Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wayward Fox, From a Thundering Heart Comes a Song That Will Pierce

Wayward Fox, From a Thundering Heart Comes a Song That Will Pierce

“All the Vultures” - Standing alone in a forest the air begins to circle around me. The leaves that fell the autumn before slide over my skin and begin to feel as if Mother Nature herself is trying to give me a warm embrace. My eyes are closed and my head hangs low but I can feel the sun rising over the horizon. As the rays of light creep through the trees and warm my skin my heart comes alive and pounds like a heard in full stride. By no explanation from human knowledge I begin to lift off the ground. “All the Vultures” opens with the pounding of toms and while some may disagree the tones and notes produced are pure magical music. Vocal chanting arrives and the tone is one that can make your goosebumps arrive. There is something truly beautiful from the sounds of percussion and the attitude in the vocals. As male vocals take flight and weave a melody of power and passion the song takes off in your imagination. With the electronic elements in this track swelling the power builds and you almost feel like the song could break through a concrete wall. Violin work lays almost another voice to this track. Metal work is rather sparse on this piece but when they come in they add pinnacle points at just the right moments. This is one of those songs that would do extremely well in an inspirational movie, like at the moment the hero realizes what he can become. I would highly recommend this track to those that like ALL GENRES. While there are no raging guitars in your face this song truly rocks. While there may be no acknowledgments to the ghetto this song has pure groove. There may be a lack of swirling electronic chirps but this cut will make you want to get on your feet and dance. Wayward Fox has spun a beautiful tale with poetry and music combined. “All the Vultures” maybe circling but this artist is far from dead. 

Michael S.
Music Reviews

S.H.O.U.T., Music NOT for the Faint of Heart

Shock the World -  I am trying to see where I am but something is dripping in my eye. I try wipe the substance from my face but I realize that my hands are tied. I try to sit up but my ankles are bound to my wrists. Shaking my head I attempt to scream but I am gagged and what tastes like a sweaty gym sock is in my mouth. As the liquid slowly rolls down my face I gain sight and with a crack of light coming into the room I can see and smell that it is blood. I hear a grinding of metal in the next room and an evil chuckle. Shock Rock over the years has scared some, entertained many and pissed the rest off. Best said, Shock rock is somewhat like drinking cheap vodka. In the beginning for some it will make them want to vomit but after catching your first buzz you might just learn to enjoy it. Out of the depths of Finland come S.H.O.U.T. With drum machine, vocoder and guitar in hand they rage like a demon from the depths of hell. The quality of the recording is underground or demo in nature. While those that are musical elitists will raise their nose in pure disgust, others will relish the pure pain and suffering such starched collars feel listening to this collection. The guitar tones are guttural. Meaning that the guitar actually sounds like some sort of hell-beast emitting a mating call. While drums are played in perfect time because they are electronic the sad part is that sometimes they rather buried in the mix. Guitars whether, electric clean, distorted or acoustic don’t always agree with the timing of the drums. You could easily write this of as poor musicianship, but the resulting effect is a dissonance that lends true creep factor. Vocals are processed and sound as if Satan himself adopted a child no one wanted and gave him singing lessons. This is definitely music that you don’t want small children listening to at night, unless you want to give them nightmares. I would highly recommend this album to those that like Shock Rock, Avant-garde, Glam Rock or Dissonant Punk Rock. While this album will surely Shock the World, the sad thing is that most probably are too afraid to listen to it.

The Body Electric, Rolling Down the Volcano as Molten Metal Can

“Mold Breaker” - The skin of my face is flapping from the wind that is streaking and tearing across it. Sweat doesn’t even have time to bead and roll it just smears and masks my face. Dirt clings and I slowly turn into something that looks like a running dirt man. I dare not stop running nor do I turn and look behind me for from the sounds of the metal machine behind me make me feel I may be cut to shreds. Here on “Mold Breaker” you hear an artist that doesn’t hold anything back. They’re coming at you at a 100mph fueled by the Metal fury of guitars. The mix of the track is pretty good. I would have like such an aggressive track to have the kick drum higher in the mix, but this is definitely a guitar track. The rest of the production is rather smooth, and all the elements are well in balance and the overall volume has a even feel. With the guitar in the forefront on this instrumental rocker you can hear heavenly guttural guitar tone raging. It feels like you are in you prime running as fast as you can. The synth elements help to take some of the Death Metal vibe off. I am not sure if there is a bass guitar on this track, if so it is rather buried. While this is a guitar track it would be nice to hear the mids of a bass guitar popping to help fuel the percussion side of this song. At 2:13 you have this cut almost stop cold where it slowly rebuilds into a molten masterpiece. I would recommend this track to those that like Instrumentals, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. While this track doesn’t exactly break the mold it does establish some rather hefty cracks, and you will probably sprain your neck if you attempt to head-bang as hard as this guitarist plays. 

Dr. Itchycunt, Refusing to Discriminate by Testing All Genres

Not All Boys Like Girls - I am walking down a dark cave the walls are moist and the air is humid. I almost feel the environment slowly seeping into my body and I am being overcome. I hear an odd sound off into the distance and it is oddly intriguing. As I round a dark corner in this dark tunnel I see a shark, puppy and a unsliced loaf of bologna smoking cigars and playing poker. While I begin to smile and laugh they all rise from their seats, pull weapons and start to call pieces of me that they each want to cut off and eat.  Often the most strange music is the interesting and I am not talking about hearing someone playing Mozart on the bagpipes, I am talking a set of bagpipes doing Kung Fu moves and singing Disney Show-tunes. Dr. Itchycunt is the type of artist that blends his unique sense of humor with his spin on Electronic Punk. If you have no sense of humor or one that is a bit on the low side then stay away, you won’t be able to handle this. The Doctor manages to cram more genre references into 4 songs on this release than a Mad Hatter on Meth. From somewhat heavy Electronica to Folky Acoustic he covers all the bases except for Polka Death Metal, but maybe that will come out on his Anthology reflection as a previously considered but unreleased track. Each phase of each song has an interesting musical point of view. As far as recording quality the sound is that of a good demo. I am sure that if Dr. Itchycunt would have had access to a seasoned engineer or producer the finished product would have been more slick, but when working with this part of the brain other people just slow you down. I would recommend this EP to anyone that loves music, loves to laugh and isn’t wound too tight. While not all may like this album, Not All Boys Like Girls and that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try the Kool Aid. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

J. Snipez, Creating His Own World From Awesome Tracks

My Own World - From the streets of Spring Valley, New York J. Snipez rolls his own brand of Rap that will entice the mind and encourage the body to move. Whether pulling cuts from years past or yesterday J has the ability to flow over just about any groove out there. This mixtape has the goods. It’s got an excellent sound that just jams out of your speakers from cut one. J’s ability to dance around the cadence of any beat and keep it fresh is without doubt. Some MC’s ride that downbeat too hard and it become too monotonous but this artist has the ability to fly around like Muhammad Ali in his prime. After rocking the mic for three straight songs Mr. Snipez slows the flow on “Bad Girl” showing that he not only can keep the bounce going but also lay a slide smooth as glass. Each track has its own character and twist of flavor, some may have some spice others have the right amount of sweet. This is the type of album that will not get boring quickly and you can push play and let each of the eighteen songs rock straight through. J down right drops the hammer though on, “Way 2 Go” with rhyming so fast that you might just get whiplash. While you might not hear this artist on the radio it's not due to the fact that his songs don’t kill. Each track has bass that kicks and will get your girl shaking it, and high end that is crisp and tight. Another breakout track is “Hail Mary”. With its backward track looping and awesome hooks it sounds as there is a new chart topper in the world of Rap. Now anyone can throw a rhyme about how great they are or how much money they got or even how many women they think they can hookup with, but to dive into ones past and be honest about the ugly takes a true artist you will not be left hanging on “Rainy Days”.  I would recommend this album to those that like Rap, Hip Hop and Pop. Where so many fall short J. Snipez has the mettle to move on and creates something unique on My Own World.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Drew Helix, Busting Out the Cage and Looking to Soar High

Caged Birds - Opening with a symphonic number Drew Helix throws down about the American Dream. Up from the Underground sound Drew incorporates a lo-fi backing tracks on the first handful of numbers. With a heavy compression attack Drew’s early cuts have a kind of cool effect when the bass drum kicks. It gives you a stuttering back and forth feel and creates a unique sound with the rest of the elements. The vocal attack on “Hard Knock” comes in with a strong dose of force behind it and makes you feel like he might just jump out of your speakers. A personal favorite stand out track is “No Elevator Music” Drew draws rather well here and the music takes a left turn and has a unique flavor. Overall the vibe on this collection has a rather mid-tempo to laid back feel. While the vocals stand a bit too far to the front for the first few tracks, the mixes from the second half of this release nail it. Vocals are nested right in the pocket and this mixtape really starts to take off. Personally I would have put these cuts more to the top of the list for they shine so much brighter. Not only does the mix and mastering rock but the tracks sound very clean and professional. The approach of “Fly Away” is another hit in the making. While all the poetry slamming on this album is right on Drew might want to stay away from the melodic singing it seems to take focus off what he does best.  With the smooth Jazz vibe on “Bye Bye” Drew rhymes hard in contradiction. Not only does this make for a cool paradigm, but it shows Drew’s talent for see beyond stereotypical rap confines. I would recommend this to those that like Rap and Hip Hop. While Drew might be warning about Caged Birds he takes flight here and shows the ability to only rise higher. 

Music Reviews

Danny Page, Roaring with the Heart of a Lion

Lion -  It's really amazing where a voice can take you and how it can make you feel. On this release a new voice enters the world that will rise you to the heavens and make you feel like you can move any mountain. A lone passionate voice can do so much and if you take the time to listen, Danny will show you what it can do. For the most part this EP is just a man, his heart and guitar. I know of many artists that need a full band to pull of what Mr. Page can do with just these three things and a microphone. This release is really well produced. Vocals and Guitar work together in the mix and complement each other as if they were actually one voice. Danny’s authenticity is on full display, and while he sings really well you will not find any overly flamboyant vocal exercises showing off his range. He just sings to you with heart in hand, and with that honesty and passion true beauty is found. Guitar playing is just as true. From shuffling to strumming and intricate single note picking his guitar weaves tales that almost need no words. Occasionally songs have light percussion in the background that help give each that little extra character. This is the type of album that I would love to put on just hanging around the house on a cold winters day to warm up with my girl, or on a drive to a new adventure. You can picture the sun striking your face through the trees driving down the road first thing in the morning. Just like the sun brings a new day and new possibilities this release will open your heart for a new or renewed possibility of love. I would recommend this EP to those that like Folk, Country, Pop and Alternative genres. With so much music out there to cloud your mind this album roars with the passion of a Lion.


Music Reviews

Evolution Project, Let Your Mind Evolve and Get Hypnotized

“Hypnotized” - Sometimes you just want to shake out all the bad vibes and listen to something that will take you to another place. Opening with a drum sample and a chirp from and electric guitar this song unfolds and takes you on a journey into this artists mind. The track builds rather well layer on top of layer all the while staying focused and keeps you “Hypnotized”. With the middle break that enters at the 1:57 mark you find a guitar solo that seems a bit left of center which fits the texture of this song rather well. This song is strongly in the vein of Pop/Industrial. Lyrically there isn’t anything to dark here so think more of early popular NIN work as a posed to the Ministry side of Industrial. The production on this track is rather well. The samples and playing are mixed and mastered well. I would have like it if the verse vocal phrases were a bit more in the foreground of the mix, but you can tell that this is an artist that is developing his studio craft. Songwriting is sound and follows a Pop structure. To the song’s benefit none of the elements outstay their welcome and enough variations in application help the development of this piece. It will be interesting to see how this project evolves. I would recommend this track to those that like Pop, Industrial, Electronic and Alternative genres. While there is so much out in the Pop charts these days that try and “Hypnotize” you from never leaving, this is a fresh track that runs counter to all to familiar Taylor Swift formula.


Music Reviews

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Grenouer, Unwanted They Still Hammer Out Platinum Hits

Dropping like a 13 Ton sledgehammer Grenouer hits you over the head with another album. With their own brand of Alternative Metal Grenouer once again hits the ground so hard it cracks. From the eerie opening of “Awake” the guys take you on yet another journey though their spin of aggressive music. The production is top notch overall. The sound on the album has a very open feel while everything feels close in the mix. With tracks like “Unwanted Today” Grenouer lay down a massively thick wall of guitars but also employ textures familiar to Korn’s once known modulated ghostly textures. Guitar work on this effort is just absolutely massive. I don’t even think a wrecking ball could pierce the wall of sound that Grenouer has created. Even when shifting gears on “Something Really Bad” opening guitars chime with suspense and you can almost the impending doom in the air. Alexander Motor and Al Bolo in tandem are a force to be reckoned with. The girth and power in Al’s bass is on full display in “On a Rainy Day” with his special concoction of low-end grind. Alexander’s guitar mastery is fully present on this collection from the delicate acoustic textures that are present in the opening of “Blossoms In the Dust” to the guttural molten Metal found on “Artificial Tears”. Holding them together is Danny D behind the kit. His touch is quite impressive. He can play back in the mix or slam it hard up to the front. With his attack and approach to these songs he definitely belongs known as one of the greats. There is tons of great Hard Rock out there, but what sets Grenouer apart from all the others is Andrey Ind’s vocal approach. Commanding the soundscape from behind the microphone Andrey sings aggressively without sounding like he has a mouth full of marbles, and has the guts to sing melodically like an angel on more mellow moments. Grenouer together create awesome cuts working like a well oiled machine. While so few buy albums anymore, Grenouer has gone out of their way to create a peace of art that is worth buying as a whole. Every single song has massive hooks. The old saying, “Well I don’t like buying albums cause only one or two songs are good” doesn’t apply to this release. Every song could stand on its own as a single but together you get an awesome collection that you will not want to put away. I would highly recommend this album to those that like Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or Alternative Rock. With albums “Unwanted Today” Grenouer has released one that will be hard to ignore or put away once spun. 

(Music Reviews)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Liam Horrigan, Make No “Mistake” There is a New Talent on the Horizon

“Mistake” - One of the interesting things about being in my position is hearing from talent that can be in its most raw forms. On this track from Liam Horrigan you will find an artist that has the mind of a true songwriter and the passion of a stampeding herd. It would be absolutely fabulous to see Liam in the studio with a seasoned engineer. The song just rages out of the gate. On “Mistake” you have a man that holds nothing back. With a mid to up-tempo track you hear the broken heart of a man on full display. Percussion work has a real snap to it and locks in with the song rather well. Guitar work has a “grunge” element to it but is layered and rather interesting. I am sure this song would shine much more bright if each guitar had room to breathe. Bass guitar locks in just as tight and lays a low-end that thunders with just as much power as the rest of the elements on this cut. The middle section execution is just what the song begs for and the resulting guitar solo does well to push the emotional feeling over the peak. Vocal work though done rather dry is a great go and is not over masked in dainty words. Liam excels at singing straight from his heart. I would recommend keeping an eye on this artist if you like Punk, Alternative, Rock or Hard Rock genres. While the landscape of love can be scattered with “Mistakes” my hope is that Liam doesn’t abandon his craft for his talents will surely only rise.

Leah Kaye, Pulling Out Another Great Song That Soars to the Sky

Music is an interesting medium. Some songs are very angry and sound as if they want to pummel someone into the ground. Others help provide imagery and take you on a journey of the mind. Occasionally a track will seem like a mirror and will open up a view into yourself. Once in a while you come across a song that just ascends into the air and if you are lucky, takes you along for the ride. The light guitar notes that open this track seem to float effortlessly out of my speakers and rise upwards to the heavens. On this cut from Leah Kaye you will feel like you are rising into the clouds on a warm sunny day. Her approach is truly unique. While the arc of the narrative is rather dour in regards to the broken heart, her song is woven with the hope and soars. The composition is rather straight forward and simple, a beautiful voice and a lone guitar. String sections appear and swell during moments of this song that do nothing but help build the feeling of hope in contrast to the lone moments in pain. I would definitely recommend this track to those that like Folk, Country and Pop genres. While life may give you a “Push and Pull” from time to time, with songs as such as these you will find solace that hope brings a better day. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Seprona, Refusing to Pretend With True Authenticity

“Only Pretend” - With a gritty blues/rock voice and a howling guitar this track takes off. You almost feel like you are at a back alley club checking out next great band before anyone else knows about them. With a slinky bass guitar line and a mid tempo shuffle from the drum kit this cut weaves a tale about bad choices. The guitar matches that vocal performance with the perfect amount of grit and attitude. Vocals croon a warning tale and with feedback guitars you almost feel as if sirens are whaling on the way from yet another crime scene. This band has nailed a true rock vibe that is authentic without the need of any frilly electronic crutches. I would recommend this song to anyone that likes Rock, Alternative or Pop genres. 

The Hushdown, Rocking the Radio With a True Unique Voice

Radio - Checking in with 11 tracks of pure character The Hushdown on this release let go of all inhibitions. Creative juices flow like the Hoover Dam has been blown with a nuclear blast. Rock n’ Roll swagger is on full display with the guitar on this album. From swanky acoustic strutting to grinding electric work the guitar work really frames up the vibe. Lead guitar work flows effortlessly like the natural beauty of a peaceful stream to phrases that transforms into raging rapids. Each guitar solo has texture that exemplifies the peak moments in each tune. What sets this group apart from so many of its rock contemporaries is the violin work. While some may scrunch their nose on the notion of a frilly violin working in a rock band, each phrase is robust with power and speaks almost as if there is another vocalist in the band. Each song takes you on a journey for the instruments do an excellent job of whisking you off. Whether by sea, air or road I feel absolute freedom in each track. Bass guitar and Cello work do an wonderful job of commanding the low end and creating an atmosphere that will make your body want to move. A particular favorite track of mine was “Rainy Day Lady”. With such natural organic texture it speaks true to the heart. You find yourself wanting to sing along even on the first spin. From the percussion faction of this group you find true art in motion captured. With work that ranges in textures and songs that themselves have such sharp turns the drum work is as solid as cinder blocks and beautiful as a tapestry. With so much going on its hard to believe that human voice could rein all this in.  Kali Hinkel stands behind the microphone and with her lone voice and drives each composition like a fearless lion tamer all the while making it sound easy. Her range of tones as well as approach command this album with true beauty. With the power of a stampeding herd and the passion of loyal heart I would recommend The Hushdown to those that like Rock, Pop, Progressive, Alternative, World and Ethnic genres. The true crime in this day and age is that you have to search hard to find such quality on the Radio, but with songs such as these I would take the time to tune this band in. 

Youtube links:  (Radio)    (Wishing on a Broken Star)     (Rainy Day Lady)

Starfire Rainbow Jellybean, Laying Down Funk in Love With a Sparkle

“Love With A Sparkle” -  You can have candy, roses and soft teddy bear to try sweeten your love on Valentine’s Day, but what really comes in handy is a song that serves for your soundtrack. Rolling out their special blend of “Retro Funk” Starfire Rainbow Jellybean have just the track for such an occasion. This track has a drumbeat that will put an extra hop in your step. It will help you forget about the dreary February days and get you in the mood for love. The slinking low-end funk from the bass guitar will get your mojo in high gear and get your loves heart a pumping. Notes from the guitar sweetly dance around and will make you eager to catch kisses listening to those sweet notes flutter in the air. With the horn section blasting pure doses of passion you’ll find it hard to not grab the one you love and hold them close all night long. Vocals spin a dream-like tale in your mind and will get you in the mood for a love with real passion. This cut will get anyone to “Be Mine or Be Yours”. SRJ slam this track out in pure funk fashion. I would recommend this track to those that like Pop, Rock, Disco, Retro, or Funk genres. While anyone can say, “I love you” make sure you work your magic like a cupid and “Love With a Sparkle”. You won’t go wrong. Just spin it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mike Michalak Band, Cranking the Rock and Not Sweating the Tough Stuff

“Never Easy” - Great Rock n’ Roll songs can be hard to find anymore. Most of the time when you hear new guitar oriented songs they are usually Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal numbers that blister with oversaturated guitars that sound like that they are going to set your speakers on fire. On this song from the Mike Michalak Band you have a tried and true Pop/Rock song. That being said this track has no lack of balls. With guitars that have just the right amount of grind they sing front and center with true Rock swagger. This cut has a strong vocal hook which adds dimension. Drum work has a solid groove where the snare cracks like a whip and fills that counter and support the dynamics. You will find yourself wanting to dance immediately no matter who is around. Bass guitar lays the low end groove down and stays right in the pocket enhancing the desire to shake your hips. Mike’s vocal approach fits this song perfectly. His cadence behind the microphone dances around the beat and acts as another instrument in the band itself. Its time to let go like its Friday night and have some fun with this song blaring out of your speakers. Don’t fight the urge. Just go with it. While some things are “Never Easy” this is a track that will make it easier to deal with the hard things in life.  

Hope Griffin, Shining Bright and Singing Strong.

Say What You Will - With the opening track feel like I am staring at my feet walking through the world, and with the unfolding of this song I feel the sun shining on the dark corners of my mind. Hope does an excellent job of writing songs that tell great stories that you can relate to. To be honest there is nothing fancy to her voice. You will not find her vocally ripping through scales or breaking glass. That being said, her voice has the ability to soar with the angels or croon like the masters of the Blues. You can tell that this woman is singing from her heart and has truly lived life. Each melody that rolls from her lips is as sweet as wildflowers on a summer day. Quickly shifting gears from the typical solo female act her duet on “Subtle Riddles” has a swagger that frames a cat and mouse narrative. Guitar phrasing evolves over the 6 tracks on the album and is just as multifaceted as her vocal abilities. Accompanying instruments are kept in check. Some artists try to put everything and the kitchen sink on an album. Hope creates soundscapes that are full, beautiful but not overdone. Violin work shines rather bright on “A Fishermans’s Life”. Winding around the guitar and Hopes vocal melody the instrument wraps this song with a  beautiful ribbon and frames it rather well. Percussion work is just as tasteful. The brush work on the snare make you feel like you are skidding you feet through the warm sand on the beach. Another bright moment on this album is the vocal work during the refrain on “Dry Land”. You can tell that Hope is a seasoned talent well in command of her craft. These tracks will steal your heart and free your mind. While all the tracks on Hopes release have a mid-tempo to laid back vibe her song, “Singin’ Sad Blues” has some real sting from the electric guitar and whaling harmonica. She can definitely throw down some blues groove. Rounding out this set is the track, “Feels Like Home”. With her patented sound she brings you back and lets you know that everything is going to be okay. Hope has a voice that calms and entertains and strums the strings with a passion that inspires. I would recommend this album to anyone that likes Pop, Folk, Country, Blues, and Adult Contemporary genres. Say What You Will, Hope is a shining star breaking through the cloudy night.

Monday, February 2, 2015

BlackBerry Winter, Warm Music From Blistering Talent

“If”/“Teach Me Tonight”/“Big Yellow Taxi” - Chemistry is a funny word. Some hear the word and think of a young man alone in a lab recklessly mixing chemicals and creating a mess with or without an explosion. On these tracks from Blackberry Winter you have something that is truly explosive, but it is a different type of chemistry. This lone duo creates a mood and sound that can soothe the racing mind and the jagged heart. Here you will find two true masters of their craft dancing together musically creating a sound straight from the heart. With Carl Schultz in command of the piano keys you hear someone whose fingers can fly with more grace than a butterfly on a summer day. Behind the microphone you have Marie Lalonde. With her angelic voice in ear you can almost feel your heart soaring to the heavens. The two together make an outstanding set of music that is choice for the ear as well as the mind. Many bands collaborate and with full ensembles have enough energy to cover over each others slips or gaps, but Blackberry Winter has nothing to hide. With just a voice and a piano they will command your speakers and your attention. I would highly recommend this act to those that like Jazz, Pop and Adult Contemporary genres. Blackberry Winter has the sounds you need to brave the cold and warm up with timeless passionate music. 

Straight Razor, Cutting a Single That Rocks the Heart

“Good Morning Little School Girl” - With the opening resonator guitar jangling around the room you’ll feel compelled to start tapping those feet. Once the bass guitar enters you are going to want to get up off your seat and start strutting. For those that like the Classic Blues Rock sound you have a new group to adore. Straight Razor waste no time getting down to business on this track and definitely cut a rug. The drums sound alive and amazing I kept looking over my shoulder thinking they were in the room with me. The bass pulses and dances around this ensemble laying down a low-end that will make even the stiffest of collars want to swing around the room. Guitar work sizzles and rides the rhythm sections groove and tosses out phrases like a rich man throwing fists full of money into the air. The lead guitar work oozes with authentic 6 string passion. With a laid back swank the vocalist takes command of the microphone and sings this cut to a tee. This is just a great rocking track that you will want to play over and over again. I would recommend this song to those that like Blues, 50’s/60’s Rock, Rockabilly and Modern Retro genres. With songs as awesome as this you know that Straight Razor will cut into your heart deep leaving you wanting more like a school girl dreaming of her perfect bad boy. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Joanne Stacey, Down to Earth With a Voice That Shines Like Gold

My September - Opening with sounds made classic by the Country Western genre Joanne Stacey lets her album shine right off the bat with her song, “That’s What Patsy would Do”. Joanne has a fantastic voice that can handle the range from strong and brassy to gentle and sweet. A true talent is on display in the songs on this release. With steel guitar that cries like only a broken heart can, a true life that has lived is on display here. On every song the guitar sings as beautiful as Joanne’s Voice. Whether it is the lonesome plucking of an acoustic, a pulsing bold electric or a searing lead with a commanding twang the guitar work is top shelf. Banjo passages help exemplify the true down to earth feelings on this roots-type album. On stand out tracks like, “When the Honeymoon is Over” Joanne shows that she has true country swagger and isn’t afraid to get her boots dirty. Drum work is right in the pocket, sure it can hang back but it comes to the forefront it helps push emotional moments over the top and hit you straight in the heart. True spark can be found on songs like “He Loves Her Still” where Joanne and her backing band strut true swagger that would make most fake rockers jealous. This is truly an album that covers all the bases and one that isn’t just one dimensional. With such a variety of sounds you can play this album over and over without getting bored. The cornerstone of course is Joanne’s voice. Closing out the album is the cut “Lonesome Rambler” where she puts her beautiful voice on display completely solo. Anyone can sound great with an awesome set of studio musicians, but it’s a very hard thing for a voice to sit alone in a room and move the heart as Joanne Stacey does. While she may claim this is My September, with passion on display such as this you will feel as warm as a summer afternoon.

Camp X, Soaring to New Heights and Taking You Along for the Ride

All Quiet on the Northern Front - In the musical universe occasionally you find music that is truly inspirational. Some artists just have a knack for writing such material, or are in the right frame of mind at the right time. The tracks on this release from Camp X does just that. They write inspirational songs that rise and fly like an eagle and burn bright like a star in the night sky. Opening with the track, Revelation #2 A soulful voice takes the helm on a Hard Rock composition that builds hight like Mt Everest.  Convexly it valleys and allows you examine your own soul. For the track “Dead Man Walking” a subdued vibe that thunders for a low burn transforms and explodes wiping away pain with vocals that soar and guitars that hammer. On “Perfect Day” acoustic guitars lay a bed of sound like peaceful waters on which you can set sail and let dreams come true. From the song “Shine” you feel a sonic push made famous by bands like U2 where the song just builds and builds until an exuberant release. A common thread runs through this entire album. Guitars that reflect pure honest emotion and that wander ever part of a human heart to reveal true passion. Execution is absolutely beautiful and push each song to the limit. Bass guitar howls and winds through every song giving them depth and muscle which help inspire not just the mind but also heart and soul. Drums are played to utter perfection either thrashing away in complete bliss or laid back and enjoying the moment. Key/Synth work rounds out this musical ensemble and adds just the right amount of flair to each track. This allows every song to have its own personality and additional dimension. Holding it all together though is the vocal work that is the true driving force of the band. Often I will hear a group that would sound empty without its vocalist but here you have a band and album that without its vocalist would have no heart. You can truly tell that this is not just a group of individuals excelling at what they do, but a true piece of genuine art when collaborating together. Hopefully Camp X will have a long and glorious run, for they have the talent collectively that true timeless bands are made of. I would say that if you like Pop, Rock, Hard Rock or  Alternative genres then you would be doing yourself a great disservice by not checking out this band RIGHT NOW! While all may be quiet on the northern front, it is surely due to the epic music that is on display in these hearts. The only question now is, where does Camp X go from here?

Sunday Wilde, Singing With Soul and Digging the Sounds

“He Digs Me” -  With a truly soulful and talented voice Sunday Wilde rolls out of your speakers and makes your heart fall in love with music again. Nothing in the world holds more pleasure than hearing a talented voice sing from the heart, and that is exactly what Wilde does here. Weaving a melody that makes you feel like you are running through the grass on a warm summer day Sunday is like the warm sun on your face. Percussion work on this track has a shuffle feel that will make you want to join in no matter where you hear it. The guitar and bass have a joined laid back vibe that will ease your heart after a stressful day. They work wonderfully at dancing together rising upward to the heavens and so will your heart. The horn section swells like swarms of beautiful butterflies that make the cold winter days fade and rise like a new love’s passion. While this cut has a definite retro vibe it is fresh and new sounding. The production is absolutely wonderful and you can tell that the artists on this track are pure professionals. I would highly recommend the song to those that like Pop, Blues, Americana or Adult Contemporary. While Sunday Wilde may be rejoicing cause, “He Digs Me” you will definitely feel the love on each and every spin of this track.

Knawlydge, Breaking the Vice of Depression With This Track

“Depression” - The opening of this track reminds me of days when I open my eyes and I cannot gain focus. The synth work that fades from fore to background helps to put your back on your heels and grab your attention. I like the jazz vibe that unfolds from the sax loops that wind through this song. Percussion programming on this cut is adds to “Alice In Wonderland” feel. Lyrically you have something unfold in front of you that is rather fresh. Taking a strong look at current culture this song breaks from the pack and forgoes the boring lines on drugs, easy women and money. The delivery of the vocals has a strong flow and you almost wish that this song was longer. You’ll definitely find yourself playing this track over and over again. I would highly recommend this song to anyone that likes Pop, Alternative, Rap, Hip Hop or Experimental genres. While so many in this society fall prey to “Depression”. With cuts like these hopefully the world will get back on track.

BN Peace Nation, With Groove This Good You’ll Want This Foe

“Foe” - This song just POUNDS! Cutting through my speakers this track has a nice interplay of elements. With a kick and bass groove thats going to make you want to bounce all night long and your girl shake every last bit of clothes “Foe” delivers a cut that flows. Some of the production on this song seems a bit off. There are certain vocal turns that seem a bit too loud and are overdriven, while others are a bit quiet in comparison. All that aside this is still a rather good song to spin. Song composition is done rather well and no elements become to monotonous. Its a fresh take and one that you will want to play more than once.  I would recommend this track to those that like Rap or Hip Hop. 

Sacrecrowz, Burning the Bridge with Molten Metal

“Burning Bridges” - Muddy grinding guitars launch this track and you almost feel like you are running from something in the dark. The song has a really driving groove. Guitars pound and lurch after you like a serial killer that keeps up with you no matter how fast you run. I really like the lead guitar that spices up this track. The pinch harmonics add a little extra burn right where this song needs it. Drum work is right on. The shift in dynamics that percussion work lends helps the song tell a full story instead of just grinding the same groove for 4 minutes plus. At 1:56 the song changes feel and you feel like you are looking over your shoulder. It might look like you have gotten away but Sarecrowz come back with a blistering guitar solo at the 2:48 mark. It's not the type of lead that has a million notes a minute but the phrasing is perfect for the song and it burns with passion. The bass guitar work is pretty hidden primarily because it is in lock tight step with the rest of the band and helps define the unified murky feeling on this track. Vocals are rather straightforward Hard Rock/Heavy Metal attitude. You wont find some dude trying to sing 15 octaves high like a chick or someone that sounds like they are related to the cookie monster. This guy just belts it out with honest attitude and you can understand what he’s saying. I would highly recommend this track to those that like Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Stoner Metal. With the Scarecrowz “Burning Bridges” you can rest assured that they aren’t going back where they came from, and they are only going to rise higher and higher with each and every release. You might just want to leave a light on tonight though after listening to this track. 

The Dreamboats, Ripping Giant Waves Through the Tired Music Scene

"Don't Go Home"/"Love Control" - From the opening guitars you know that you are in for a ride. “Don’t Go Home” has a true Rock n’ Roll vibe that will get your heart racing. You feet will want to dance all night long with this release from these Canadian Rockers. There is a strong retro vibe, however they spice it up rather well and you feel something authentic and fresh. Overall the production is top notch. The mix is well balanced and there is enough grind and thumping to make you want to dance till your shoes burn off. Guitar work is really clean but still has a nice bite to it. Drum work is close and up front in the mix which really helps the spinning dance vibe. Bass guitar work is hidden somewhat and it would be nice to hear it pop a bit more, however it holds down the low-end of the song well and helps the groove factor hit a 10. Vocal work on these tracks are spot on. I don’t think that they could do any better. With rapid fire sequences still enunciated well you can understand what these guys are singing about. Nothing is worse than a great track with a singer that sounds like he has a mouth full of marbles. These tracks have true crossover potential. I would recommend The Dreamboats to anyone that likes Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Rockabilly, Garage Rock or Alternative genres. With a great kick in their songs The Dreamboats have a vibe that will brighten your day and rock your night. Lets just hope that the dream doesn’t end anytime too soon.