Friday, November 27, 2015

Aida, On the Cusp of Shining Like a Beautiful Star

The Cusp of Beauty, Opening guitars howl and piano notes gently drift off the soundboard creating an optimistic environment for the beat to drop and hammer hard. Looking inward Aida explores the consciousness of an artist and where conflicts seem to be a daily grind. Powerful backing elements create the scape for an epic title track. With electric guitars grinding in the background they contrast well with the piano work to create a “Fire and Ice” juxtaposition. On “Grasp of Beauty” Aida creates an uptempo smooth track with beautiful choruses sung that will put air under your wings encouraging you to fly. The beat has a swinging feel that makes you want to hit the road and get something done today. This song would work well in an inspirational movie. Aida has truly grown with this release as it shows on every track. This song in particular is hook heavy and shoots for the stars. Opening strings on “Progressive Journey” imply a tender side of a warriors heart. Contrasting his hard vocal approach on lyrical rhymes, the soulful female vocals in the choruses and the winding melodies floating in the background do well push the release even further. While the soundscape breaks down from time to time it rebuilds very strong with pro songwriting chops. The low-fi opening of “Progression” makes you feel like you are lying in bed listening to an old radio as the sound blossoms and creates a beautiful bouquet. The verse tag team action with Choric Lumina adds yet another dimension that takes you on a fuller and deeper journey. The electronic elements on this track help mixup the tone flow and activates different pallets that will make you want to dig deeper into each song.  With opening vocals singing in an Indie Rock vibe, the track “Burn Like Fire” makes you feel you are stuck out in the rain ready to shake off the cold wet blues and become a soaring Phoenix. The contrasting melodic sung verse and choruses with Aida’s signature vocal flow authentically replicates what it feels like sometimes to be stuck in a conflicted relationship. The acoustic guitar work is placed really well in this song in unison with the strings in the chorus create a powerful track that drips with passion. Opening vocals lines on “Mirror’s Reflection” reach deep into a rejected heart wanting to love. Clean electric guitars evoke visions of broken hands reaching out for love and understanding. Pounding beats feel like a world beating down that doesn't understand. Growling bass guitar lines pose as the Mirror that is relentless and unforgiving. As the tune “Cry Out For Help” unfolds you find yourself starring face to face with a desperate man. Piano work creates textures that are true beauty in motion. The beat takes the back seat and provides a solid back bone, but the haunting hook vocal is that which rain clouds release for. While sounding a bit over processed the hook line serves it’s purpose and makes you wonder if someone is laying on the floor amidst the shards of broken glass. Electric guitars create a tension that makes you feel like a storm is brewing on “Fade Out”. Bass notes provide a flow that feel like a cold breeze which is trying to steal your soul. With spirited vocals slamming the tag team nature helps the song evolve and keeps the sparks flying. Female vocals sweetly weaving through the choruses are the light that keep the strongest dreams alive. The cadences employed here on the varying vocal deliveries are that of true pro status. I would call this cut a true stand out track. With the funky piano groove on “Feel Good” you cant help but get your pants out of the chair and shake your skin till it shines in the sun. The samples are laid with excellent position. This thick track has the goods and is an awesome way to round out such a deep reaching album. I would recommend this release to anyone that likes true emotion on display. Those that like Pop, Rap and Hip Hop will especially find jewels here to enjoy for weeks to come.  With Aida on The Cusp of Beauty his star has only begun to shine. Hopefully he will not rest on what he has created hear and continue to push the boundaries with more emotionally energizing tracks to be cut in the future. 





Michael
Music Reviews


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Matt Maher, Leading the Way With His "Firelight"

“Firelight” - As I press play on the single “Firelight” , guitars wind out of my speakers and into my mind. I feel like I am being propelled back in time to a point in my life where everything was on the line. Notes selected bring a rising tension to the number as vocals plead for a better day. Soul and true desire are on full display, like a man hungry in the desert. Beautifully pleading Mr. Maher unleashes his desires like the kick drum that drops beat after beat like the world does so well to beat you down. As the song opens to the chorus I feel the urge to open my arms and welcome Jesus in. This is the typed of stomping song that will have you wanting to get out of your seat and run to the new day, and become all that God wants you to be. Electric guitars have a gritty charm to them and represent just how dirty the world can be. In contrast the organs swell in background with angelic beauty and push this song's emotion to a higher level. Percussion textures lay a driving beat that will encourage the soul to put one foot in front of the other and walk past the door of doubt and fear. They serve the backbone of the song well and help provide the power with a swinging beat. Bass guitar notes pulse and curve through this cut with a low-end growl that act as a concrete podium that will help raise your spirits into the heavens where you can reach your full potential. At the 2:36 mark the vibe of the song cuts to a delicate and tender moment like that of a true beating heart waiting to unleash all that can become. As the song rebuilds with vocals sung straight from the gut Matt allows this track to take flight even higher. I would recommend this song to those that like Pop, Rock, Americana and Christian genres. With the world so cold and dark anymore this is one of those songs that will serve as a “Firelight” to help the lost souls find their way to be saved.





Michael
Music Reviews


Friday, November 20, 2015

Dylan Ruiz, Bringing the Sunshine With This Life

“This is My Life” - This is one of those songs that talk about the dark-side of life, but unites with music that is rich in character and will leave a hop in your step. An inspirational song that has an infectious beat, this is great to put in your ears when you are about to take on the world. Production is top notch, I really like how the construction of this song has plenty of open air so that all the elements have room to breathe. It allows the message come through, and keeps the track from being overly claustrophobic. Piano work rings through you mind like past memories and regrets. They hang in the air to be absorbed and enjoyed. Bass clef notes ring far in the background like memories that haunt, but give power to the song. They remind you of how far you have come, how better you are and foretell what wonderful opportunities lay ahead. The percussion work is nontraditional and serve the song well. They help the tune break out of the common Pop model. Guitar work that dances around the choruses are like butterflies of hope that will rise the spirits of any dark day. I would recommend this track to those that like Pop music. This song is a ray of light in a dark world obsessed with  feeding personal addictions. While “This is my Life” is a song personal to Dylan Ruiz it also can serve as an inspiration to what we can all strive for. 




Michael 
Music Reviews


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Boston Shakers, Rocking You into a Flow of Bliss

The Boston Shakers Demo - When the opening drums start pulsing in my ear I feel like I have either drank too much coffee or that I actually woke up in another dimension in a dream where slow motion is 500 bpm.  The drums pound, the guitars are fuzzed and overdriven, bass guitar notes pulse like a teenagers pelvis after staring at a cover of Cosmo for an hour, and vocals swagger and flow like a cat in heat out late at night. “Plastic Bag” embodies true Rock n’ Roll attitude and lays it down like seasoned veterans. “Black Magic” continues the flow and rocks a tempo that sits left of center. It fits the song well. The Boston Shakers rock the rap/rock thing like a real rock band would and flows like a poet truly in the zone. If this is the things a demo from the The Boston Shakers are made of then the authentic release is sure to be a sizzling shot of artistry to the brain. With hooks that will have you humming the songs for weeks TBS take your ears by storm and will tantalize your brain with picturesque lyrical lines.  Rounding out the selections for my tasting was the cut “Best Things in Life for Free”. The bass grinds like a pair of jeans wore so tight you will see the goosebumps rise as the music climaxes. This is truly an infectious song that will have the audience clapping and singing along. With guitar and vocal hooks in toe you have here a classic anthemic song. I would recommend this to those that like Rock, Alternative, Rock/Rap and Underground Rap genres. The Boston Shakers live up to their name shaking up the musical landscape with a set of songs that were born to rock. 








Michael
Music Reviews


Friday, November 13, 2015

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, Killing the Code With a Twisted Release

When the Kill Code Fails - With the opening winds flourishing in your ears you will immediately be taken away to a land that hides in the dark recesses of you mind. The bass guitar resonates larger than this earth. Guitars jangle like the chains trying to be broken. You might just find yourself sliding out of you chair into an alternate dimension. The percussion work is far off in the background. This isn't your average rock band singing about wine, women and song. Closing my eyes I see the gentle swaying of yellow tulips on a warm spring day with a  cold thunderstorm rolling in. As the blue skies fade to black and the lightning crashes Hats Off... take you on a journey that you will not soon forget. “Broken Wave” stirs the imagination of purity gone a rye with ominous synth work brooding over shimmering tones. This is definitely an album for the headphones. With so much to absorb and feel you won’t want to loose a note to ambient atmosphere. Small droplets of passion are transformed into notes creating rich waves of powerful sonic landscapes. This serves as a wonderful transition track into the cut “Layers”. Here on display is a traditional rock format. With vocals sung from the gut you can picture the mic stand having a hard time standing still. HOGIA create a dynamic within their band that has elements which each have their own story, but yet come together in a beautiful tapestry. Drums lay a solid, thick beat with an attitude full of snap and wit. Bass guitar tones grind with the right amount of mid range pop. Guitars cut though the mix like an additional voice breathing the spirit of freedom in this song. Key work adds the extra elements of atmosphere that would the song lost at the gate without it. Cutting back to more of an electronic vibe “Connections” make you feel as if you have been sucked into the Matrix where you are surrounded by a mass of people. Everyone is talking but you cannot hear a word. Ominous tones raise an uneasy feeling and you feel like you are in the middle of a trap that is about to be sprung. The flow and transitions of this piece make the sound which evokes a vision of a long curly haired red-head. It just sounds like trouble, but too good to look away from. Before you know it you are sucked in and cant get out. Snapping you out of a trance with one crack of the snare, the song “Head in a Jar” wakes you back up and brings you into the true reality. Overdriven guitars rage like a fire at 500 degrees Celsius. The waves of fire dance and snake through this track as the bass notes do the best they can to tame the snake of fire. With power and precision they lock tight with the beats off the drum kit and cage the piece all together so that it doesn't get out of control. Vocals beckon to your better senses and plead for your attention. Melodies roll off the tongue like spikes of venom wanting to kill the lies in humanity flourishing today. “Link” dives back into the electronic realm with an uptempo beat that makes you want to move, actually run. The high fluttering notes with make you feel like your feet are unaffected by gravity leaving you to be swung around by the bass clef work into a dance of sweat nearing a lust like nature. Flute lines amongst the slinky guitar tones in “Going Down” make you wonder which voice you should listen to. HOGIA have great Rock n’ Roll facet to their being. You could almost imagine that if this band played solely traditional rock tones they would be a force to be reckoned with. The electronic journeys add an additional dimension to this release. The only downside is that the sharp back and forth between the two can be a bit confusing. With “I Still Remember You” they blend the two sides a bit and create a beautiful sonic sandbox to play in where you are surrounded by castles and pyramids. It’s not so much that the electronic element is alive here but the flow and burn transform the dynamics into something fresh and interesting. The phrasing in textures around the 3:12 mark are those of musical bliss. The audiophile side of my brain came completely unwound. As bass notes ring and reach for the sky in the song “My Clockwork Heart” guitars work to pull you up to a different plain where vocals lay out a story straight from the heart. I feel like I am walking a tightrope of clouds high in the sky. With a mild fear of falling this song winds and weaves across the heavens around the world. Just as in life you may fall, but with songs like this you can be lifted and transported away from the daily pains life can bring. One of my favorite cuts was the number “Freerunning”. It has a vibe that just brings true joy with an infectious beat, dazzling key work and bass notes that hit like a sledgehammer. The overdriven guitars do bring a bit of a metallic flavor to the song, but its a strong instrumental number that will make you feel like you mainlined a pot of coffee. A blues guitar vibe takes center stage on “Solace” that simply sounds like a broken heart plugged straight into an amplifier. Drum work is rather subdued and allow the track to unfold into its own beauty. Keyword that frames it all in is right on point. Bass notes pulse like a heart trying to carry on. Like a graceful dancer this song will spin through your ears like poetry in motion. Vocals take the song over the top and give the guitar a true run for its money in the passion department. “Glass Lithium” embodies elements that make you feel like you are being asked questions through music. If you can talk through musical notes I would check out this track. There is a brilliant discussion going on here. With raunchy Rock n’ Roll on full display “Alive” has the gut, sweat and groove that will make the staunchest prude move. Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have delivered an interesting release. I almost hear this as a double EP from two different acts rolled together and smoked releasing a “fire and ice” type pleasure. I can only wonder what kind of sensation would be had if the two vibes were married more closely in each song on the next release. Cause yeah, this is band that you will want to hear more from. I would recommend this to those that like Rock, Electronic, Industrial, Experimental and Progressive genres. When the Kill Code Fails truly delivers and this is code for, Get and listen to this now!





Michael 
Music Reviews



Monday, November 9, 2015

Last Chance City, An Epic Release That Delivers A New Beginning

A New Beginning - With swirling sounds opening this release Last Chance City open a world for you that will entice the sonic senses and open your mind. With an electronic backbone this Rock outfit hits hard on all five tracks of this release. As you soar to the heavens with their cut, “Life and Love” guitars push you to the edge of your seat while the drum work propels you to move. Bass guitar pulses and winds through the background instigating a passion in your heart that you will not let go easily. Vocals weave through this sonic jungle and reach into your heart and will sure to enflame a passion that will make you sweat. Last Chance City has the ability to craft epic songs that build tension and release like a dam blown wide open. On “Fire Your Guns” the band layers textures that peel back like an onion but stay sweet as morning dew drops kissed by angels. With twist and turns from sweet and nice to naughty and dirty you will feel as if you are on a rollercoaster through the artistic collective that embodies LCC. As the ride pauses around the 3:15 mark the mellow doesn’t last long. Cranking emotions back up like true rockers, you are taken one last go around before the sun sets on this track for good. With opening swells and delicate notes rolling into your ears the song “Rising Flames” sets in front of you like a campfire on a cold night. As the track unfolds that campfire blossoms like a raging bonfire that will leave every inch of your skin alive with electricity. This is the type of release that you would want to put the headphones on and turn off all the lights and lay still so that your imagination can take over and go for a ride. At 2:55 mark “Rising Flames” pulls back with bullhorn vocals that command an epic chorus to follow. These are songs that were made for inspiration. Rounding out the set is the cut “Behind the Hidden Sky”. Driving rhythm guitars cut to an eerie staccato run and you almost feel like you are lost in a fog cloaked autumn forest. As you run to find your way out the song builds and guides you to an escape before the fog can envelope you. Coming to a clearing you see the sky above and you are pulled by a force only this music and propel you with. I would recommend this to those that like Rock, Alternative, Electronic and Pop/Industrial genres. If you are in the mood for a journey through music then I would recommend this release. For A New Beginning is at hand. 


Michael 
Music Reviews


Bogart, Letting Loose Like a True Artisan

“Let Me Be The One Freestyle” - Freestyles are always interesting because you hear an artist working on the fly. Musically the compositions can be rather limiting because you generally hear one beat looped over and over. The upside though is that the length is short enough to keep the monotony at bay. With some electronic fluttering over a thick snare/kick combo Bogart flows about aspirations rather than bragging about what pretends to be or have.  At the 1:17 mark the music morphs as this talented artist cranks it up a notch and really starts to cut. The track wraps up around the 1:30 mark and you are left only wanting more from this artist. The spin is fresh and disposes largely with Rap cliche’s of late. You don’t hear about how he has tons of great weed or how he nails your girl in front of you while he is counting his millions getting drunk. On display is a true talent willing to crack the door open so you can see the man behind the mic. More is sure to come from this poet and you would do yourself well a favor to check out this cut. 




Michael
Music Reviews


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Patersani, They Ain't Rockin No Lost Shoe With This Lost and Found

"Lost and Found" - Patersani once again light up the sounds of Rock n' Roll on their latest single. The rhythm guitars rage like a loin in its prime and sound a battle call to take no prisoners. Lead guitar winds the tension up for an epic release to the point that you will never come down. Despite the post-Grunge, Alternative Rock feel there is a vintage vibe with a modern twist. The drum performance is manic in nature, but not the too much coffee feel, it's more of a euphoric spin till you pass out from happiness feel.  Bass guitar holds the low-end right in the pocket. Creating an infectious groove it will be hard to stand still let alone dance till you're soaked in sweat. Vocals surf the sonic wave with a self-assured confidence. They ride and cut the tempo like a seasoned veteran. If America wasn't so infatuated with Pop and Alternative Rn'B Patersani would find themselves at the top of the charts with this track. Do yourself a favor and check this song out before you are the last cool kid on the block to hear it. Once again this band proves that it belongs with the greats where they will never be lost only waiting to be found. 


Michael
Music Reviews


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Le Clotêt Avec Garcés, With the Touch of a True Artist Beauty Unfolds

"Dovelike Man", Opening chords drop seeds of musical beauty.  As they take root and blossom a world of tender wonder opens in your mind. With a seductive falsetto voice this track slides through your consciousness beckoning you to take a closer look and fall into his world. Some of the notes are rather high and shake but the authenticity of this artist is not in doubt. Shifting to lower registers an earthy quality is preformed which wraps you like a warm blanket on a cold winter day. Percussion work does well to provide a passionate and tasteful backbone. It's a tough role to fill, however the beat is played delicately enough to not over burden the song, but still provides the strength it needs. Bass guitar duties toe the line with grace as well. Embodying a warm and round tone you almost feel like you are tracing the lines of a beautiful woman's face on this journey through this artist's soul. The composition on this track is strong and transitions effortlessly. Production is really strong. This is the type of song that you would want to sit next to a fire and enjoy a warm cup of tea. The only weak point of this cut is the vocal performance. While sung with authenticity I can't help but think this song would have soared even higher with a more solid vocal performance. There is true talent here and I hope this isn't the last anyone hears from this gifted writer. 





Michael
Music Reviews
musicreviewsbymichael@yahoo.com

The Legendary Outlaws, Rocking Hooks With Growing Vocals

The Legendary Outlaws and the Legend of the Rock and Roll Outlaw - Opening guitar chords from this group sound like sonic fire. The right amount of touch, grind, youthful aggression and passion are on full display. Bass guitar notes pulse and have a low-end growl like that of a vicious junkyard dog. Lead guitar work plays around the tempo a bit but holds together and complements the attitude that embodies The Legendary Outlaws. Percussion work holds it own as the backbone of this band. With the proper amount of swing and groove the drums supply the extra spark that fills these tracks out. Vocal approach is unconventional and has a unique character that sets The Legendary Outlaws out from the rest of the pack. It sounds as if he is shifting the pitch of his melodies mid-line. It would be interesting to hear this singer refine his craft a bit. I believe it would do much to help this band reach a new plateau. Backing vocals and acoustic guitar elements aid to rounding out this collection for a balanced sonic journey. I would recommend this group to those that like Rock, Southern Rock, Americana and Alternative. A personal standout track for me was "Rock n' Roll Outlaw Part 1 and 2", on this ambitious track the band takes you on a musical journey. I think that if The Legendary Outlaws tighten up their lead guitar work and vocals they will truly be a force to be reckoned with, and that's what the musical landscape needs right now, a bonafide Rock band that will swing for the fences. 




Michael
Music Reviews


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Contacts, Taking You For a Ride

“No Way Out”/I Can See Through You” - With the  modulating swirling sounds The Contacts take off and roll over everything in their path. “No Way Out” sounds a bit like Pop Rock, however the overall mix and master of the track is very brash and lends itself to a Punk Rock esthetic. Drums pound with reckless abandon in your face propelling this song along. Bass guitar notes have a lifting feel which add a bit of a groove. Backing vocals have swinging feel and contribute to the otherworldly vibe here. Lead vocals have been recorded very hot. Adding to the overdriven nature of the recording this cut has a lot of attitude. I do think though that it would shine much brighter if everything wasn’t recorded at top volume. The opening chords to “I Can See Through You” have a chiming feel that sound as if they are using a heavy chorus or the guitar out of tune. That in combination with the vocal treatment makes you feel like you are stuck in a dream where anything goes. Drum work is nontraditional joining to the otherworldly esthetic. Bass guitar notes have a playfulness  to them that seem to bounce around this crazy room of characters. Backing vocals leave a picture in your mind that this is a group of guys hanging out just having fun. Keyboard work adds some interesting elements that make you feel like you are walking through a funhouse atmosphere. I would recommend this to those that like Avant-garde music. These tracks are definitely one of a kind and will take you on a ride. 


Michael
Music Reviews

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Long Nights, Staying Up Late and Crafting Artistic Songs

The Teaser -  This is one of those records you could see the Beatles making if they were still together and making album. The songs have a genuine artistic quality to them. Unlike some music that now seems to be cranked out like stamped pieces of plastic, Long Nights sound as if they are a group of artists hanging out creating music with true passion. As the songs unfold you almost feel like you are a fly on the wall as they create these intimate moments right in front of you. The collection has a true down to earth quality.  Vocals seem to slide out effortlessly in time and in key. Guitar work feels like an old pair shoes that fit you perfectly and feel like home. Keyboard stylings add a swing and swagger that comes from the confidence of just knowing your craft. Drums are played in a beautiful artistic manner.   Each beat is created specifically for each song. Bass guitar duties lay down a powerful groove for each track. As lines slink out of the speakers you almost feel as if you are being called by a whispering voice to dig deeper into the world of each cut. Vocals act as if they are an instrument in and of themselves creating textures for each song that help each track conquer a bit of your heart. My personal favorite was the song, "Died at Five" the music has a carefree feel backed by passionate lyrics and a beautiful vocal approach. Long Nights have a real crossover quality. Straight up they are a good Rock band, but those who are fans of Americana, Folk, Pop and Alternative will find pleasure here as well. The Late Nights would be wonderful to fall asleep to, but they excel at crafting sunshine for any day as well.


Michael
Music Reviews


Roses Unread, With Power, Beauty and Passion They are Changing the Landscape

The Silver Lining -  As I close my eyes I see myself walking in a cold black desert. Barefoot I examine the horizon.  There is nothing but low hanging grey clouds and dead vegetation. I feel the ground beneath my feet begin to vibrate. As the feeling intensifies I see the ground rip in front of me. Out of the earth whip wide bands of fire. I’m afraid, but I watch like a small child at a fireworks display. As the bands of fire roll in the sky I see something emerge. A bird fire takes shape and morphs into a Phoenix. Raising my hands the mighty bird sees me and swoops in my direction.  Grabbing hold to its strong claws we fly  towards the horizon in search of better days. Here on this release Roses Unread pushes the boundaries and soars to new heights. The drum work hits you like a sharp slap in the face early in the morning. Grabbing your attention the hits are full of precise power and build a foundation for a mighty palace that reaches to the sky. Bass guitar notes are as thick and solid like a concrete wall on which beautiful treasure are held protected. Guitars bring passion that rages like a mighty fire. Rhythm guitar tones stand like a behemoth taking the muscle in each song to highest possible limits. Lead guitar work aid each of these epic numbers to blossom in your imagination and wash away your daily toils. Keyboard embellishments take Roses Unread to a new level and help frame the back story of each number. Backing male vocals bring a rage and character to this release as if some creature from the dark has been uncovered and is to now be reckoned with. The cornerstone of R.U. is the beautiful, melodic and seductive vocals from Allison. At the helm she leads you through a series of treatments that will evoke the power, passion and ability that you have inside yourself. This is one of those albums that just rocks track after track. I would recommend this to those who like hard rock and heavy metal genres. Roses Unread have created a pinochle piece of art here. You need to get this now. 




Michael
Music Reviews

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rachel and the Ruckus, Kicking Up Tunes While You Kick Your Feet

Rachel and the Ruckus - Sauntering full of sizzle Rachel and her band slides into your feet, and you wont be standing still for long. With a bass guitar that walks and slides while drums hop through a set of blues rock you will find your heart falling in love with the voice of an angel. Sax work on display in “Bounce” adds the right amount of take-no-attitude character. Piano notes delicately slide across your ears in “Could Be Tonight” till the guitars get you juiced up for a night of hot passion. With the opening bass guitar pulses you can almost imagine a woman putting on some sexy black leather boots and heading out on the town. Rachel has no problem rocking the stage or hanging back and delivering tender moments. This release is thoroughly well balanced. Rachel has the rock swagger needed to give any band a run for their money and her partners can kick up enough Ruckus to make any crowd shake. I really like the mix on this set. Everything is in its place and well heard. The bass isn’t buried, the guitar has room to breath and the sax can swing without stepping on anyones toes while the drums work the beat hard without overpowering. Piano and Acoustic guitar elements that lead the opening of “Leave Your Light On” stand strong on their own, but as the track blossoms and the rest of the instruments come in the song soars to amazing heights. Sass and swagger are on full display with “Melt Away”. You’ll probably want to avoid eating ice-cream unless you can eat it really fast. Stinging guitars round out the set on “Romeo” and you can almost smell them starting fire. Rachel has heft and hooks to snare your heart and enflame your emotions. I would recommend this band to those that like Rock, Blues, Pop and Soul genres. Anyone complaining that music today is just a bunch of Ruckus hasn’t heard of Rachel and her crew. This is one to turn up and share with all. 




Michael
Music Reviews


J.P. Edwards, From His Heart to Your Home

Hearticulate - With the opening acoustic guitars I feel like I am hanging out on my old worn couch in my favorite comfortable Saturday afternoon rags. A warm voice and music that speaks to the compassionate heart J.P. will make you feel at home no matter where you are. Vocals are focused and have traction like a great pair of boots on a worn wooded trail. Electric guitar work on “Stargazing” will make you feel like you are dancing with the stars on a clear summer night. With sweet electronic elements dusting the backdrop you almost feel like you can reach out and grab that passing shooting star and taste its sweetness. Backing vocals will make you feel like you can float anywhere you want to go whether it be to the girl next door or across the ocean. Mr. Edwards has a way with words. These songs communicate understanding while his heart on display. In “Ties” you will almost see yourself standing in the doorway as this song unfolds in your ears. Percussion work not only lends itself to keep the beat, but to also provide a solid strong heartbeat for these songs that enrich the emotional ride. With beautiful finger picked notes from the heavens the guitars on “Destinations” skate across the sky like clouds on a spring day. Dancing with emotions the shuffled phrasing almost makes you feel like you are in the arms of the perfect partner. With authenticity J.P. Edwards delivers songs that will win you over again and again. I would recommend this to those that like Americana, Folk, Pop and Alternative genres. With such Hearticulate abilities this surely won’t be the last we see of Mr. Edwards. 




Michael
Music Reviews


Roses Unread, An Epic Track Full of Power

“One Eye Open” -  With Latin percussion and swelling strings you almost forget what Roses Unread do and who they are. Though once the guitars drop in your ears you feel like you have the ability to punch through concrete walls. With thundering drums in toe this track is one that will make the lovers of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bang those heads full of sweaty hair. Vocals stream through the air like a wafting ribbon of smoke between notes of utter bliss creating a melody that breaks the heart and empowers the soul. Grinding male vocals add and additional layer of aggression to this track, you can almost smell the fire and brimstone raining from the sky. A breakdown section that quickly morphs into a blues and soulful guitar solo makes you feel like you are atop a snow capped mountain ready to swoop back down to civilization and lay claim to all that should be yours and bring hell to those that need be paid. Roses Unread once again deliver a powerful track like only they can. I would recommend this to those that like Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. Roses Unread may only have “One Eye Open” but they continue to deliver cuts that hit the bulls eye like a deadly sniper. 








Michael 
Music Reviews

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tristan Avakian, A True Honest Artist

As Waters - As I close my eyes I see myself walking out the front door of my home where I see farmlands to the end of forever. Shutting the door behind me I raise my coffee mug to my lips and take a quick sip. Down the steps of my front porch I cross to the drive and my truck where I hop in, put my mug down and start the engine. Pulling out of the drive I survey the farm and I feel total happiness and freedom. I don’t know what the day will bring but I know my place in the world. Sometimes music, even if you have never heard it before, just sounds like home. With the opening chords on this release you will feel like you have been here before. Not that Tristan creates boring, all-to-familiar songs, but he sings to your heart and welcomes you into his. The song, “As Waters Engulf Us We Reach For A Star” unfolds like a spring blossom that becomes more beautiful with each passing second. These are pro cuts here with art that has been lived for long hard hours. Acoustic guitars sound as sweet as putting on your most comfortable pair of shoes. Keyboard work soars like birds in pure glee on a warm spring day. Notes roll out of bass guitar like a stream rolling over smooth rocks giving life to the land. As the page turns to the song “Hollywood Ending” you will find yourself wanting to slide across the room. The percussion work feels as if it is smooth as glass. Guitar playing has a nice hop to it as if it is jumping from bubble to bubble floating in the air. Strings swell and so will your heart even if you are not a sucker for a love song, sour or not. It will be hard to keep from dancing on your tiptoes with this number. Tristan has a vocal delivery that holds solid over a variety of styles. Effortlessly he can hold a melody that will make any ladies man jealous because somethings just can’t be faked. With a bit of sting off an electric guitar the song “Priceless” is just that. Organ tones add an honesty and down-to-earth quality to this song. In toe with falsetto notes sung the song cracks like a grand slam as it unleashes wide open choruses that great tracks are made of. Here you have a true artist on display, willing to search the depths to make each song sing and unique. As Waters can be rocky or smooth, all is held strong with Tristan’s command of mic and guitar. The only question is, why aren’t you listening yet?





Michael
Music Reviews


Monday, October 12, 2015

Dr. Izzy Band, Laid Back on a Blues Ride

Blind and Blues Bound - Opening with slowly grinding notes Dr. Izzy and her band sway through your ears like autumn leaves that have fallen on cool crisp night. Guitars jangle in the foreground  while the bass guitar and the drums provide an intimate dance of notes. Lead guitar work spins a string of notes that tell a story in and of themself.  Vocal tones on this release have a down-to-earth-quality. Full of passion Dr. Izzy’s voice will sneak into your heart and warm your soul. The rattling of the fiddle in the intro of, "Soul Dance" builds anticipation. As the song unfolds the energy gets taken up a notch. For an acoustic number this cut has a lot of fire in its belly. You will almost feel as if you are starring death in the face yourself. This is the type of album that you sit back and just soak in. With the acoustic saunter of "Been a Long Time Coming" you will want to sit down with a nice bottle of wine, take a deep breath and mull past trials are over. "Old Crow" sidesteps a bit with some bluegrass textures and you can almost imagine yourself out on the front porch watching a storm roll in. Stripping it down even further the guitar is joined by just a fiddle during "Mamma Said”. Vocals help this track pop a bit when backed by the male vocal. Cranking it back up with a bass laying a funky groove, "Hang Tough" features overdriven guitars that play as if they refuse to take anything from anyone.  As the notes roll out of the guitar amp on the beginning of "Dirt Bed" you almost expect to see your breath in front of your face. With such cold hard stories it takes someone with a fire inside to reveal such truth. The guitar takes center stage on "It's Been Real where it belongs on a blues record. With sass and swagger it cuts through the mix like a knife. Rounding out this release is the track "Your Redeemer". With the acoustic guitar dropping jewels of notes like stars from the heavens the vocal duo has the ability to soar into the heavens itself. I would recommend this album to those that like Blues, Rock, Americana and even Country.  While life may try and blindside you from time to time, with music like this your are bound to survive. 




Michael
Music Reviews


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fearless, A Single Release That Cuts From Two Sides

“Suicide”/“ABC Abuse” - As the opening samples melt away a tick beat drops and the maze unfolds. As I close my eyes I see what appears to be a maze with perfectly white walls in a perfectly white indoor warehouse. As I proceed to walk and decide which way to go new reports start to flash on the walls. Its as if I am walking inside someone consciousness and things past remembered. Here on “Suicide” Fearless spins a series of tales of lost young souls trying to find their way in this world. With strong hooks and a solid chorus an eerie tale is told and while you may find the subject uncomfortable it is honest and from the heart. Sometimes we need to look into the eye of the storm. With poetry such as this it helps the tale of others truly hit home. Flipping a switch he switches to a more light-hearted subject. Running through the Alphabet Fearless raps around a tight beat like Muhammad Ali in his prime. While “Suicide” has an underground gritty production feel, Fearless ups the ante’ on “ABC Abuse” where he drops a cut that is pro-level. I would recommend this single to those that like Rap/Hip Hop, Pop and Alternative Genres. On display here you will find and up and coming artist that is quick with his wit as well as the mic. 



Michael 
Music Reviews


Archi Deep, Showing You What Rock n’ Roll Is

NOWHERE MAN - Have you ever had a pot of ultra thick black coffee mainlined into your brain? Neither have I, but imagine it is similar to the feeling that I get off the open track on this release from Archi Deep. From the staccato swiped electric guitar strings I am woken up and this title track makes me want go all night. This is definitely a guitar rock record. If you are too easily offended or only listen to cute little electro-records that fit into the nice clean box the music industry sells, then turn around and run away from this release. You won’t be able to handle it. The guitar oozes awesome tones of blissful anarchy the way rebellious Rock n’ Roll should. Drum work is hit with power and reckless abandon yet will pull back to accentuate some of the funk infused grooves like found on, “I’m on the Run”. I know some would call this band “Punk” or “Alternative” but this is just a straight up a great Rock ’n Roll release.  The songs constructed here are fun and full of rage with great hooks. Room is allowed in each number so that the songs can breath. Notes are as if hand-picked for your listening pleasure with plenty of extra “ear candy” in the background. You’re going to want to listen over and over again. On the track, “High Minds” Archi Deep prove that even an acoustic guitar can rock. The added texture with the backing vocals make you feel like you have snuck backstage with the guys in some sort of voyeuristic moment.  AD build things back up with the track “I Can See”. Opening with just vocals and a grinding electric guitar you may feel like its going to be another stark number. Never fear Archi Deep kick in the bass and guitar and let this number swagger into your ears. Fighting that temptation to grab the cute girl in the miniskirt and sweat the night out dancing will be very hard. The vocals are great, the guitars grind and sound as if someone plugged their emotions straight into an overdriven guitar amp. Bass guitar tones have a full round tone like a beautiful woman who has found the tightest jean in the world to wear. Notes and lines slink and bounce around each track that help this album have not just the low-end power but also an interesting character. Now please note that this release isn’t just going to rock your face off with one spicy acoustic number. The vibe on this release is well balanced and will duck and weave like a seasoned boxer. Beautiful tender moments like that found in, “Real” counter balance the power that Archi Deep unleash so well. Making this possible is everyone in the band playing excellently to the song. On the final cut, “If Only It Was Sunny” Archi Deep take you on one final ride of peaks and valleys. With excellent Rock n’ Roll dynamics on show you will want to shout along. You’ll finding yourself wishing that there were more tracks to come. You’re only recourse is to press play again or go see them live. I would recommend this album those that like Rock, Alternative, Punk, Hard Rock and Pop Rock. With bands like Archi Deep cranking out music Rock will never die as long as you find yourself NOWHERE MAN. 




Michael
Music Reviews