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CD Review: The Persian Leaps “Electrical Living”

Drew Forsberg is the driving force behind the St. Paul, Minnesota-based band called The Persian Leaps. Having been created by Forsberg back in the early days of this decade, the band was mainly a musical outlet for Forsberg who used the moniker of The Persian Leaps to release his solo music. Eventually, however, it became necessary to create a real band to perform the music. And through the lifetime of The Persian Leaps, the musical outfit has gone through several stages, from the solo project to a full band, changing sizes depending on how many people were in the band at the time.

Throughout the time that The Persian Leaps have existed, the musical outfit has released a generous amount of 5-song EPs. Then the band released its first full-length album, Pop That Goes Crunch, last year. And having already released one album of music, The Persian Leaps returns in 2019 with yet another one. This time, the new release from the band is entitled Electrical Living. The line-up that helped create the music on this album consists of Forsberg on guitar, keyboards and drum programming, with Jon Hunt on bass, background vocals and some piano.   

Electrical Living from The Persian Leaps begins with the track called “The Art Form”. Together, Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt create a song with a strong Rock and Roll approach in the music. With the strong guitar presence in the track, the song feels as if it could have been created right around the time that the eighties were turning into the nineties, the type of Rock and Roll that was in existence before the advent of Alternative Rock radio formats. With the strength of the music in the track, the minute-long song of “The Art Form” kicks off the release with a lot of energy.

The new release from The Persian Leaps continues with the song “Catnip for Cupid”. With this song, Forsberg and Hunt create music with a Power Pop feel. The combination of the guitars and a rather bouncy feel to the music is what makes the track fall into the Power Pop genre. And much like the previous track, “Catnip for Cupid” comes with a rather short playtime. But at two minutes, it’s twice the length of the lead-off song of “The Art Form”.

Electrical Living continues with the song “Expert Witness”. Much like with “Catnip for Cupid,” the duo of Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt put together another track with a bouncy feel to the music. This time, however, the bass in the song is a little more prominent than it had been with the earlier tracks. The song also contains a slightly stronger Alternative Rock feel to the music, which would place the song squarely in the mid-nineties. But with the bouncy feel to the music and the stronger bassline, you could easily imagine this track on either today’s Pop-Rock radio formats or Alternative Rock stations. And with the track being almost three minutes in length, it’s the perfect length for commercial airplay.

Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt take their sound back into the nineties with the track “Sweet Nothings”. As a matter of fact, the duo seems to have drawn upon the sound of the band Weezer for the feel of this track. And for the first time, the duo adds the sound of Jon Hunt’s keyboards into the background of the track, giving the track a Pop-Rock/Alternative feel. With that combination, the track would fall within the music of bands from the nineties.

For the next track called “About Your Record,” Drew Forsberg and Jon Hunt create a song that features the influence of Brit-Pop music. In fact, the track brings to mind the little-known British band The Family Cat, as the track would have fit in rather nicely in that band’s final album entitled Magic Happens. The vocals from Drew Forsberg even recall The Family Cat frontman Paul Frederick while the Power Pop on this track recalls that band’s musical style, placing the song from The Persian Leaps alongside tracks such as “Amazing Hangover”.

With the song “The Problem Is…,” The Persian Leaps take their music solidly into the direction of Pop-Rock. The track begins with the solo sound of the electric guitar of Drew Forsberg. The gentle feel of the guitar transitions into a full-band sound that takes the gentle feel of that guitar and creates a Pop-Rock track with an easy pace. On this track, the duo draws inspiration from the British band The Smiths. Containing the same musical feel as music from The Smiths, “The Problem Is…,” from The Persian Leaps would fit right in with any of the tracks from The Smiths’ discography.

The Persian Leaps bring their musical style back to the Rock and Roll sound of the late eighties/early nineties on the song “Take Me to The Mountain”. On this track, Drew Forsberg sings about the need to get away from it all. With this track, Forsberg, together with Jon Hunt, creates a track that brings to mind the Scottish band Teenage Fanclub and the band’s songs like “Star Sign” from their album Bandwagonesque from 1991. The track has a strong commercial feel that would be right at home among Alternative Rock songs from the nineties.  

“Chalk Line Behemoth,” the next track on Electrical Living, keeps the sound of The Persian Leaps’ music within the feel of the late nineties/early 2000s. This track brings to mind some of the sound of the band Smash Mouth. “Chalk Line Behemoth” recalls Smash Mouth’s Reggae-influenced track of “Road Man;” especially since the two songs share a few bars of music as well as overall feel of the music, even if Smash Mouth’s song is Reggae-influenced while “Chalk Line Behemoth” from The Persian Leaps contains a straight-out Rock and Roll feel to the music.  

The Persian Leaps bring their latest release to a close with the song called “Dominoes”. The song contains a strong Alternative Rock feel to the music, recalling bands like Weezer or Better than Ezra. In fact, “Dominoes” from The Persian Leaps even feels similar to Better Than Ezra’s 1993 song entitled “Good” from that band’s 1993 release entitled Deluxe.

Throughout the release entitled Electrical Living, The Persian Leaps create an album that alternates between Power Pop and Alternative Rock. When combined together, the eleven songs on the release create one solid album that features many radio-friendly tracks for those who like the music of the late eighties/early nineties. And while this particular album is a break from the norm for The Persian Leaps founder Drew Forsberg, the choice to go in a different direction resulted in a strong release that is absolutely worth checking out.

 

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

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from The Persian Leaps, check out their song “Catnip for Cupid”.

To check out the release entitled Electrical Living from The Persian Leaps, click on the album cover below: 

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CD Review: Microcosms “Fairytale”

Sometimes you learn an instrument and then create a band. Sometimes you spend years playing one instrument only to find inspiration in another instrument. That was the situation with songwriter Andrew Tschiltsch who spent time playing drums for years before the desire to play guitar hit him. And once the guitar was in his hand, the desire to create his own songs hit. Tschiltsch spent a few years recording and experimenting with the way his music sounded before bringing Bryan Emer (bass) and Jered Pipenbrink (drums) into the fold. Together, Tschiltsch, Emer and Pipenbrink create the Chicago-based band called Microcosms. The band’s first release, Know My Body, came out a few years ago in 2017. And in 2018, the band released their latest EP called Fairytale

Fairytale from Microcosms begins with the track “Omnipotence”. The track begins with the entire trio creating a track that blends together straight-out Rock and Roll with some Prog-Rock influence to it. Soon enough, however, the feel of the track changes as Bryan Emer’s bass seems to be the instrument to focus on as the bass pushes the track forward. Both Tschiltsch and Pipenbrink use their instruments to support Emer’s playing. Eventually, the trio creates a song that contains a rather unique feel to it. Ultimately, the slightly off-key music of the track brings to mind the style of Frank Zappa, as both the music on the track and the playing of the band both seem to contain Zappa’s influence. The track’s lyrical content features a darkness as the lyrics describe a person who wants as much power as possible.

With the second track on the release, Microcosms creates a slightly more upbeat track. The track “Wrapped Up” features a musical blend that takes some Punk feel and mixes it with some straight Rock and Roll. What stands out on this track is the vocal delivery from singer/guitarist Andrew Tschiltsch. On this track, for whatever reason, Tschiltsch seems to be channeling Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo. The lyrics to the track also seem to contain a little influence from the Akron, Ohio band of Devo as the lyrics about wondering why the singer is so attracted to the person of interest that the lyrics are about. The band powers through “Wrapped Up” as the song doesn’t even last for two minutes before it’s finished. While the song is not one hundred percent influenced by Devo, the influence does seem to be there.

Microcosms’ 2018 release of Fairytale continues with the song “Flinch”. With this track, the band continues their pattern of creating songs that are inspired by older bands. On “Flinch,” you can almost hear the influence of the band Talking Heads in the music. It’s the slightly off-kilter feel of the music that brings the vision of the Talking Heads to mind when listening to the song, not to mention the way the lyrics feel as Andrew Tschiltsch delivers them. The Frank Zappa approach of the band on this track makes for a great track that goes well with the previous track of “Wrapped Up”. The overall feel of the track makes it perfect for any Alternative Rock radio station.

As the track “Strangle” begins, the listener finds themselves back in the nineties as the track has a style that is rather reminiscent of bands from the era. The track starts off with the sound of Bryan Emer’s bass. The riff created by Emer brings to mind something from the band Weezer. From there, the track features a style that blends Weezer’s influence with some Punk feel. The driving pace to the music of the track creates a strong, fun feel to the song. Like much of the EP, “Strangle” features lyrics about someone who has too much power. The lyrics deal with the singer trying to control his anger towards that person. The song feels rather at home in today’s political atmosphere.

The five tracks that make up the 2018 EP of Fairytale from Microcosms have a definite feel to them that helps to create a solid release. However, the five tracks also contain a different approach. This creates a solid EP with a good amount of variety in the Rock and Roll. While this EP was released not that long ago, the band continues to record. Stay tuned.  

 

To check out the music of Microcosms, check out the video to their single “Omnipotence”.

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

 

 

 

 

Microcosms just celebrated the release of their latest single entitled “Forget Us”. Click HERE to check out my review of that track. 

To check out the Fairytale EP from Microcosms, click on the album cover below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Bird Streets S/T

Bird Streets is the latest project for John Brodeur. John Brodeur of the band Bird Streets is a New York-based singer-songwriter who has spent the last twenty years as basically a one-man band, creating several albums of Indie Rock. However, it’s been quite a while since Brodeur released an album of music. The last release to come from Brodeur came out in 2013 and that album was called Little Hopes. That album of music showed off Brodeur’s ability to write different styles of music and ended up being one of his strongest solo albums.

Cut to five years later and a new album from Brodeur was created. But this particular release was slightly different from what had come before.

Right around the time he was wrapping up production on the Little Hopes album, John Brodeur found himself looking to create something new. This time, however, he decided not to go it alone. Brodeur got in contact with multi-faceted artist Jason Faulkner and talked Faulkner into helping him produce the music for a new venture. The result is a musical project known as Bird Streets, a moniker that came from a section of the area known as the Hollywood Hills. Brodeur spent time in both 2014 and 2016 working alongside Faulkner during which time they created the debut album for Bird Streets. The self-titled debut release from Bird Streets was released in 2018.

Touring version of Bird Streets

The self-titled debut release from Bird Streets begins with the track “Carry Me”. The lead-off track finds John Brodeur in more of a Rock and Roll frame of mind than the usual Pop-Rock one would usually find on his solo albums.  With this track, the musical ensemble creates a moment that feels as if it would have been right at home on Alternative Rock radio back in the nineties. “Carry Me” contains strong guitar riffs and a strong bassline to create a sound that creates a sound that takes the listener back in time. You could easily imagine this track playing alongside tracks from Weezer or even Better Than Ezra.

The track called “Betting on the Sun” continues the new release. This track brings back some of the Pop-Rock feel that usually accompany Brodeur’s music. The slightly lighter approach of the track feels like a mix of nineties Alternative Rock and the Lite Rock from the seventies. The combination on the track creates one of the most commercial songs on the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets.

The self-titled release from Bird Streets continues with the track off the release that is the current single. The song “Direction” combines elements of Nineties’ Alternative Rock and today’s musical feel. “Direction” feels like something that could have actually come from the band Weezer with some of John Brodeur’s influence thrown into the mix. The track easily ends up being one of the most commercial tracks on the new release from Bird Streets.

The first thirty seconds of the song “Spaceship” features only the sound of John Brodeur and his acoustic guitar creating a quiet moment that brings to mind the feel of sixties Folk music. But after that initial thirty seconds the song, other instruments are incorporated to create a slow-paced track with a rather mellow musical direction. As Bird Streets IS a band that takes Brodeur’s music and gives it a slightly different feel than if Brodeur had created the music on his own, it should come as no surprise that some of the tracks on the self-titled album from Bird Streets would feel as if they Brodeur’s songs. In fact, you could almost imagine “Spaceship” having been created for Brodeur’s last release called Little Hopes.   

Speaking of creating a track with John Brodeur’s style to it, “Stop to Breathe” is yet another track from Bird Streets that feels as if it had been a solo piece. Like the piece before it, “Stop to Breathe” feels as if you could have encountered it on an earlier album from Brodeur.  In fact, the track would have felt right at home among the songs that had made up Brodeur’s 2009 release called Get Through. The slow pace to the Alternative Rock track gives the song an overly relaxed feel, but the electric guitars on the six-minute track keep it from feeling boring.

John Brodeur once again calls upon the influence of the music of the nineties for the track “Thanks for Calling”. The Alternative feel of the track would place the track firmly alongside Weezer, Better Than Ezra and other bands like them.  “Thanks for Calling” brings so much Alternative Rock feel of the nineties that you can hear the influence from a song like “Buddy Holly” from Weezer in the music of the track. For those who miss the nineties, this track does a good job of recalling the music of that time period.

For fans of the music of John Brodeur, there are several spots on the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets where Brodeur’s style shines through loud and clear, much like on earlier tracks like “Stop to Breathe”. Another moment on this album where the unmistakable feel of John Brodeur’s writing comes through clearly is on the song “Heal”. The main reason for that is because of the lyrical content of the track. Lines like “How Am I Supposed to Heal when this Medication isn’t Real?” make it absolutely clear that this is a John Brodeur song.

Currently, Bird Streets is promoting their latest single entitled “Pretty Bones”.  The track features a light touch to the music as the track begins with an acoustic guitar and John Brodeur’s vocals. While continuing to contains a rather laidback feel to the music, the track builds over the length of the track and eventually, the track’s musical approach brings to mind a combination of Folk-Rock influences and Indie Rock influences. The track’s low-key feel still contains a very listener-friendly sound.

As you make your way through the various tracks that make up the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets, there is plenty on the album to keep fans of John Brodeur happy. Plus, the inclusion of Jason Faulkner helps add new dimensions to his music that weren’t there before. Together, John Brodeur and Jason Faulkner create an album that fans of the eighties, nineties and today will truly enjoy as influences from all of those decades help to shape the music of this release. 

 

For more information, check out Bird Streets’ label, Omnivore Recordings

For a taste of the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets, check out the single “Pretty Bones”. 

For the self-titled album from Bird Streets, click on the album cover below: 

 

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club “Veva, Hold On!”

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club is a band that makes their home in Chicago, Illinois. Made up of: Billy Giricz – vocals, guitar, keyboards; Paulette Bertrand – vocals, keyboards, guitar; Dan Passarelli – bass, vocals; Luke Smith – drums and Darin Gregg – guitar, trumpet, the band creates music that is equal parts rock and roll and pop-rock. That combination helps to create a sound that is very infectious and very radio-friendly at the same time. The style of the band’s songs alternates between modern-day rock and roll and rock and roll from years gone by. The band calls upon influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones and Wilco and those influences creates a nice mixture of styles to draw from, making the band’s music very different from one track to the next. Having already adding to their musical library by releasing an 11-song self-titled release in August 2014, the band returned the very next month with another EP, the 7-track release entitled Veva, Hold On!

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Features

Nothing Says ‘Love’ Like a Band Reunion

Nothing makes you wish you could win the lottery, or unexpectedly come into money some other way, like one of your favourite bands reuniting for a show. One of the ones you thought you’d perhaps never get to see live, or never again if you’d already seen them.

There is certainly a benefit of a band reuniting without putting out a new (often disappointing) release. No questioning whether or not to go to the show, worried you’ll have to endure a bunch of shitty new songs in order to hear a few of your old favourites. In addition, there are the likes of Billy Corgan  – expecting fans to be so devoted they won’t ask for the old songs that changed their lives, and reprimanding them when they do. It doesn’t seem like a fair approach somehow, even if the artist cringes at the angsty, earlier chapter of their career.

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The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.

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From playing Coachella and The White House, to a chart-topping album and sold-out tour, YGG! prove they’re a musical phenomenon to be reckoned with

They’ve sung and danced with the likes of Weezer, DEVO, Of Montreal, Hot Hot Heat, The Ting Tings, The Killers (and many more), played at this year’s Coachella fest and received rave reviews (Video), played at The White House, and recently released a chart-topping hit album. Who do I speak of? This may sound surprising, but it’s Yo Gabba Gabba! Yes, the children’s television show that began in 2007 and has since developed into somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. The YGG! crew is no longer solely loved by kids, but also by college students, adults, and hipsters worldwide, who refuse to believe that such a great musical show is not geared towards them. YGG! was created by musicians Christian Jacobs (lead singer of punk rock band The Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, and following a sold-out debut tour, the gang behind the show recently hit the road again, this time reigning over Canada from September 4 – 19. 

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Rock News

From Coachella to The White House, Yo Gabba Gabba! are hotter than ever and hitting the road to tour North America

If you don’t know of Yo Gabba Gabba! – You’re missing out. If you do know of YGG!, but think it’s all child’s play – You’re wrong.

What started out as a children’s television show in 2007 has become a true cultural phenomenon, as the YGG! crew is now loved by college students, adults, and hipsters worldwide. Why? How? It’s simple really. YGG! always manages to snag the best musical guests (they even played Coachella this year!) Think Weezer, DEVO, Of Montreal, Hot Hot Heat, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, The Roots, and oh so many more! Now their YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! Tour is hitting the road and coming to Canada September 4 – 19.

Montreal, (Monday, May 31, 2010) — Fresh off a triumphant sold-out tour debut, a headlining performance at The White House, a critically-acclaimed, chart-topping album, and an appearance at Coachella that garnered rave reviews from spectators and media alike (Video), DJ Lance Rock and the cast of YO GABBA GABBA! are heading back on the road with YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! to play to enthusiastic fans in Canada. Today’s hottest live show for families will tour Canada from September 4 to 19. YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! is produced by S2BN Entertainment in association with Wildbrain Entertainment and The Magic Store and presented by DKD Events.

Champions on the stage and in the community, the Gabba Gang will partner with Child Find and The Missing Children’s Network to further their efforts to bring home missing children in Canada. In addition, $1 from every ticket sold for YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! will be donated to the local Child Find affiliate and The Missing Children’s Network in Montreal.

VIP packages with premium tickets and meet and greets will also be available. For complete tour, ticket information and VIP packages, visit www.yogabbagabbalive.com.

The state-of-the-art production features music, singing, dancing and animation.  The show is an interactive experience that offers audience members of all ages the opportunity to witness their favorite characters come to life.  Joining the characters on stage will be hip-hop legend Biz Markie to teach kids how to beat box with “Biz’s Beat of the Day”.  Special guests will join the party on stage for the Super Music Friends Show and Dancey Dance segments.

Released in October, 2009, YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME Volume 1 topped kids and overall music charts at iTunes (#1 kids album), Amazon (top 5 kids album) and Target sales, which reached more than 40,000 copies in only 6 months since its release. YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME was picked as one of 2009’s top holiday gifts for toddlers by both PARENTS magazine and the popular Mom web destination MomLogic.com.  YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME Volume 2 will be released on iTunes and will hit shelves nationwide this September.

Dates, venues and ticket prices are subject to change.

About Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba! premiered in the U.S. on Nickelodeon in August, 2007 and currently ranks as one of the most popular children series on television.   Yo Gabba Gabba!, was voted as one of the best new shows on television by TIME magazine, won a BAFTA Award in 2008, was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Television” Award by the Television Critics Association, and is a two-time Emmy nominee. The series airs three times a day, seven days a week on Nick Jr. and in Australia, Canada, Israel, Latin America, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.K.

Yo Gabba Gabba! infuses retro-style and beat-driven music to teach simple life lessons through music. The series stars DJ Lance Rock (Lance Robertson) and a cast of colorful characters, including: Brobee, the little green one, Foofa, the pink flower bubble, Muno, the red Cyclops, Toodee, the blue cat-dragon and Plex, the yellow robot. Today’s most popular names in movies, television, music and sports flock to guest star in the groundbreaking show, including Jack Black, Rachel Dratch, Melora Hardin, Tony Hawk, Biz Markie, Jack McBrayer, MGMT, Mark Mothersbaugh, The Roots, Andy Samberg, Amy Sedaris, The Shins, Amare Stoudemire, The Ting Tings, Jimmy Eat World and Elijah Wood, among others.  Yo Gabba Gabba! toys, apparel and other merchandise are sold in stores nationwide in the U.S. and have skyrocketed in popularity.  Yo Gabba Gabba! is recommended as a trusted program for preschoolers by The Smart Television Alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of leading non-profit children’s media organizations including Common Sense Media, Parents’ Choice Foundation, Parents Television Council and Coalition for Quality children’s Media: KIDS FIRST!.  Visit www.yogabbagabba.com.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR COMES TO CANADA IN SEPTEMBER FOR SINGING & DANCING AND TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL CHILD FIND AFFILIATE

Saturday, September 4 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto

Sunday, September 5 – Place des Arts, Montreal

Wednesday, September 8 – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton

Thursday, September 9 – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary

Sat. & Sun., Sept. 11 & 12 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Tuesday, September 14 – Brandt Centre, Regina

Wednesday, September 15 – MTS Centre Theatre, Winnipeg

Saturday, September 18 – John Labatt Centre, London

Sunday, September 19 – Scotiabank Place, Ottawa

$1 From Every Ticket Sold To Benefit Local Child Find Affiliates and The Missing Children’s Network

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Features

The good, the bad, and the unfortunate: A look at Osheaga 2010

July 31 and August 1 saw the fifth annual Osheaga music festival in Montreal. Usually a pretty modest affair, most of what Osheaga does, it does right. Beer, for instance. Osheaga does beer really well: the lines are short and the price isn’t too steep. And they’ve done away with beer tents, allowing Canadians the freedom to roam with their brew – just as God intended. There isn’t an overwhelming sense of corporate sponsorship, and the free metro ride home is very much appreciated. Oh, and the music is pretty good too.

In past years, Osheaga hadn’t attracted as many big performers as Coachella, Lollapalooza, or Bonnaroo, but this year it joined the ranks of the heavy hitters. Weezer and Snoop Dogg were some of the high profile names, but the band that made Osheaga truly transcendent was Montreal’s own Arcade Fire.

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You want great Rock and Roll? Just say SHAZAM!!

Meteor by The Shazam

Shazam – Meteor
Not Lame

Not only does this new album from rockers The Shazam mark the long-awaited return of one of the best power pop groups of the past twenty years or so but it also marks the return of THE best power pop label ever, Not Lame, if only temporarily. Two great treats in one! Seems the great folks behind Not Lame have decided to partner with The Shazam on this new CD but have no plans to revive the label outside of this release. Boo! Then again, if there was ever a reason to bother to start (or revive, as in Not Lame’s case) a label it is for a band as deserving and overlooked as The Shazam. For over a decade now, this powerpop juggernaut led by guitarist/songwriter/singer Hans Rotenberry have been at the forefront of the New Power Pop which sprung up in the mid-’90’s thanks to pioneering bands such as Jellyfish, The Posies and The Smithereens – bands who took the combination of melody and guitar bombast The Beatles, Badfinger, Big Star, and early Who represented and decided to bring it forward while giving it a much-needed kick in the ass with some modern technology and post-punk attitude. That the band hasn’t become more of a household name is very unfortunate as their distinctive blend of arena rock with razor-sharp pop hooks should have been the perfect bridge betwen the kind of FM hard rock fodder listeners have suffered through for over thirty years and the alternative rock of the mid-90’s and beyond. In fact, if Fountains of Wayne, Weezer and Foo Fighters were combined, it would sound like The Shazam.