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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Local “Reverie”

Pittsburgh band The Local had its initial foundation miles away from where the band finds itself today. It was in Belfast, Ireland that American Jenny Henry would eventually meet Dean Henry, the man who would become her husband. Together, the duo found out about each other as each performed their own music in pubs and music venues in the area. A romantic spark occurred and the two married and eventually came back to live here in the United States.

After the duo of Dean Henry and Jenny Henry came over the United States, the duo began putting together a band. That band is called The Local. The line-up of The Local consists of Band Members Ben Sweet  on Guitar and Vocals, Dean Henry  on Guitar and Vocals and Jenny Henry on Bass along with percussionist Stephen Flory and keyboardist Eric Matlock. Together, the band combines their talents to create a band that has a strong Pop-Rock feel to their music. That musical approach can be found on the band’s new EP entitled Reverie.

Reverie from The Local begins with the track “Impatience Blues”. While The Local is mostly an American band, the Irish flavor and influence of the band’s music shines through on the first track of the EP. In fact, when the song “Impatience Blues” begins, the easy feel of the Pop-Rock/Folk-Rock music on the track brings to mind the sound and style of another act that was completely based in Belfast- Energy Orchard. Coincidentally enough, the track that The Local’s song “Impatience Blues” brings to mind from the Irish rock band is entitled “Belfast,” the lead-off from Energy Orchard’s 1990 self-titled album. The difference between the two tracks is that “Belfast” has more of an upbeat feel to the music while “Impatience Blues” is a little more relaxed as far as the music is concerned.

The title track of the EP finds the band slightly changing the feel of their music. The electric guitar on the track is at its most intense as the track features a straight-out Rock and Roll feel. The guitars at the beginning create a definite Double-axe attack feel. The music of “Reverie” would fit in with Rock and Roll tracks from the eighties or nineties before Alternative Rock was a radio format. For the title track of The Local’s new EP, the band creates one of the strongest tracks of the release.

Reverie from The Local continues with the track “Maybe I Will”. The track begins with one of the easier paces of any of the tracks that make up the release. The somewhat Folk-like music comes courtesy of a mandolin that starts off the music. Soon enough, a strong machine-like beat joins in to give the track a rather strange combination of musical directions. But that unusual combination of soft from the mandolin and powerful from the drumbeat helps to make the song unique. “Maybe I Will” is easily one of the songs that stand out on the EP.    

The new EP from The Local continues with “Fair Play”. The feel of the track is rather familiar as the track seems to continue right where “Reverie” left off. As a matter of fact, if the EP had been created there with the two songs side-by-side, “Reverie” could have easily just segued into “Fair Play” without a break creating a musical passage with a rather long playtime.

With the final track of “Racing,” the band picks up the energy of their music. One of the things that are different on this track is the increase in the intensity of the music as the band adds more of an Alternative Rock approach to their music. The result is a track that seems to have a sound that is reminiscent of R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion”. “Racing” from The Local will satisfy any fan of the music from the nineties who has been looking for something that helps to bring back the sound of that decade.

Reverie from Pittsburg-based The Local is a short but strong release from a band that makes good use of two different musical styles with the founding members of Dean Henry and Jenny Henry coming from Ireland and the United States respectively. The two different nationalities helped to flavor the band’s music while creating a sound that is still very listener friendly. 

 

For a taste of the music from The Local, check out the title track from the band’s Reverie release.  

Reverie from The Local is still in the production stages. The EP will be available some time in the spring from Wednesday Records. Stay tuned to the band’s website and Facebook page for more information.  

 

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Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: Army Navy “The Last Place”

If you ask hip indie bloggers what today’s power pop sounds like, you’ll likely get Army Navy as the response. Lead singer Justin Kennedy belts out the opening track of The Last Place, “Last Legs,” and is accompanied by catchy riffs and a solid beat as he states, “The the place I want to be is in my head…” Even better is the stellar “Ode to Janice Melt” where Kennedy talks about his affair with a married celebrity. The band’s sound is reminiscent of a mixture of Teenage Fanclub, Pulp and Belle & Sebastian with an easygoing bounce in each track’s rhythm. “The Long Goodbye” and “Ex-Electric” both share solid songwriting and musicianship. 

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Artists and Bands

A Year in Review – RRR Staff Weigh In On Their Top Picks of ‘09 – Part 2

grammyIt’s finally here! The second half of our “A Year in Review” extravaganza is ready for you to peruse and, hopefully, enjoy. We’re serving up more great albums and fabulous artists and I finally get in on the action by counting down the best songs of the year (with some slight cheating.) For those of you who missed Part 1 (shame on you) I’d just like to repeat: Thank you for making RRR a regular part of your musical intake. (Please don’t leave us in 2010, we love you!)

In Part 2 you’ll find:
Top 10 Songs of ’09 – Barbara Pavone
Top 10 UK Acts of ’09 – Intense Nick
Top 17 Albums & Top 5 Reissues of ’09 – Scott Homewood

Top 5 Albums & Top Reissue of ’09 – Gérard Girard
Top 10 Albums of the Decade – Matheson Kamin

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Features

Musical Overdose: Ken Stringfellow Talks About His Numerous Projects, Sounds and Onstage Personas

KSKen Stringfellow is best know for his work with The Posies, but is also a key player in the re-formed Big Star, as well as a respected solo artist. Over the years he has also been a part of many other influential bands such as R.E.M., The Minus 5, and The Orange Humble Band, to name a few.  Currently living in Paris and working on his newest project, The Disciplines, Stringfellow granted The Rock and Roll Report a rare interview.

Q: I know you’ve lived in France for about 5 years now, do you feel like a native at this point?

KS: No, I don’t feel like a native. You have to be one – especially in France. I don’t have an absolutely perfect command of the language by any means. French culture is very particular. When you are in France, even if you speak the language very well, people always can tell. There’s always a “Hmm, you’re not from around here” kind of thing. I enjoy living here and I’ve gotten used to the fact that I’m kind of always a fish out of water in one way, but I have a great life here. It’s not a bad situation to be in.