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Reviews and Suggestions

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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Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: Greg Roensch “What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky”

Greg Roensch is a multi-talented individual who splits his time between the written word, the spoken word and the recorded song. As a writer, you can find Greg Roensch’s written words in his 2017 collection called Breakfast with the Alien and Other Short, Short Stories. His words have also been used to write about subjects such as video games, consumer electronics, winemaking and others, as well as for non-profit organizations. As a singer-songwriter, Roensch has created what he called The Spiral Notebook Project, a project which included 10 songs created by Roensch and other talented individuals at Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco (including producer John Vanderslice who has been responsible for plenty of releases over the years from talented individuals). Years after the release of The Spiral Notebook Project, Greg Roensch returns with his latest album, a release once again created with the help of producer John Vanderslice. Greg Roensch’s latest musical release is called What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky.  

To begin the What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album, Greg Roensch kicks off his release with the track “Come On Over”. This track brings forth the talents of keyboard player Robert Shelton as it is the organ that is the instrument that is focused on in this song. The organ and the rest of the instrumentation give the song a rather retro feel as the song sounds as if it would have come out of the seventies. Not only is there a seventies feel to the music, but the song itself brings to mind the musical stylings of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as the tune has a sound with an undeniable resemblance to Petty’s song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”.

The new release from Greg Roensch continues with the track “One More Shot”. This track features a Funk/Lite Rock blend to the music. The resulting blend creates a song with a laidback approach while also creating a strong groove that comes courtesy of the aforementioned organs and the bass. The synthesizers on the track add a strong groove of their own while also adding a slightly psychedelic vibe to the music. While the music of the track is rather upbeat, the lyrics are hopeful than anything else. The lyrics describe trying to reignite a relationship that seems to have come to an abrupt end at one point with Roensch cautiously dealing with the situation so things don’t get worse.

If one is familiar with some of the music that came out of the era of the eighties, you should be at least familiar with the title to the song “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” the very political track from Bruce Cockburn from back in 1984 about his visit to Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the counterinsurgency campaign of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. On his new album, Greg Roensch takes a little influence from Cockburn as he created a track with a title that is just as striking and memorable. “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades” is a track from Roensch that, like Cockburn’s earlier track, was influenced by reality: a sign hanging in an airport in Europe that simply said- “No Hand Grenades”. Forming the music around the lyrics, the song contains a jazzy/funky feel to the laidback music. And with the sing-song feel to Roensch’s vocals, the song comes across as a Spoken Word/Beat Poetry track. But with the lyrical content of the words, that works rather well for the song “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades”.

What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch continues with the song “Grasshopper”. With this track, Roensch and the rest of the band slow things down quite a bit to create the slow-paced track. Singer Carly Bond joins Roensch as the two create a duet of sorts. While most duets feature lyrics of a mainly romantic nature, Bond and Roensch sing about taking it slow and easy. The track features simplicity at its best as the lyrics deal with the simple act of sitting and watching a grasshopper hopping along while the music contains a slow, steady and laidback pace.

The track “Celluloid Dream” changes the direction of the music. With this track the main focus is on the acoustic guitar of Greg Roensch as he creates a track that feels much like something from singer-songwriters in the mid-to-late sixties or earlier seventies. The slow-paced song features a storyteller approach to the lyrics, in much the same manner that Jimmy Buffett wrote the song “They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More,” Buffet’s tribute to the multi-talented actress and singer Carmen Miranda. In this instance, Roensch writes about any one of the numerous actresses that graced the silver screen during the early Black & White days of cinema. And while the track easily contains the influence of Jimmy Buffett in the lyrics, the musical part of the track will remind fans of The Princess Bride of that movie’s Main Theme Song, “Storybook Love” from Willie DeVille and Mark Knopfler. Part of the reason for that comes from the inclusion of the cello on the track that is courtesy of Crystal Pascucci, which adds a touch of orchestration to the song.  

Like with the earlier track of “Don’t Forget Your Hand Grenades,” Greg Roensch takes the listener back to the sixties with “Remember the War to End All Wars,” a track that brings to mind songs like “Find the Cost of Freedom” from Crosby, Stills and Nash, or “Stop Children What’s That Sound” from Buffalo Springfield. “Remember the War to End All Wars” contains the same type of lyrical mindset as the aforementioned songs. The track is formed around the cello from Crystal Pascucci who creates a beautiful and touching intro to the track before the song changes to something that could have come from Buffalo Springfield, as the song falls into a style of Folk-Rock reminiscent of that band’s music. “Remember the War to End All Wars” is a powerful reminder to never forget the conflicts that came before as they can still teach us things.

Greg Roensch continues his new release with another poignant track as he stays in the same frame of mind of the previous track. But this time, instead of Folk-Rock, Roensch changes directions and creates a song with a much different feel to the music. It is with the song “Trigger, Trigger (Get Your Gun Out of My Face)” that Roensch explores a much more experimental feel to his music. In fact, the musical direction chosen by the singer-songwriter on this track brings to mind the more experimental side of the band Pere Ubu. The music being what it is and the Spoken Word feel to the words on the track create one of the most different tracks of the entire album.

Singer Carly Band returns as she and Greg Roensch once again join together on the “title track” of the release “Tell It Like It Is”. Just like the first time that Band made an appearance on this release, the song “Tell It Like It Is” contains a duet between Band and Roensch. And like the first track that featured both artists, this song is slow-paced and laidback as the song contains a light touch to the music which goes along with the lyrics about how things are going in the relationship that the song revolves around.  

As the listener goes through the thirteen tracks that make up the What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch, you get many different styles and flavors of music. Folk-Rock, Art Punk, Psychedelic Rock and much more make up the various tracks on the album. Strong writing, strong musicianship and nicely varied music combine to create a release that offers something for everyone.   

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

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from Greg Roensch, check out the song “Come on Over”. 

To hear the entire What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky album from Greg Roensch, click on the album cover below: 

 

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Featured Review Rock History

Exit Stencil Recordings Re-releases Two Albums from Cleveland, Ohio’s The Damnation of Adam Blessing

Any mid-sized city or larger has their share of bands that have left a mark on that area’s music scene. And Cleveland, Ohio is one such city that has had its share of really good bands. And while there are some bands within the city’s music scene today that are making a lot of noise, there will always be those bands that are talked about long after they’re gone. One band that left its mark on the music scene so strongly that people remember them today is the band The Damnation of Adam Blessing.

Having taken their name from a book of fiction written by Vin Packer with the same name, the Cleveland-based Hard Rock band The Damnation of Adam Blessing ended up being grouped together with bands like Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper and other bands that are now classified as Classic Rock. And just like both Tull and Cooper, the moniker of The Damnation of Adam Blessing would later be considered the name of the lead singer, a role that the band’s singer, Bill Constable, would gladly take up.

And as Adam Blessing, Constable would lead the band through its historic time as a group. Along with Bill Constable on lead vocals, the rest of the band consisted of Bob Kalamasz – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals; Jim Quinn – Rhythm Guitar, Percussion, Electric Pillow, Backing Vocals; Ray Bench – Bass Guitar; Bill Schwark – Drums and Ken Constable- Backing Vocals.

The Damnation of Adam Blessing is one of those bands that should have been a lot bigger than they were, but have gone on to become bands that people still remember, even long after the initial time of the group had come to an end. Because the band has stayed on the minds of people many years after the band came to an end, there have been several reissues of the group’s music. One of the most memorable reissues was the three CD Box Set put out in 2000 from the Italian Record Label Akarma entitled Damnation to Salvation which included the self-titled release from the band, the second album entitled The Second Damnation, and the third release entitled Which is The Justice, Which is the Thief. A fourth album, Glory, was not included in that reissue. The 3-record version of that box set is currently available on Amazon.com for an asking price of almost $100.00. Thankfully, there is something a lot less expensive now available from Exit Stencil Recordings.

In 2018, Cleveland-based record label Exit Stencil Recordings is bringing the music from The Damnation of Adam Blessing back into existence. Available soon will be the1969 Self-Titled album and the 1970 release called The Second Damnation. The vinyl LP reissues will be just like the original issues that were released nearly fifty years ago.

It was with the first album that people got to know The Damnation of Adam Blessing. Right from the first track of “Cookbook,” the band’s self-titled release gives the listener a glimpse into the musical style of the late sixties/early seventies. The album contains such classic tracks such as: “Morning Dew,” a track that helped put the band on the map, musically. The release also contains the song that really brings the feel of that era to life, “Strings and Things”.  One of the more unusual tracks on the album is the band’s classic interpretation of the song “Last Train to Clarksville”. While people are used to the version of the song by The Monkees, The Damnation of Adam Blessing gives the track more of Rhythm & Blues approach to the music. While that version did come after The Monkees, there is no way you can call it a cover as the band put their own spin on it. The album also comes with many other classic tracks.

After the release and success of the self-titled album, The Damnation of Adam Blessing returned with their second album. The band’s second release, entitled The Second Damnation, finds the band creating an album that lives up to the first album. And while the magic of the first album does appear on the band’s second release, The Damnation of Adam Blessing (called simply “Damnation” on this release) incorporated some of the psychedelic influence that was happening at the time into their music. Maybe it was just a natural progression of the band’s sound.  And while there is some of that psychedelic feel to the music, the band does not go overboard with that influence. The Second Damnation includes songs such as “Back to the River,” “Ba-Dup” and “Money Tree” as well as many other classic tracks from the band. 

To go along with the reissues, both of the albums from The Damnation of Adam Blessing now come complete with liner notes describing the band and its music. For those fans of the band that have been waiting for a solid reissue of the music of the band, now is the time to get in line as the record label Exit Stencil Recordings is now taking orders for the reissues that will be released in the near future. Complete details on the reissues can be found on the record label’s website.  If you are new to the music of The Damnation of Adam Blessing, this is the time to become acquainted with the band.

Together, first two albums from The Damnation of Adam Blessing stand as strong as or stronger today as anything that was released on major record labels at the time. And while many bands that were mainly “local heroes” seem to fade away after a while, this group’s legend is as strong today as it’s ever been. Because of that, the label Exit Stencil Recordings will shortly be re-releasing the self-titled release AND The Second Damnation from The Damnation of Adam Blessing. In only a matter of days, the two albums will be available on the label’s website. Stay tuned to the label’s website as well as the band’s Facebook page to stay updated.

To discover (or rediscover, depending) the music of The Damnation of Adam Blessing, check out the first three songs from the band’s 1969 self-titled release.

   

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Love Dimension “Freakquency Space Mind Continuum”

The San Francisco-based band The Love Dimension is a musical ensemble that has gone through many different formations over the span of its history. The Psychedelic Rock band is steeped deeply in the sound of the psychedelic music produced in the 1960s. So much so that when you listen to the band’s catalog of music, you feel like you’ve immediately have been transported back in time. There is nothing like listening to the innovators of Psychedelic Rock from back in the 1960s. However, the music from The Love Dimension is as authentic as you can get…for a band that is 4 decades removed from that time period.

The band has gone through many different members and formations throughout the history of the group. But the band has maintained the same quality in its sound. That has to do with singer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Dias. Dias ensures that the sound will remain no matter who is currently in the band.

With that said, The Love Dimension is celebrating the release of their newest EP entitled Freakquency Space Mind Continuum. On this release, Jimmy Dias took the reins completely and created the entire album on his own. Dias added all instrumentation and vocals to every one of the 5 tracks that make up the new EP. While created by one person, Freakquency Space Mind Continuum sounds as genuine and full as anything released by an entire band of musicians.

Freakquency Space Mind Continuum begins with the track “Together Again”. Like much of the band’s music, the track immediately takes the listener back to the sixties. It contains just the right amount of musical inspiration from that time period. With this track, Jimmy Dias shows off his talents as a multi-dimensional musician. Every note feels as genuine as if an entire group created the track and not just one musician. For instance, the guitar parts on the track blend together to create a layered effect. That layered effect adds a lot of texture to the track. For the rest of the instrumentation, the drums and bass parts feel just as genuine as the guitar on the track. “Together Again” is one track that allows Jimmy Dias to shine as a musician.

The new release from The Love Dimension continues with the song “When Soul Love Begins”. The previous track features a very strong retro feel to the music. However, “When Soul Love Begins” finds Dias adding even more of a psychedelic feel to the music.  Dias moves the song even further into the sound of the sixties. The biggest and most obvious psychedelic influence in the song comes from the addition of the electric sitar. The sitar and the electric guitar add just the right retro feeling to the music.  The electric guitar and electric sitar compliment the lyrics that also feel rather dated. And while dated, the lyrics and music together will give fans of the sixties just a little reminder of what that time period sounded like.

Freakquency Space Mind Continuum continues with the instrumental track of “Surf Heart”. For “Surf Heart,” Jimmy Dias stays in the retro state of mind for yet another track. The music brings to mind surf gods like Dick Dale, The Ventures and other instrumental artists. These artists helped to shape the style of “Surf Heart”. Although there is that influence in the music, Dias creates a song that stays away from copying any specific playing style. Because of that, the surf rock on the song is unmistakable as to the style of the music. However, the track is not too overly influenced by any one particular entity.

The next track of “Get Real Wild” finds the music gaining a lot more of a groove. The track ends up being that track on the release to get up and dance to. “Get Real Wild” would have been easily featured on any of the dance shows back in the 60s had it existed back then. The song then transforms into a more acoustic version of itself as “It Could Be a While.” The additional minute and a half continues the song before bringing the EP to a close.

The Love Dimension’s Freakquency Space Mind Continuum once again shows off the talents of Jimmy Dias. Even more so this time ‘round as he created the 5-track release himself. Every musical element on the release came from one individual musician. The newest release from The Love Dimension proves itself to be solid from the first note up to the final note.

To hear the music of The Love Dimension, check out their song “Together Again“.

To purchase the music of The Love Dimension, click on the cover below:

continuum

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Artists & Bands Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Black Rainbows “Hawkdope”

Black Rainbows is a Fuzz Rock band that makes its home in Rome, Italy. The band is composed of Gabriele Fiori on Vocals / Guitars / Keyboards, Dario Iocca on Bass and Alberto Croce on Drums. Together, the trio creates some of the most psychedelic, hardest-hitting and coolest music out there today. If you are a fan of bands like Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet or even Hawkwind, Black Rainbows is a band you need to check out. After releasing the Holy Moon, Supermothafuzzalicious!!  and Twilight in the Desert albums, as well as being included on a couple of split releases with other bands of high quality Hard Rock, Black Rainbows returns with their latest album, 2015’s release entitled Hawkdope.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows begins with the track “The Prophet”. The hard-hitting track features some strong guitar playing from Gabriele Fiori while the drums from Alberto Croce and bass from Dario Iocca help add to the energy of the track. The addition of electronics and other production to the background also add a bit of psychedelic feeling to the song. The combination of all of the elements creates a track that feels slightly aged yet surprisingly fresh at the same time. While “The Prophet” has plenty of energy, with the track “Wolf Eyes,” Black Rainbows takes their music in a stronger direction. The first thing you’ll notice with this track is the use of the fuzz guitar. The sound of that guitar adds a difference to the music and seems to add a lot of body to the song. The lyrics about staying aware of what is around you in case you end up being tracked end up good pieces of advice for anyone.

Perhaps the main piece on Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is the title track of the album. “Hawkdope” is the type of track that would have been right at home on FM radio once the DJs started playing the longer, more underground tracks from people like Iron Butterfly who were more interested in pushing the boundaries of the music than they were with fitting on the more commercial radio formats. Black Rainbows creates a track with “Hawkdope” that is very expansive as the band plays extended instrumental breaks and just allows the music to speak for itself. Like with the earlier track of “The Prophet,” the inclusion of the effects in the background of the track adds a bit of psychedelic feeling to the track.

The band changes directions slightly with the track “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The track finds the members of Black Rainbows being influenced by earlier bands Cream and other early rock bands. The music on the track features a strong Blues influence to it while still containing plenty of Black Rainbows’ style and sound. The changing of the tempo throughout the track keeps the song interesting. The solid Rock ‘n’ Roll feel of the track makes “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” a song that would fit in with other songs of the Classic Rock era of the genre.

Once “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” comes to an end, the band changes directions on the next track of “Waiting for the Sun,” as well. The track begins with only bass, some keyboards and some light percussion. The use of minimal instrumentation creates one of the more interesting tracks on the entire release.

Black Rainbows brings the energy of their music back up once again with the track “Killer Killer Fuzz”. And while they pick up the energy, they slow the pace of their music down for the track. The slower pace of the music adds a bit of intensity to the track as each note being played feels harder. “Killer Killer Fuzz” ends up being one of the songs that seems to stay with you.

The newest release from the Italian band Black Rainbows comes to an end with the track “The Cosmic Picker”. Like “Killer Killer Fuzz” before it, “The Cosmic Picker” features a slower pace to the song. While some of the other tracks on the newest release from Black Rainbows are psychedelic, “The Cosmic Picker” is easily the most psychedelic, musically and lyically. Like some of the stuff from a band like Pink Floyd, “The Cosmic Picker” seems to be the type of song that is best listened to through headphones with the lights off in order to get the full effect of the song.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is a strong release from the very first note. For those looking for bands that make Rock and Roll that is meant to be heard through headphones, Black Rainbows is one band that fits that description. And with the band already having a nice library of releases, this is a nice place to start before digging into the rest of the band’s output.

To hear some of the music of Black Rainbows, check out the title song from the album Hawkdope.

To check out the band’s record label, Heavy Psych Sounds, click HERE. Also check out FLY PR, the band’s PR firm.

To purchase a copy of Hawkdope from Black Rainbows, click on the album cover below.

hawkdope

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Love Dimension “Create and Consume”

Formed in the Bay Area of San Francisco, the band called The Love Dimension seems to encompass the whole spirit of the 1960s and their music definitely shows that. The band creates a sound that includes many different genres of rock and roll including straight-out rock, psychedelic rock, surf rock, even a little garage rock. The band’s many different influences create a solid sound that borrows from many different sounds but still sounds very cohesive…and just a little dated as the band’s sound feels like it could have fit in with the bands that were around at the time of Woodstock and just a little bit after that, as well.

The Love Dimension is a band that consists of Jimmy Dias – vocals, guitar; Celeste Obomsawin – vocals, percussion; Devin Farney – vocals, keys; Sonny Pearce – drums, percussion; Tommy Anderson – bass as well as Kyle DeMartini. Having already released several albums worth of music and several standalone singles as well, The Love Dimension is currently promoting their newest release. The 2014 album from The Love Dimension is called Create and Consume.

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Artists and Bands Features More Cool Stuff Reviews and Suggestions

After All The Wishing – Jim Johnston

If 2012’s Voyage of Oblivion from Bristol, England-based Jim Johnston mapped out a strange, detached and unsettling musical landscape, even that didn’t quite suggest the twisted grandeur and off kilter meanderings that the follow up album delivers. Generic labels are largely useless here as all contemporary styles are put to new uses but the ever-shifting nature of the album means that it doesn’t sit in any one genre for too long. Yes, alt-rock, psychedelia and post-punk may provide the more visible backdrop but the sound of Bristol’s recent musical past (and indeed Johnston’s own with Monk and Canatella) are also on show.

Tribal dance beats and trippy electronica flavours blends with the straighter rock drives and angular indie influences, there is even an often-schizophrenic saxophone wandering through like a crazed jazz pied piper. If Voyage… was the sound of blues and psychedelia meeting in a cold, clinical embrace in a disused dockside somewhere along the Severn Estuary, this is the sound of David Bowie scoring the bleak worlds of Bret Easton Ellis’ novels and Damien Moran’s hypnotic narrative that threads it’s way between, around and through the songs immediately puts you in mind of Diamond Dogs spoken opening salvo. I’m not saying that I fully understand the overall concept of the narrative, I’m sure it is an album that reveals its secrets through multiple re-visits, but it is not easy to ignore the fleeting references to backstreet horrors, gratuitous violence and the brooding undercurrents that pour from this open wound of an album. After All The Wishing really sees Jim Johnston up his game and even after the strange beauty of his previous solo outing he has again delivered something both weird and intoxicating, dangerously attractive and unlike anything you have heard before. In the right light it would be easy to convince yourself that this is actually a long lost album from Bowie’s Berlin years and there are not many albums that you can say that about.

Find Jim Johnston’s release of After All The Wishing on Bandcamp.

You can find Jim Johnston on Facebook.

This article was kindly written by Dave Franklin.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Kavanaghs “Need a Pity Day EP”

Argentinean band The Kavanaghs has come a long way from their humble beginnings as an Argentinean Beatles cover band. Ever since they started out playing the music of The Fab Four and other groups from that time period, The Kavanaghs have continually shaped their sound to include more and more bands and styles of today so that their current style sounds more like Badfinger and British bands from the late ‘90s into today such as Coldplay, Oasis and U2. Their current sound can be found on their 2011 release Love Conquers Pain. The band is currently promoting that album and has since released several songs from that album as singles; the latest of which is “Need a Pity Day”.

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Artists and Bands

The Dosadi Experiment

The Dosadi Experiment formed in March of this year. The band started with just two members: Merry and Paul.

“Hey, how about forming a rock band?” Paul asked. They had often talked of being in a band together.

“Sure”, came the reply, “but there are only two of us…” Paul showed a defiant look and shrugged.

“Well so what, we can kick it out, let’s just do it, and let’s play whatever the hell we want.”

And that was it, we began trying out styles, kicking out riffs and hammering some songs together. Once things had gotten rolling we started looking for a bassist. That’s when John sauntered onto the scene, from the first moment we realised we were onto a winner, and our music began to take depth and evolve. It didn’t take us long before we were playing our first gig.