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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Duke Spirit “Neptune”

The Duke Spirit is an alternate rock band that formed in 2003.Their sound is very reminiscent of alternative rock bands of the 80’s I grew up with. The Duke Spirit consists of Liela Moss on vocals; Luke Ford, guitar/various instruments; Toby Butler, guitar/various instruments; Olly “The Kid” Betts on drums; and Marc Sallis on bass guitar. I recently found this gem of a band by chance and had to write a review. The Duke Spirit’s 2008 album, Neptune, really spoke to me in a huge way. It evoked some great emotions in me; that is a sign of an excellent album.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Auradrone “Bleeding Edge”

                                                                                                                             Auradrone’s new album, Bleeding Edge, has a darker sounding edge than their first album. The title fits their sound–being ahead of the curve, that is. Auradrone consists of Jon Mack, lead singer, guitar, electronics; Fred Traverso and Christopher Fudurich, electronics. Their sound is very reminiscent of Mew, Muse, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and the list goes on. Auradrone recently gave me a sneak peak of the new album.

            “Starseed” is a very interesting track. The moment the music begins, I imagine leaving the Earth and beginning a celestial journey in search of the place I came from…. The sensual overtones in the lyrics almost feel like almost like a cosmic dance between two celestial bodies, attracted to each other, dancing a cosmic dance in the heavens. The sensual voice of Jon Mack and the celestial sounds make this song worth listening to.

 

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Artists and Bands

Auradrone’s Jon Mack on meditation, sci-fi, the band’s new album and acting

Electro-rock band Auradrone has been in the music scene for a few years. Their debut album, Whitelite Britelite, was released in 2009 and ever since then, Auradrone has been growing in popularity. Later this year, their sophomore album, Bleeding Edge, will be released. Jon Mack, lead singer of Auradrone, took time from her busy schedule to grant R&RR an interview.

Q:Where does the name Auradrone come from and what does it mean?

A: The name came to me as sort of a flash of insight one day. It’s a combination of the word “aura,” like the human energy field, and the word “drone,” which is a continuous tone.? I realized later that together these relate the concept of sympathetic resonance.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Josh Thorner “Sounds of the Drum”

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Josh Thorner, 20, live. It is a very rare artist who impresses me. He is one of the best sounding singers I have heard in a long time. After hearing him, I had to find out more. I discovered Sounds of the Drum. Listening to this album sounded like listening to Josh Thorner baring his soul.

2010’s Sound of the Drums reminded me of a time in my life I felt romantic. Sadly, those days are long gone. The first track, “She’s Gone,” speaks of that heartache we all go through in life–the first lost love of a young teen. The tune is talking about a neighborhood girl who’d moved away.  In a way, it’s bittersweet. Her leaving, him heartbroken, yet relieved from the risk of pursuing her.  It is a great track.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Brothers and Sisters S/T

Brothers and Sisters are an indie band based in Austin, Texas. The Beach boys, The Mamas and The Papas, with a bit of Buffalo Springfield, inspire their classic rock sound. Real life brother and sister, Will and Lily Courtney, head the seven-piece band.

As a child, Will Courtney was taken to a Beach Boys concert. From then on, he was hooked and chased his dreamed of being a musician. As an adult, Will moved to L.A. to launch his music career. Tired of the L.A. music scene, Will moved back to Texas and formed Brothers and Sisters with his sister and friends. The band consists of Brother Will, vocals and guitar; sister, Lily, autoharp, and vocals; friends, Ray Jackson, pedal steel Guitar; Greg McArther, drums; David Morgan, bass; and Daniel Wilcox on lead guitar.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Nektare “Apocalyptic Butterfly”

Trials and Tribulations is a character builder. After a two-year hiatus, I have returned to give awesome reviews of great rising heroes of Rock!

In my time in L.A., I’ve seen many concerts of talented bands. But there is one classic rockin’, psychedelic sounding, awesome band that stands above the rest. Nektare is the name. The driving force behind this band is Naomi Nektare. This petite lass, with a deep powerful voice, is an Arizona native who began writing songs from the age of three and has not stopped since.

Nektare consist of Naomi , vocals, Brandon Criswell, bass, Rich Vaccaro, guitar, and Todd Nosek, drums. The bands sound is inspired by rock legends like Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, all the way to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz added with a little blues. Nektare has toured all over Southern California in well-known venues such as The Roxy, Viper Room and The Hard Rock Café.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Nektare’s upcoming album, Apocalyptic Butterfly. There is a lot of rock, heart, life experience, and passion in each track of the album. “American Dream”, written by Naomi Nektare and Rich Vaccaro, is about the struggles of following your dream. No matter how much you are pushed down, dust yourself off, get up and keep on trucking. It is a very inspiring song about tenacity. “Cruelean Blue”, written By Naomi Nektare and Brandon Criswell, is a touching story of love and loss. You can feel Naomi’s broken heart cry out. This song speaks to me the most. “Cruelean Blue” represents a painful part of life we all go through. The title track, “Apocalyptic Butterfly,” written by Naomi Nektare, is a very fast paced, classic rock sounding with religious symbolism popping out here and there. The song is about Revelations and the second coming of The Messiah. Talking about epic symbolism, imagine the apocalyptic destruction is a cocoon, and the symbolic butterfly, rising from the ashes, is The Messiah returning. What better way to symbolize the second coming like the title of the song?  If the end is coming, it takes a BIG brave person to ask forgiveness. And it equally takes a BIG person to set aside differences, accept the apology, and renew ties of friendship. Life is too short to hold grudges. (WINK, WINK). But I digress. Apocalyptic Butterfly will be released later this year.

I did have the pleasure of seeing the band in concert. Nektare’s live show is a spectacle. “Naomi sees herself as the shaman, her band as the sweet soul medicine and the audience as the tribe – uniting together to rise to a higher consciousness through music.” As said on her website. It was a magical experience I will never forget.

(Editor’s Note: Check out the video for the title track from Nektare‘s upcoming release Apocalyptic Butterfly as well as other songs by the group here.)

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Silver Dirt “Sonic Boom”

Silver Dirt brings classic rock all the way from Western Europe. These Swiss bad boys have perfectly captured the loud heart and soul of hard rock. At an audition for a Led Zeppelin cover band in January of 2004, Silver Steff, lead vocals, met Silver Gregg, drums. Dirty Lyo, guitar, and Dirty Seb, bass, met in passing. On Steff’s intuition and planning, 9 months later, a newborn hard rocking band came into the world. Silver Dust has been all over with distribution on independent record labels spanning from Europe to the USA. They have had countless interviews with many webzines and magazines such Rock Hand (France), Los Mejores Rock Mag (Spain), and others across Europe and America.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Zak Daniels and the One Eyed Snakes “Zak Daniels and the One Eyed Snakes”

Zak Daniels and the One Eyed Snakes are rocking in your face right from the get go. Humor is what sets this L.A. band apart from the rest of this genre. We all know what a one eyed snake means. A sense of humor is one of the keys of a great band. Zak Daniels, lead vocals, rhythm guitar; Jim (Kat) Katsikides, lead guitar, vocals; Doug Lavery, drums, vocals; and Orion Lindeman on bass and vocals, make up this classic-rock- sounding band. This is the rock sound I remember from my youth. It is the way it should and always be. Zak Daniels and the One Eyed Snake has been noted by L.A. DJ’s to be the next great rock band.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Peppermint Creeps – “We R the Weirdoz”

They’re wacky, quaky, and a bit weird. They are the Peppermint Creeps. Since 1997, this glam rock group has been rocking it weird and loud. If Kiss and Motley Crue mated, Peppermint Creeps would be the result. Their flashy neon colored face paint sets them apart from the rest in the glam rock scene. Over the years, the group fluctuated from a four to a three-member band. Traci Michaels, drums, vocals, Macy Malone, vocals, guitar, and Billy Blade on bass, make up their most recent line up. Sadly, Traci Michaels passed away last June 13th of an undetermined cause. Peppermint Creeps glam rock sound will live on forever!

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Heaven’s Burning – “Free Agents (Soul’d Here)”

From the Southern California indie music scene, comes Heaven’s Burning. An all female alternative rock band based out of Pasadena California, Heaven’s Burning features Angela Santiago Chung on vocals and guitar, Kristy Jones on guitar and vocals, and Krista MacKay on bass. With special guest musicians, Vigen Sayadian, and Ed Ashe on drums. Being popular on many college campuses across the country, Heaven’s Burning has also played on esteemed stages such as The Roxy in Los Angeles and has had major airplay on many college and web radio stations nationwide. Their sounds have been compared to early Beatles crossed with a college rock band.