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CD Review: Itch “Round 2”

Begrade, Serbia is where the multi-dimensional Rock band called Itch came together. It was back in 2010 that the original lineup of the band brought their love of music and interests of creating something new together to create the band simply known as Itch. It was under that moniker that the various members of the band combined their eclectic musical influences together. And after being together for about two years, the band released their debut album back in 2012.

But since the release of that album called Lullulu, the band had to reorganize after the lead singer and the bass player both walked away from the group. With the new version of the band now consisting of Nina Budjinski on Vocal, Dušan Simic on guitar, Vihor Ristic on bass and Filip Stanišic on drums, Itch is now ready to make some noise in the music industry. With a label behind them and the current momentum that is carrying them forward, the band is proud to announce the release of their new album called Round 2.

Round 2 from Itch begins with one of the two tracks that have already been released as singles off of the album, “Prison Disco”. The track begins with a guitar riff from guitarist Dušan Simic and drumbeat from Filip Stanišic that brings to mind the feel of the seventies and the feel of Disco specifically. That musical feel changes immediately as bassist Vihor Ristic joins in to fill out the sound of the music. What results is a musical direction that brings to mind the very rockin’ side of the band No Doubt, especially when that band focused more on the Rock and Roll side of their personality and less on the Ska side. For more than half the track, “Prison Disco” contains a steady pace to the music. However, about halfway through, the band picks up the pace and the energy of the music. That quicker pace carries the song to its conclusion about a minute or so later. “Prison Disco” is a great track to begin the Round 2 album off with and would be easily welcomed on any Top 40 or Modern Rock radio format.

Itch’s new album continues with the track called “My Oh My”. Much like the track before it, “My Oh My” contains a very commercial quality to its music. But with this track, the band incorporates a good amount of Alternative Rock as well as some Progressive Rock influence. While the previous track contains a direction that could fall into the Pop-Rock category of music, this track is much heavier in nature. “My Oh My” contains both a Dance influence as well as an Alternative Rock influence. During the opening moments of the song “Prison Disco,” Itch gives the listener just a taste of Disco in the music of the track before moving on. On the song “My Oh My,” that Disco influence returns as a larger part of the makeup of this track, though the Disco influence is mainly in the beat of the track in certain places.

With the next track, guitarist Dušan Simic, bassist Vihor Ristic, and drummer Filip Stanišic show off their various influences. The track called “Tree Men” is easily the most spastic and uneven song on the album. The reason for that description is because the music of the song is all over the place. The track starts off with a few bars of music that feature an easy and relaxed nature to guitarist Dušan Simic’s playing, with vocalist Nina Budjinski singing the lyrics in a similar fashion as her vocals are relaxed and easy. Soon, when bassist Vihor Ristic, and drummer Filip Stanišic join in, the feel of the song changes and the track takes on an Alternative Rock feel. About halfway through the song, the trio of musicians segue the music into something with a Funk feel to it and with the inclusion of the wah-wah pedal on the guitar, the track takes on a Disco feel for a few musical bars before the Alternative Rock approach returns. “Tree Men” is all over the place throughout its not-quite-four-minutes playtime.

Much like with the track “Tree Men,” the next song called “Defpotec” also finds itself changing directions throughout its playtime. The track begins with an Alternative Rock sound that could have been found on Alternative Rock formats back in the nineties. With singer Nina Budjinski’s “boo-yah, boo-yah…” vocalizing, you could also add in some influence from the band of The B-52’s into the song. Soon, the song changes directions and the music takes on a Funk influence to the music. Before it’s all said and done, the song also features some influence from the band Santana as the track takes on just a little of that band’s sound in its music. One of the more unusual features of the track is the inclusion of the Jaw Harp in the background of the music late in the track. Needless-to-say, “Defpotec” ends up being just as unique as the track’s title.

Round 2 from Itch continues with the song “Captain Love”. “Captain Love” is a track that blends together a generous amount of Alternative Rock with equal amounts of influence from Rock and Roll music from the sixties. What results is a track that feels like a blend of The Cranberries and Jefferson Airplane. And on this track, singer Nina Budjinski seems to be channeling English singer-songwriter Kate Bush as Budjinski’s vocals easily recall Bush’s unique vocal quality. Together, what is created is a rather laidback song that features moments where the band kicks up the energy of the music from time to time. While it does have a slightly retro feel to it, “Captain Love” also has a strong commercial feel to it.

The band called Itch brings the energy of the music back up on the track called “Sun Will Rise”. On this track, the band brings out their Progressive Rock influences. The track begins with a few measures of what could only be described as Heavy Metal before the music shifts to music that, once again, brings to mind the sound of Jefferson Airplane; at least, what they sounded like back in the late sixties. With a little bit more energy, the track continues and the music along with Nina Budjinski’s vocals again feel as if they were influenced by the likes of The Cranberries.

Itch winds up their new album with the track “Mangata”. Equal parts of Rock and Roll, Jazz and Heavy Metal combine to create a track that changes constantly. Because of that, “Mangata” can only be described as a Progressive Rock track. The second of the tracks to be released ahead of the release in anticipation of the album, “Mangata” brings the album of Round 2 from Itch to a close.

Begarde, Serbia’s Itch has created an album in Round 2 that truly makes good use of the various musical elements that help shape the band’s music. The ever-changing blend of styles create one track after another that combine to make one enjoyable release. This album, and the fact that the band had just recently been nominated for the Independent Music Awards for the tracks “Prison Disco” and “Mangata” add up to the band having a lot of momentum. The band is currently on tour in support of their Round 2 album being released on Latticesphere Records.

 

To discover the music of Itch for yourself, check out the band’s song “Prison Disco,” one of the band’s songs that was nominated for the Independent Music Awards. 

The band is also now promoting their latest single called “Spell”. Check that song out here: 

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR & Management.

 

 

 

 

Check out Round 2 from Itch on Bandcamp by clicking on the album cover below: 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Fanny Walks the Earth

It was back in the seventies that four young women came together to form a band that would help to create a style of Rock and Roll now known by the phrase Chick Rock. The band in question was known as Fanny. The band consisted of Jean Millington (today known as Jean Millington Adamian) – bass / vocals, June Millington – guitar / vocals, Alice de Buhr: drums, vocals (later to be replaced by Brie Darling – drums/vocals), and Nickey Barclay on keyboards. What resulted was a band unlike anything ever conceived by anyone before- a band where every note was written and performed by women. A band that would go on to influence plenty of bands like Bananarama, The Go-Gos, The Bangles and others.

As a group, Fanny would leave their mark on the music industry by initially releasing five albums including: Fanny (1970)Charity Ball (1971)[43]Fanny Hill (1972)[45] (No. 135)[44,] Mother’s Pride (1973)[6] and Rock and Roll Survivors (1974)[46]. Several decades later, the band would release a few albums that would include a live release as well as a box set of their music.

Fanny, now a trio consisting of Jean Millington Adamian) – bass / vocals, June Millington – guitar / vocals, Brie Darling – drums/vocals), has recently returned with a brand new album of music. With the smaller lineup, however, comes a new moniker. The band now calls itself Fanny Walks the Earth. And it is under this moniker that band has released their latest album. The band put out their self-titled album in mid-2018.

The self-titled album from Fanny Walks the Earth begins with the leadoff single of the album, “Lured Away”. The track features a strong Classic Rock vibe that, of course, comes from being in the industry long enough to see the style of the band move from the Modern Rock genre to Classic Rock simply because of the passage of time. To give the listener some point of reference, the music for “Lured Away” seems to feel influenced by the likes of seventies-era Aerosmith with some modern influence as well. The vocals on the track bring to mind the style of Kim Carnes. “Lured Away” is the type of track that would feel as much at home on Modern Rock radio as it would on Classic Rock stations.

Fanny Walks the Earth’s new album continues with the song “When We Need Her”. The track sings of women who answer the call when things need to be done in order to keep the momentum going in the fight for equality. “When We Need Her” is an anthem of sorts that brings to mind the early days of Fanny’s existence when the band was grouped in with the feminist movement mainly because of the fact that the band was strictly female. While the first track of the album feels rather retro in its Classic Rock musical delivery, this track feels more like something from the nineties as the track recalls artists like Sheryl Crow and/or Michelle Branch. In fact, “When We Need Her” sort of recalls Carlos Santana’s “Game of Love” with Branch.

With the next track on the release, the band of Fanny Walks the Earth creates a theme song of sorts. The lyrics to “Walk the Earth” seem to suggest the various accomplishments of the band and the women in it. Truth be told, maybe the song is simply about the feminist movement. Either way, the lyrics of the track tell of what has been done as women have walked the Earth, making waves as they went. The music of the track recall the style of band such as Redbone (of “Come and Get Your Love” fame) as the song has a slight Native influence to the music. The track also seems to recall “Witchy Woman” from The Eagles.

Staying in the same sort of vein as the previous track, “Girls on the Road” is yet another track that deals with the history and past of the band that had been known as Fanny. This track finds the ladies reminiscing about the early days of the band and how the band had come to be. The lyrics also recall everything that was going on around them in the era of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement.

As the original band of Fanny had its origins within the sixties, it should come as no surprise that the current version of Fanny Walks the Earth would keep with many of the same ideals that the original version of the band had. With the track “One,” the band creates a track that features lyrics about unity for all. The track brings the spirit of the sixties into modern times. One of the most interesting parts of the track is the “One Heart, One Mind, One Love, One is the Number” chant that happens in the song.

One of the more unusual moments of the self-titled release from Fanny Walks the Earth is the track “Not My Monkey”. Taken from the Polish proverb “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys,” the band comments on the sad state of human nature today as there are a lot of people who don’t seem to know what they’re doing. While the band creates a stinging statement with this track, it also creates one of the more entertaining moments on the release.

Things change directions on the very next track. The song “Cool Girl” features a Soft Rock approach to the music that would have been right at home on AM radio back in the seventies. The vocals on the track bring to mind vocalists such as Helen Reddy or Carly Simon. For those who miss the easy sounds of the seventies, “Cool Girl” is just what you’re looking for.

Fanny Walks the Earth’s self-titled album contains eleven tracks that ultimately feel like a throwback to yesterday. While some of the songs on the release have a more modern feel to them, most of the songs contain a strong retro vibe to them. But that retro vibe is not necessarily a bad thing as the vibe the music contains comes from an era where the music had creativity to it. Having been around since the late sixties, the ladies in Fanny Walks the Earth prove they still have it on this new release.  

 

For more information, check out the band’s record label, Blue Elan Records.

To purchase a copy of Fanny Walks the Earth’s self-titled album, click on the album cover below:

Fanny Walked The Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Released in 2018, the self-titled album Fanny Walks the Earth has already been making a lot of noise in the music industry. Since it’s release, the band has released two singles. The first single from the release was “Lured Away”. The band’s current single is “When We Need Her”.