Big Lenny B, Living Up to a Name In a Minute
“In a Minute” - With a flurry of electronic chirps Lenny takes off once again on a journey into pure rock and roll bliss. Quickly in toe the uptempo beat from the grooving drums adds in, and the song settles into a laid back slide. This is the type of song that will have you feeling that you have the sun on your back and the wind in your hair. Mr. B calls an outstanding selection of musicians to help him round out this track and delivers a true chart-topper. Guitar work weaves true freedom that makes you feel like nothing will ever be able to hold you down or back. Bass guitar work grooves and flies around the neck pulsing a rocking groove with enough soul that would make a deaf man want to dance. Vocals are in true BLB style. Each breath with words drives straight to you mind through your inspired heart. I would highly recommend this to those that like Pop, Rock and Alternative genres. Big Lenny B will have your spirits lifting “In a Minute” from playing this track, and with songs as big as these Lenny is true to live up to his name.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Live Concert 12/19/2014 - Live performances are like watching someone walk a tightrope 50 stories in the air. The person watching may not understand that at any moment all could fall horribly, because the artist does such a great job at making it look easy. Live performances are also difficult for the fact that it can be hard to capture the sound of a live performance without destroying the beautiful moment that was presented. The following excerpts seem to be captured merely on a hand video camera. Professional live recordings these days are taped with multiple cameras and a professional mixing console to capture every aspect of the room. All that said, something truly beautiful is on display here. What you find is an extraordinarily beautiful voice in a wonderful sounding room. Many live acts use a symphony or a large sounding band to back up a vocalist. A lush full sound helps cover any slight mistakes that the vocalist may let slip. Here you find just a woman and piano. Two sounds dancing together in the air like a beautiful ballet winding and weaving notes and phrases of passion. Vocally Kaja sings extremely well. Here passion and heart give her voice the strength to soar to the heavens. All is on display and nothing but sheer beauty is found. The backing piano work is just as intricate and detailed as Kaja’s voice. Such performances show true bravery and ability that even those without knowledge of music can see the true talent. I hope much more beauty will be put into the world from this wonderful woman. In times that echo fear and terror, such art allows us to know that some things cannot be conquered but will overcome all.
“Over N Under” - Ash Wednesday excel and creating a bluesy brand of Hard Rock that makes you think that Black Sabbath had booted Ozzy on this track. The song is really that good. Guitars grind and wind with true style and command of the fretboard. Yeah some guitars will be played faster but you can’t even tell what is being played. Even Playing this song while you do the dishes at home and you will find yourself soaked from dancing and thrashing away, but your dishes might not get done. Bass guitar howls the low end growl and lets you know that this band means business. Percussion is played with absolute reckless abandon. The tempos winds and weaves ramps ups and pauses but never a beat out of sync. Vocals are sung straight from the gut without frilly crap autotune or other lame-ass effects. Sure Ash Wednesday might not earn any “Vocalist of the Year” awards but they are far to driven creating great music to worry about what some vocal princess might think. They just lay it all out there playing from the heart with no regard for glory. Ash Wednesday just speaks the truth. I would highly recommend this track to those that like Rock, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Classic Rock genres. You can look “Over N Under” but rarely will you find a track that is as expressive and authentic rock n roll as Ash Wednesday these days.
“Ivory Tower” - With the opening descending guitar slides you will feel yourself falling hard for this hook-laden Alt/Rock single from Cook Doo. The guitars grind and just sound so beautiful. Lead work is tasteful and not over the top with a million notes a minute. Sitting right in the pocket they merely shine and smile. While this group hails from Aberdeen... Scotland the average Alt-rocker may be praying for another Nirvana-Messiah, but Cook Doo is just a great guitar rock band in their own rite. The song struts with a swagger and you will find yourself fighting the urge to pogo or dance to this track till you are soaked in sweat. The drum work on this song perfectly fits the groove and emotion going into it. Bass guitar duties are held down well and while they are rather hid in the mix, they do provide the low end groove that this song deserves. Vocal prowess on this track has an approach that blends attitude and slinks with a teasing nature that makes you want to keep coming back for more. Production on this track is done very well. This is a band that has put its time in and has some pro chops. Cook Doo is one of those bands that you don’t want to miss if they come around, and one that you will kick yourself in the ass if you do. Do yourself a favor and check out the Cook Doo cause they “Doo” ROCK massively and will you have smiling and sliding up and down their Ivory Tower all night long.
Friday, January 23, 2015
“The Universe/The Great Lakes” - With a kick drum pounding as hard a rabid dog’s heart and a swinging beat like a machete Black Moon 1348 have come for your soul. This isn’t music that you want Mom and Pop listening to cause the pacemaker might just fail. Both sides of this awesome single pile drive like a jackhammer. Guitar work is ambient and lay a sprawling vibe that is sure to cover your floor in smoke while the bass guitar sounds as if it has summoned nature’s thunder itself. The soundscape is as thick as a spring fog and you just want to make sure that the creepy crawlies stay off your shoulders. Vocal work from BM1348 is hidden in the back of the mix a bit but do well to round out a great package and tease the mind as well as the ear. This isn't a couple of teenagers in their parents basement trying to sound scary. Black Moon 1348 is the real deal and come to conquer all in their path. I would highly recommend… wait, no I demand that you have to listen to this if you are into Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Experimental, Industrial or Ambient Metal. While the Black Moon has risen you would be wise to look to the sky for you will only see it rise higher and higher.
Music For Driving - With the opening heavy reverb drums I close my eyes and see a beautiful blonde driving along the coast. She looks into the rearview to check her lipstick and misses seeing the serial killer crouched down in the floor of her backseat. The opening track “13” has a real creepy vibe and a nice laid back groove that makes you want to have the wind in your hair. Following with the track “Add Some Sugar” and its cryptic sample makes you wonder exactly what Fancy Face is cooking up in their kitchen. With a droning kick drum and ambient guitar and synth work I can see the bloody teeth of a twisted circus clown just before she licks her lips staring at the beautiful blonde from before. “11” has a great vibe as if the prisoner is about to escape. With notes of hope you can almost feel yourself trying to wiggle out of the knots that you are in. With “7” and this album’s conclusion you feel the pressure about to come to a resolution. With a guitar buzzing like a fly over a sweaty dirty body you wonder who is going to win this battle of wits. If you like music that makes your imagination run I would definitely check this album out. The production is rather claustrophobic and tight in nature adding to the urgency and tension in the vibe that it emanates. The tracks don’t do anything too progressive and hang on the hook riffs for most of the duration, but keep you attention well. I would highly recommend this album to those that like Industrial, Ambient, Experimental or Psychedelic Sludge Instrumentals. You won’t wear a funny face listening this though you may at times trade a smile for a paranoid one.
Fängelset - Human senses are a beautiful thing. I am always intrigued about how art affects the human senses and emotions. On this release I would definitely say that watching these tracks is as important as listening to them. While the music is lush, dense and full of emotion a completely new dimension opens up when watching the accompanying videos. Valsaland does an excellent job of producing songs that are well crafted, balanced and full of passion. Guitar work is exemplary in its ability to build peak moments. Key work is laid down with just as much passion and craft, not too many notes showing off but enough to make the songs work very well. Drum work for the most part is rather subdued though. It does well to help propel the music and keep elements on an even keel. Each track is full of angst and introspection of a tortured heart. These songs allow you to enter the mind and heart of this artist and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. The accompanying videos are shot just as well artistically and could tell the stories well with no music at all. I feel a strong classic rock vibe and its almost as if this is where Pink Floyd left off in their heyday. I would highly recommend this album to anyone that likes Rock, Alternative, Classic Rock or Experimental genres. Valsaland has definitely created a lasting piece of art with Fängelset. Question is, are your senses ready to experience it?
Monday, January 19, 2015
Release the Stars (Part 1) - As my eyes close the notes of “Reconciled” begin to glide around my head as well as dance and rejoice with my mind. It’s like I can feel my body floating off the ground and into the sky. I warm light comes over me as the notes of Electronica take over my senses. While most Worship music I hear makes me want to change the channel immediately because of its cheesy hokey nature, the tracks of this epic journey make me want to hit replay again and again. The music on this release is a breath of fresh air and truly encapsulates the freedom and soaring warmth that I feel with my faith. On the breakout track “Chemistry” you feel the true passion and love for God held by these artists. You don’t have to write a novel of lyrics the most simple and direct lines communicate your heart when spoken with authenticity. That is exactly what I feel listening to the music of Little Moon and Fox Killer. The music and vocals are aggressive and stream straight from the heart. Production on this album is top shelf professional. Vocal work soars with each breath and musical compositions are neither boring or over ambitious. I would highly recommend this to all but especially if you are into Worship, Electronica, Alternative and even EDM genres. With this set of songs they have aimed for the stars while releasing their own, and have definitely earned a place the Lord’s sky.
“Berners”/“Nobody Like Me” - I would call Stealth Assassinz’s style psychedelic Rap. I feel like I am in some sort of dreamland with these tracks. The opening notes are quite etherial and sweep you off into land of sweet rhymes mainlined to your ears by true Assassinz. The chorus on “Nobody Like Me” is definitely off center from the typical Rap single with pitch shifted vocals. Verses are anchored like concrete with a flow and style that is slick and first rate. The production on these tracks takes your mind on a journey and you feel like you are in the middle of an out of body experience. All the elements are in check and balanced well. It’s absolutely stellar and stands out in the saturated Rap/Hip Hop genre. Stealth Assassinz is a true original voice in the landscape of Rap. I would highly recommend checking out these tracks for those that like Rap, Hip Hop and Pop genres. There is a new star shining bright and nobody is like Stealth Assassinz.
“Get It Together” - With a catchy drumbeat Starfire Rainbow Jellybean launch this track into your mind and make you dance the night away on this Retro-Pop track. Production on this song is really smooth. I almost want to go and by some tie-dye shirts and dance freeform waving my hands in the air. Guitar work is definitive of the late 60’s early 70’s. Both rhythm and lead guitar work is done tastefully and put you in the disco mood. Vocal work is sung really well you can almost feel the love rolling out of your speakers. I like the approach and the swing you feel will have you on cloud nine in no time at all. Bass guitar handles the low-end groove rather well and with the synth strings you will want to grab the hips of your girl and spend hours kissing by the lava lamp. The horn section takes this song over the top and your heart will swell with the sweet notes of happiness. I recommend this to anyone that likes Pop, Classic Rock, Disco or even Alternative genres. You don’t need platforms or a pair of bellbottoms to enjoy this song. A relaxed night getaway is just a play away.
12-12 - I will not lie. I am a sucker for Pop music. It’s a vice that I keep secret. With all the avenues of music out there to choose from, occasionally in the car by myself, I will crank the radio and sing at the top of my lungs with the new Taylor Swift single. On the 8 tracks of 12-12 you will find no Pop at all. What you will find is a 6 string slinger named Stefano that commands his instrument with a true passion and mastery that will make you want to listen to this album over and over again. Mr Licio covers all the bases and invents some new ones as he travels over every centimeter of his guitar fretboard. Blues, Jazz, Rock and even experimental tracks take you on a journey through Stefano’s musical mind. This is the type of album that you would want to put on during a cold day in for it will truly warm you up. His technique and phrasing make his guitar playing a pleasure to listen to. I would highly recommend this album to anyone that appreciates guitar oriented music. It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer Stefano will play something that you like. It’s time to Pop the musical bubble that you are in and try something new. Go get this album now!
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Said and Done - I almost feel my body soaring at the speed of sound into outer space as this album takes off with the track “Stuck”. Hailing from Orange Beach, Alabama Color Copy has created a beautiful piece of art with this release. With Chandler’s vocals pouring out of his heart you feel connected to this band from the first word sung. His words soar into the sky and float gently down to your ears. Guitar work covered by Tamen shimmer with and dance with delay like the great Edge of U2. His phrasing and choice of melody perfectly compliments the vocals and acts as a second voice for this band. Hailing the low end frequencies Ryan commands a massive sound that gives this group a foundation solid as a stone and a strong dose of power that does not ruin the intimacy. Having songs with such power, passion and intimacy can be a chore to drum around without ruining the mood but Branden handles notes behind the drum kit like a true pro. I would highly recommend this band to those that like Rock, Pop, Indie and even Emo. Put this on and you will feel your heart swell, your feet will want to dance and your mind with travel to heaven. Each song on this release has its own character and fit together perfectly with one another like a puzzle. When all is Said and Done you will want to go right back to track one and play this whole album over and over again.
“The Last Battle” - With my eyes closed I see myself walking down trash laden streets in the rain with this latest track from john WHiTE in my mind. The sun tries to break through the thick grey clouds just as john’s lyrics breath through all the sugar Pop trash on the radio. Atop a laid back symphonic groove john flows slick as ever with a tune that is somber yet rings with hope. Production on this track is top notch and does well to create a mood and vibe that is thick. The vocals at the 2:52 almost sound like they are from another artist though, and they seem to loose the beat a bit and have a couple of hard edits. There is some double vocals on this track the get out of sync at times which make discerning the lyrics a challenge but all critiques aside john is a true poet that can sling words with the best of them. I would recommend this track to those that like Rap, Hip Hop or Pop. While john might be involved in this “Last Battle” hopefully it will not be the last we hear from him. A true talent with a true voice lies inside this soul and the journey is just beginning.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Into The Rabbit Hole - With an ominous beginning of “Sea” you don’t really know what to expect with SyDoBi. With a title like Into The Rabbit Hole you can expect to go on a bit of journey, and that is what is in store. Quickly in due form you get hit over the head with overdriven guitars on “Oceans Beneath”. With a manic pace SyDoBi grabs your hand and you feel like you are running to catch a plane running late through a crowed airport. Drum work here is not your typical Alternative Rock tight kick and reverb snare that sound like they are played in the Grand Canyon. The production on the drum sounds rather exemplify the feel that you are trapped in some sort of dream land. The rap/rock vibe on “Let the Bullets Sail” take you around another sharp turn with flow and lyrical delivery held tight and in the pocket. The bass work on this release overall seems a bit muddy and lend to the dirty, twisted dream feel but could use a bit more definition. Songwriting and overall production on this EP has a rather artistic slant, but hit home and do well to echo the heart of a lost pondering mind. Vocal work is handled rather well with Nick and Seth behind the mic. Their approach ranges from melodic to rapid fire and never bore the ear. A rather odd track from the set was “Valentine”. While musically it takes some rather sharp turns, the vocal approach really threw me. All the dust settles a bit with the closing track “Losing Sight”. This track could easily be used as a crossover single. It has the melodic verse and a rather edgy chorus and with its side step of a middle section it soars as a whole and is anthem-like in nature. I would recommend this to anyone liking Alternative, Rock and even Pop genres. While SyDoBi might be slipping Into The Rabbit Hole they are leaving behind a trail of songs that help you follow along in pure musical ecstasy.
“Your Love Rescued Me” - In the studio you can put anything together. You can spend a ton of cash and get the greatest talent in every position, but if you don’t have that voice to bring it all home you don’t have a thing. Gwen does an awesome job of knocking this one out of the park. Singing sweetly with power and passion she captures the true essence of this track and you feel like she is singing it just for you. The production on this song is first rate. Guitar work is top notch as well, phrasing and fills accompany the vocals on this cut perfectly. Drum work is right on the dime and couldn’t be played better. In perfect lock with the percussion, the work bass guitar work lays a low-end makes you want to dance and raise your smiling face to the sky with praise. There are hints of Country, Gospel and RnB here. If you are a fan of those genres I would say you are doing yourself a disservice by not checking out this song and video. Not only may your thoughts of love be “Rescued” by listening to this track, but you will also find yourself smiling and dancing all the way to heaven.
Impulse Animus - I feel like I am floating through a dream state as I listen to this release from Polaroid Vision. Guitars float through the air effortlessly and lock with the pearly vocals that slide out of my speakers. A grooving bass guitar paces and pulses the rhythm section in a close dance with your ears. Drum work is done very tastefully and does well to accent counterpoints with the music but the kick drum is keep pretty far in the background. It would help if it was a bit closer to the foreground and help give the passion in this recording a real punch. I almost feel like it is a summer day and I am riding my bike through forest trails with my hands reaching high into the sky. There is a true sense of peace, freedom and hope while listening to these songs. Lead vocals soar to the heavens on “A Nation Divided” and you can tell that they are being pushed to their absolute limits. Polaroid Vision has dug really deep to reveal what lies in their heart. Vocal harmonies on “Providence” work together as well as a fine clock and help weave a fabric that shows a great love for good songwriting. A real standout track is “Jargonelle Pear Drops” where electronic elements put a twist on PV’s sound and round out this session with true artistic flare. This EP is perfect for listening around the house during reflective times and long solo drives when you want to free your mind with the wind in your hair. I would highly recommend this track to those who like Pop Rock, Alternative Pop or Adult Contemporary. While there is so much to distract a mind these days take the time and satisfy your own Impulse Animus and check out this band right now.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
“Mind Expansion” - With a shuffle in its beat John WHiTE pile drives you with a notion and a point of view that will make you spend a good dose of time examining yourself while sliding around the room to this slick track. I wouldn’t use the term “beats” here because the music created by Zero 7 is truly more of a song and not just some simple snare/kick/synth beat looped over and over. Vocally John flows really well. He has a deep voice and a slick delivery that makes for a very well understood poet, and his words per minute are deep. While he does attest to “eating MC’s for breakfast” John dispels with the other cliche’ lines in rap these days by not bragging about the women he can get, the weed he can smoke and he money he has in the bank. Lyrically he poses some really interesting ideas and would do just as well behind the mic as he would as a philosophy professor. The interesting thing about this song though is that lyrics drop out at the 2:34 mark. At first I was waiting for a cool middle breakdown, which I got musically, but the vocals never came back. It would have nice if the chorus had come back for another round or two and then wrapped up the song. Honestly though, the music stood up so well on its own that leaving half the track without vocals didn’t really hurt. As the track stands I do wish that the kick had popped a bit more on this track. It would have helped in the long musical outro and anchored the music. I would highly recommend this track to those that like Rap, Hip Hop, Alternative and even Pop genres. No matter your point of view, “Mind Expansion” will arise on listening to this track.
“After Elnethe” - In the realm of music one thing that is timeless it the quintessential love song. Sitting and waiting for hearts to connect I feel the longing in the opening synth and guitar notes. With the piano pushing in at 1:32 I can almost see a young love with their head hung low wondering about the path for the future. With acoustic guitars entering, this track slowly builds energy like a set of broken wings yearning to take flight once again and soar to the heavens. This is the type of track that I love to put on when in a reflective mood but still wanting something inspirational. On the sound scape all the elements fade in rather beautifully so the electric guitar notes seem to be rather harsh especially with no percussion on this track. Perhaps a volume swell technique applied to these notes would have helped them keep with the vibe of the tack, but nonetheless Red Sonnet once again deliver a beautiful track played wonderfully. I would recommend this to those that like Instrumental, Romantic, New Age or Gothic genre’s. I don’t know what you are doing after reading this but I would highly recommend checking out “After Elnethe”.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Make More Mistakes - Opening this EP is “Hey Abigail” and Sean’s brand of Acoustic driven Singer/Songwriting. With guitar in toe the songs each give you insight in to the mind of this artist as he tries to find his way in this world. The songs are introspective and truly passionate. While the guitar performances hold up really well, they compete with Sean’s vocals a bit too much at times. Vocally he just lays it all out there and holds back nothing. It takes a brave soul to sit in a room with nothing but his voice and guitar and play passionately from his heart. Everything is can be seen with nothing to gloss anything over. My particular favorite from this release is “Let Yourself Go” where the strumming really seems to fly and the vocal performance soars even higher. I would highly recommend this EP to those that Indie or Singer/Songwriter genres. As K Sean Long learns from his mistakes he only becomes stronger as an artists and continues to grow.
100 Proof - Blindside Thunder deliver yet another quality fix of American Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. This release sounds absolutely awesome. Delivering a sound that you come to expect is nothing but first rate. Drums bring the thunder that feels like a 100 tons of crushing cinder blocks. Guitars blaze like molten metal and incinerate everything its path. Bass guitar work holds down the low-end and help give Blindside Thunder their trademark sound. Vocal work on this release really rise to the occasion and give the music a run for its money. John really seems to have stepped up his game on this album and leaped a couple levels in his vocal delivery. Rather than fill an album with a couple of good songs and a bunch of filler, BT has crafted a disc with eight tracks that rock. One stand out track is, “Take My Breath Away” with its true swagger and sex appeal. This is the type of album that you want to put on and have a good time. Blindside Thunder have a great talent for writing party anthems that make you want to throw back a few cold ones and grab your girl. The opening of “Rebel Revolution” has a really cool crawling vibe that helps unfold a track that is a call to arms and makes you want to join the Blindside Army. From the opening grind of guitars in “Rock n’ Roll Junkie” to blazing leads in “Burn” Blindside Thunder delivers again and again. If you are a fan of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal then I would highly recommend checking out this album because it delivers 100% of the time with pure 100 Proof.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Split - This is an interesting release being that it is literally split between two different bands. The first two tracks are helmed by the Highlives. Like a shot of espresso main lined into your vein this release just launches right into your face. The drums slam and are played to perfection. You can almost feel the passion and maybe some sweat smacking you in the face. Guitar work is grinding and full of angst and energy and makes you want to windmill air guitar till your arm fly off. Bass guitar work holds down the low-end and gives these songs balls the size of and elephant’s cloned to be 5 times bigger. The singing is of true passion you find yourself wanting to play this over and over so that you can sing along. I would definitely recommend this band to anyone that likes Rock, Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Pop Rock. This is an excellent display of passion intersecting with musicianship. For the second half of this release the band Nothing Gold Can Stay takes over. With their track “2010 Was a Bad Year” Ft. Ashely Cadwallader NGCS opt for a more open sound that is still full with the same heavy hooks and excellent production found on the first 2 tracks. Singing on these songs are a bit more melodic and slant a bit more to the Pop/Punk realm. Drumming is still top notch and skins are hit with the power of a sledgehammer and the precision of a sniper. Vocals from Ashely Cadwallader really help put this track over the top and add dimension to the story. Guitar work is of a true professional. Bass guitar duties are in perfect lockstep and hold down the low-end but I wish that the tone had a bit more character to help it stand out. With their track “Sick of it All” you will find yourself chanting along on this rock solid anthem. I wonder why these two power houses don’t just join forces and make for one great band, but there is definitely enough talent to go around no matter how this is Spilt.
“Catch, Pull, Release” - As I close my eyes I feel like I am in a warm cabin safe from the winter cold. As I look across the table past the glowing candles I see a group of friends making great music. They don’t care about money or fame they are just following their core passion for music changing the air around them one note at a time. Some of the greatest jams I have seen are when a bunch of friends sit down and just jam out a song, and this is exactly what you have here. While this song is acoustic in nature rocks out like a true anthem. Carly Sokol’s violin pierces the air and winds up through the stratosphere singing like an angel. Ruth Menger’s cello floats around the room and dances like a passionate ballet dancer on fire in her prime. Ben Zaccagnino’s bass playing pulses the song along and gives depth and counter melody to this beautiful track. Willie Clay’s drumming on this song has and awesome snap to it that keeps the song in line and helps the emotional peak moments reach mountainous highs. Bringing the whole thing home is SyDobi on lead vocals and guitar with Bryan Gallagher backing him up on both. Their playing on guitar has the power of a hurricane and the potency of an exploding volcano. Vocal performances are the sweet desert at this gourmet banquet of talents. With sneer and edge playfully dancing close to the fire these talented musicians have created a track that not only is fit for fun and dancing but for refection of the mind as well. I would highly recommend this track to those that like Acoustic Rock, Folk, Pop, Gypsy and Bluegrass genre’s. These fine men and women have created a truly original and unique piece of art that can be enjoyed for all ages. So take a moment and “Catch, Pull, Release” this beautiful song into your mind and revel in its pure passion.