were recording their classic work, touring North America and Europe on a regular basis, and were about to star in the film “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.” In fact, you joined the band on the road whenever possible during those years, correct?

I basically quit my day job, and we traveled everywhere together.

It’s hard to be on the road without your loved ones, and the rest of the Ramones also brought along their girlfriends, and later wives. They functioned better with their significant others, and could stay out on the road for longer periods of time. It just became a way of life for us.

Then we would return after sometimes two or three months, and it felt strange to be at home. There was NO routine. We saw our families, friends and did this and that, and after a couple of weeks it was like “OK!” and we’d go back out again!

We were young and could do it. We didn’t really know any different.

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Features Rock and Roll Reads

PIGSHIT by Gary Pig Gold – VERA RAMONE and her POISONED HEART

poisonedheartOver-intellectualizing about a subject as pure and simple in its perfection as the Ramones sort of defeats their entire purpose, now doesn’t it? The proverbial “dancing about architecture,” as Steve Martin (by way of Frank Zappa) might well say.

Consequently, I’ve shied away from most books and studies concerning Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Co. that have appeared over the years. After all, I have all their records, and spent a goodly part of the late Seventies joyously confined within small spaces as the brudders themselves performed the music which ultimately flattened, as opposed to merely changed, the whole g-damned world. ‘Nuff said!

So when a copy of Vera Ramone King’s “Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones Years), A Punk Love Story” came my way, I cracked it open with a wee bit of trepidation, I do admit.

Then I noticed the pictures reproduced therein: Gloriously home-spun, fun-filled images from a louder, faster and yes, simpler time when a band could get up in the afternoon, rocket out of Queens in a rental van, and spend the next couple of decades seeing and then conquering all the world in all of its magic, Kodachrome’d glory.

But it was ultimately Vera’s words, in their own giddy and, yep, Gabba way, that slowly drew me. Like only Monte A. Melnick in his own “On The Road With The Ramones” tome before, Vera WAS there for it all, right by Dee Dee’s side, in that van with the rest of The Little Band That Could squashed ‘cross the very next seat. And throughout “Poisoned Heart,” she tells it all. In a candid, but totally non-catty way which happily – and most Ramone-appropriately, need I say – reads more like a vintage “16 Magazine” Tell-All than some fancy-pant-pressed, stuck-uppity University account.

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Features

PIGSHIT by Gary Pig Gold – TOO TOUGH TO DIE: GOD SAVED DEE DEE RAMONE AND PUNK ROCKERS EVERYWHERE

deedee-ramone“His speech was inarticulate;
His songs were not.”
(Carl Cafarelli, “This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio”)

“Dee Dee was the most important musician in the history of punk rock,
and probably the most overlooked.”
(John Holmstrom, editor/publisher of PUNK Magazine)

Seven years today since his passing, with (punk) rock now routinely reduced to yet another noxious niche within the gigantic corporate crime-scheme of things, it does seem all too easy to forget the indelible impact Dee Dee and his fellow Ramones truly wrought upon a terrifyingly wide swath of humanity. Yes, their SOUND was forever first and one-two-three-foremost within their arsenal. But the band’s look, posture, taste, aroma and very thorn-in-the-craw omnipresence offered vital inspiration, and delivered desperately needed hope by the dumpster-load, to all of us who just refused to take “Frampton Comes Alive” or even “Rumours” lying down.

Lest we ever forget too that, within mere months of that first Ramones long-player, Paul McCartney finally discovered the overdrive position on his amp, half of Led Zeppelin and even The Who tightened up their pant-legs (not to mention song structures) considerably, and even the mainstream media itself was sufficiently baited to pounce upon what in retrospect we can see to have been the last great (Caucasian) threat to the melodic status quo.