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CD Review: Race to Neptune “Oh Contraire”

Fort Collins, Colorado is home to the band Race to Neptune, a group that features several different styles of Rock and Roll together that helps to create their music. The band is comprised of Brian Maier on guitar, vocals; Vanessa Freese on drums; Ken Cavanaugh on bass, vocals and Zach Berger on guitar. Together, this foursome creates a sound that features multiple forms of Rock and Roll flowing through it. Because of the multiple styles of Rock and Roll flowing through their music, Race to Neptune has created an album of original music that seems to change from one track to the next. The band recently recorded a debut album. That album is entitled Oh Contraire.

Oh Contraire from Race to Neptune begins with the track “Wanderlilly”. The band creates a track that features a strong Alternative Rock feel to the music. The track brings back some of the best elements of the genre from the mid-nineties. The track begins with a mellow approach before the band takes the music into overdrive by adding a lot more energy to the song. “Wanderlilly” does have a very dated feel to the music, but it still is a strong track that kicks the new release from Race to Neptune off with a ton of energy.

The band kicks up the energy on their next track called “Cigars and Celebrations”. The track effortlessly takes the musical feel of the band The Police and mixes it with a lot of Alternative Rock. The groove created with the influence from The Police is then seamlessly pushed aside for a much stronger and more aggressive Alternative Rock feel to the music. The resulting track is an outright jam that features one of the strongest bass solos I’ve heard in a long time. The alternating between the two different musical mindsets in the track help make a song that never stays in the same groove long enough to become stale. “Cigars and Celebrations” is a very solid track.

Race to Neptune changes the feel of the music for the song “Threes and Fours”. The lighter, somewhat slower pace of the track matches up well with the lighter, almost acoustic-like sound to the guitar on the track. The light feel of the music lasts for the majority of the track before the band increases the intensity a bit more the end of the song. “Threes and Fours” and its lighter musical approach gives the listener a different sound by the band to enjoy.

With the next track, Race to Neptune once again changes the style of their music. On the track “Bulletful of Piss,” the band takes their music back into the seventies for the type of Rock and Roll that would have been perfect for headphone use. “Bulletful of Piss” features guitars creating a very strong and catchy melody that is built up with the guitars blending the melody and harmony parts to make a track that is much better to listen to with your headphones on. The music on the track features so many fascinating elements blending together that the headphones help you catch every musical moment. “Bulletful of Piss” is the strongest track up to that point on the Oh Contraire release.

Race to Neptune continues their Oh Contraire release with the track “Iron Satire”. Just like “Bulletful of Piss” before it, the band creates yet another track that is much better experienced with your headphones on. The sound of the track brings to mind the lighter side of the band Queensryche. In fact, while the lyrics may not fit with the rest of the storyline, “Bulletful of Piss” contains a musical style that would have fit right in with other tracks on that band’s Operation: Mindcrime release.

Oh Contraire continues with the track “Constant Collapse”. Having already experienced many other styles from the band, the fact that “Constant Collapse” contains a very strong Rush-like guitar-based Progressive Rock sound should not surprise anyone. The track makes good use of the Progressive Rock style and creates yet another one of the strongest moments on the album.

With their Oh Contraire release, Race to Neptune gives the listener many different styles of music on one album. As each of the tracks contains something good that the listener would enjoy, it’s hard to review each track without writing a review that goes on forever. The multi-layered album offers something for everyone who enjoys listening to Rock and Roll. Take a listen and you will agree.

To check out the music from Race to Neptune, check out their song “Wanderlilly“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm THE RMG Media GROUP

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Kiss Me Deadly “What You Do in the Dark”

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jen Poland teamed up with two other musicians, bassist/guitarist Evan Lieberman and drummer Madelyn Hayes, to create a Rock and Roll outfit called Kiss Me Deadly. Taking their various influences, the band is currently creating a style that is rather timeless. It’s timeless because the ensemble’s sound makes use of straight-out Rock and Roll that existed that the very same time as Disco and New Wave music that was not played on Top 40 Radio but College Radio.

The style that Kiss Me Deadly creates would be right at home on College radio formats during the late seventies/early eighties. The unique blend of music in Kiss Me Deadly’s style sounds as fresh today as it would have back in the late seventies/early eighties.

Making use of their unique sound, Kiss Me Deadly created a full-length release that shows off the band’s sound. The band’s current release is called What You Do in the Dark.

What You Do in the Dark from Kiss Me Deadly begins with the track “Lady Killers”. The music of the track features a Rock and Roll approach that is equal parts Jazz and rock and Roll. The combination creates a strong, driving pace to the music while still containing a slightly laidback feel. The lyrics about two people who apparently want different things give the song a bit of an edge that adds to the low-key feel of the music.

The current release from Kiss Me Deadly continues with “Agent”. With this track, the trio adds a lot of energy into their music. In fact, the track features a very strong guitar solo that flows through a nice amount of the song. Like “Lady Killers,” the song before it, “Agent” picks up the angry feel of the lyrics. But with this song, Jen Poland sings about leaving the unfaithful behind.

On the song “Stalemate,” Kiss Me Deadly creates a track that features a large amount of Soul influence to the band’s Rock and Roll sound. With the inclusion of the wah-wah pedal on the track’s music, the band creates a song with a definite vintage feel. The song would easily have felt at home on radio during the late seventies/early eighties. While the majority of the tracks on What You Do in the Dark feature Jen Poland’s vocals, “Stalemate” features vocals from both Poland and drummer Madelyn Hayes in a musical approach that brings to mind a band like Heart.

Easily one of the best tracks on the current release from Kiss Me Deadly is the title track of the album. “What You Do in the Dark” is yet another track that features a sound that would fit in with songs from the eighties. And while it would fit in during that era, there is also a little bit of influence in the music that takes the track back to the sixties. It is a slightly psychedelic feel on the lead guitar on the track that gives that sixties vibe to the song.

Another one of the tracks that stand out on the What You Do in the Dark release from Kiss Me Deadly is the song “Yard”. Of the songs on the album, “Yard” has one of the most commercial sounds within it. And with the inclusion of keyboards and banjo to the music, the song features easily the most depth to the music of any song on the release. In fact, the more you listen, the more things in the instrumentation that will pop out at you. “Yard” is one track that will grab you attention.

The ten tracks that make up the vinyl version of the What You Do in the Dark release from Kiss Me Deadly come to an end with the song “P.S.” With this track, the trio creates a song that is very reminiscent of the pop/rock music that was created by all-girl bands like Bananarama. The vocals on the track are created by both Jen Poland and Madelyn Hayes as they sing the lyrics in unison. Like much of the album, the music of the track “P.S.” is highly influenced by songs from the eighties. With the inclusion of an entire group of “extras,” the second half of the song contains an entire chorus that helps to sing the refrain of the song. Altogether, the track ends up being one of the strongest moments on the What You Do in the Dark release.

While the vinyl version of the What You Do in the Dark comes complete with ten tracks, the CD version of the release includes two more tracks (songs that are included on a separate 2-song vinyl for the record version). The stronger of the two bonus tracks happens to be Kiss Me Deadly’s arrangement of Cleveland-native Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ song “I Put a Spell on You”. While Hawkins’ hit single is rather dark and sinister, Kiss Me Deadly creates a version that brings the tune to life with a lot more Blues influence. As no one can touch the emotions contained within the original version by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the bluesier version by Kiss Me Deadly is an interesting way to go and the song ends up being just as entertaining as the original.

The trio of Jen Poland, Evan Lieberman and Madelyn Hayes makes the band of Kiss Me Deadly a strong musical outfit that stays close to the true feeling of Rock and Roll. Drawing from  many different influences, the band’s music will satisfy both Modern Rock lovers and fans of older Rock and Roll, as well.

To check out the music of Kiss Me Deadly, check out the band’s song “Lady Killers“.

For more information, check out the band’s record label of Kingswood Records.

To check out the album of What You Do in the Dark from Kiss Me Deadly, click on the album cover below:

KMD

 

 

 

 

 

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CD Review: Sometimes Julie “Bright Side of the Line”

Sometimes Julie is a band that makes its home in the SoCal area. The band features songwriters Monica Sorenson and Rick Walker (guitar) who came together to bring Walker’s compositions to life. Later, the duo would expand their musical outfit with the help of George Nelms (drums), Bruce Paul Allen (bass) and Alberto Moreno (lead guitar). The members of the combine their various musical influences together to form a sound that features a very strong Classic Rock style. That style seems to put the band somewhere in the same time period as bands like Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and other bands from around the late 60s, early 70s era. At times, Sometimes Julie sounds timeless, and at other times, a little dated. But the band still creates original music that has plenty of accessibility that it can easily find a willing audience.

Bright Side of the Line, the new EP from Sometimes Julie begins with the track “Emily”. The style of the music gives the band a very strong Classic Rock style. The band brings elements like saxophone, flute and organ into the music. Because of that, the musical combination brings to mind the sound and style of a band like Jefferson Airplane, with a little more jazz to the sound. While not really a modern-day feel, the track would have easily fit alongside Jefferson Airplane and the other acts that played the Woodstock festival.

The new release from Sometimes Julie continues with the EP’s title track. “Bright Side of the Line” features a strong Rock and Roll feel and features a strong groove in the music. The track’s music, refrain and vocal delivery from Monica Sorenson create a track that brings to mind something from the band Heart. It ends up being a little more commercially acceptable for today’s Classic Rock music than the previous track which sounds a little more retro.

The first two tracks on Bright Side of the Line feature a strong Rock and Roll approach. However, the next track of “Sanctuary” finds the band easing off the energy level just a little. An acoustic guitar leads the instruments on the track for the first minute or so. After that first minute, the electric guitars come in to help lead the song into a stronger Rock and Roll direction. “Sanctuary” becomes a Solid Rock love song. The track shows off both the power of Monica Sorenson’s voice. The electric guitar adds a lot of energy to the music in the song.

With the track of “Standing on My Own,” the band adds a little Blues influence to their music. The Blues/Rock track combines the two different musical genres as the guitars add plenty of Rock and Roll influence while the organ brings plenty of Blues influence to the track. The vocals from Monica Sorenson brings everything together. Her vocals have plenty of energy and plenty of sadness at the same time as she sings about trying to survive.

Sometimes Julie continues to follow the Blues/Rock direction on the track “Another World”. This time, the band focuses more on the Rock side of the combination. However, they still add some of the Blues influence to the song. As a result, the track brings the listener back to the late eighties when the Power Rock genre was burning up the airwaves. “Another World” is a track that easily could have gotten a lot of airplay at the right time. The lead guitar on the track from Alberto Moreno is one of the strongest moments on the entire Bright Side of the Line release.

The newest release from Sometimes Julie comes to a close with the track “When the Sun Ain’t Shining”. The final track on the EP keeps the band in an eighties state of mind. The song would have easily been included onto radio formats from that era. “When the Sun Ain’t Shining” is a fun, rockin’ way to bring Bright Side of the Line from Sometimes Julie to a close.

Although only six tracks long, the Bright Side of the Line EP from Sometimes Julie is strong from the first track to the last. Because of that, there is no down time as the group makes good use of their various musical influences. This is what real Rock and Roll should sound like.

To hear the music of Sometimes Julie, check out the band’s song “Bright Side of the Line“.  

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

To purchase a copy of the newest release from Sometimes Julie, click on the album cover below:

Bright Side of the Line

 

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CD Review: Killer Boogie “Detroit”

There are many styles of Rock And Roll out there today. And there are many different bands from different countries who are adding to the history of Rock And Roll, as well. One country that has a large amount of underground bands that are adding strong Rock And Roll sounds to the genre is Italy. It is in Italy that you find the record label Heavy Psych Sounds, a label that brings you some of the hardest bands out there today. From Heavy Psych Sounds comes the band Killer Boogie.

Killer Boogie is a four-piece which features the band members Gabriele Fiori on guitars and vocals (Black Rainbows), Luigi Costanzo on drums (The Wisdoom) and Matteo Marini on bass (although Eduardo Mancini is featured on the band’s recordings). Together, they bring a sound that blends together sounds from Blue Cheer, The Stooges, MC5, Cactus and Radio Moscow. Needless to say, Killer Boogie has a very heavy sound. That sound can be found on the band’s 2015 release entitled Detroit.

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CD Review: Don Puglisi “Bubbles of Light”

Don Puglisi is a multi-talented artist who has spent time as an actor, writer, director and composer. Having already spent time as musician, Puglisi is currently exploring the singer-songwriter side of his personality. That musician side of Puglisi’s personality can be found on several albums of music. The latest of Puglisi’s releases is entitled Ricochet Girl.

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CD Review: No More Kings “III”

No More Kings is a Los Angeles-based rock outfit. The duo consists of Pete Mitchell on vocals and Neil DeGraide on almost everything else with a little help from some friends to help solidify the band’s sound. The duo formed while they were still in high school and they started writing songs around certain themes. When listening to an album from No More Kings, the band will cover concepts like zombies, karate and other ideas that will bring about a certain amount of nostalgia for the listener.

Having already released their self-titled album in 2007 plus And the Flying Boombox in 2009, No More Kings has returned in 2014 with their newest collection of songs. Having already released most of these tracks under the album title of 1973, No More Kings took the majority of the songs, added two unreleased tracks to the tracks from the previous version of the album that made the cut and created the new release called III.

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CD Review: Deville “Hydra”

The Swedish band Deville is a group that is currently creating some of the strongest and most melodic rock music of any band currently creating rock music. The four-man band consists of vocalist and guitarist Andreas Bengtsson, guitarist Jan Persson, bassist Markus Åkesson and drummer Markus Nilsson, although Martin Hambitzer was guitarist for the band when they created their newest album. The style of the band takes rock from the likes of Black Sabbath and combines it with rock influenced by Soundgarden. The 2013 album from Deville is entitled Hydra.

When listening to Hydra from Deville, the listener hears a band that takes itself seriously when creating their music. The music created by the band seems to be powerful from the first note and just never lets up. The album is just the thing for music lovers who enjoy a lot of energy in their listening pleasure.