Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CD Review: Sean Cooney Warns Us About "The Zombie Apocalypse"

New England native Sean Cooney is releasing a new album full-length album of dance-pop originals. The new release entitled “The Last Thing I Heard Before The Zombie Apocalypse” is Cooney’s invite to his party as he presents an album full of beats and rhymes that is sure to please radio audiences across the country. The album was written and performed entirely by Cooney himself as he takes great pride in his delivery.

The album begins with the lead-off single “Brooklyn” which combines the lyrical sounds of Jason Mraz with the pop sensibility of Justin Beiber. Then, the album just takes off with contagious pop-hooks and dance-beats that just don’t quit. The song “Cali” is a fun song with its catchy chorus and harmonies, while “Party Like A Kennedy” is Cooney’s attempt at hip-hop. Sean Cooney tries working his Jazz background into some of the songs like “Lose Your Mind” and “Evil Lover.” He takes a break from his club beats for the playful, piano driven “New Friend” and the Jason Mraz blueprint “What I Like.” Cooney bridges the gap between hip-hop and pop rock with many great songs like “Pursuit Of Happiness” and “Fun Time.”

Sean Cooney has videos out for the songs “Brooklyn” and Déjà vu” (youtube.com/SeanCooneyMusic) and is beginning a tour of radio shows on college campuses and commercial radio. For more information on this new artist, check out his website, seancooney.com.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CD Review: Modern Punk Band, Maker Uses Vinyl For "Mirrors"

From Massachusetts, comes modern punk band Maker with a new album, “Mirrors,” on Animal Style Records. The album was released on CD back in June of 2011, but is finally getting its well-deserved vinyl release. The band has a hometown show on March 11, then Maker will be heading into the studio to record their follow-up once this tour wraps in April.

The album begins with punk-style drumming, buzzing guitars and the shout-out loud lyrics of “Mirrors” as the band seem to have a chip on their shoulder. The band speed through “For Every Mistake I Ever Made” before heading into the pop-punk sounds of “What’s In Your Head,” which is the most mainstream song on the album. The acoustic, edginess of “A Postcard I Never Sent To You” sounds like an unfinished demo before the band heads into the album’s longest song “14.” They mix up the tempo on the song to keep it interesting, but still aggressive. The album closes with the radio-friendly “… I’ve Been Wondering.”

April tour dates lead the band into Canada, but return to the states for The Jamboree Music Festival in Ohio. Check out the band’s new website (http://thisismaker.wordpress.com/) for more information.

Monday, February 27, 2012

CD Review: On Top Brings Back Metal's Heyday With "Top Heavy"

From Philadelphia comes the metal trio On Top with their debut album “Top Heavy.” The album was released in November of 2011 through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and features rerecorded versions of songs from their first two independent releases.

The band comes bursting out of the gate with a quick, instrumental introduction before diving into their first song “Into The Night.” The song brings you back to the 80’s metal days when flashy guitar riffs and killer vocals ruled the airwaves. Songs like “Sleepness” and “Die High” contain a heavier metal sound than that of some of the hair metal bands of the day, but the topics of songs like “Another Night of Sleaze” and “Hot N Wet” fit in perfectly to that era of music. The album ends with some of the best songs, the quick driving “Success And Excess” and the sing-along chorus of “Up To No Good.”

On Top have a few shows scheduled in March, before the band head into the studio to record their follow-up album. Check out the band’s facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ONTOPOFFICIAL) for more information.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

CD Review: Switzerland's Archers And Arrows Are New On The Punk Music Scene

From Switzerland comes Archers And Arrows with their self-titled debut EP. Their sound fits in perfectly with the American punk scene. The lead-off song “It’s So Cool, We Will Die All Together” sounds like a cross between classic NOFX and Face To Face. The band takes a break from their punk sound to take on more progressive rock sound on “Swan Song.” A great song, but doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the song on this EP. They finish with a heavier punk sound on “Truncated Humanism,” then close the album with 99 seconds of a heavy-hitting punk attack with “The Young Carpetbaggers.”

Archers and Arrows have a handful of dates lined-up in March in their home country, but look for them to add more dates soon. They will also be entering the studio soon to record their follow-up album. For more information, check out the band’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/archersandarrows.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

CD Review: Connecticut's Mick Reed Brings Us The Sounds From "Texas"

From Connecticut comes singer/songwriter Mick Reed with a new album entitled “Goodnight Texas.” His singing and music is a sweet mix of country and Americana, while his folk-fueled lyrics paint a picture in your mind as you listen to his words.

The new album begins with the slow jaunt of “Just One Step,” a great, two-minute introduction that gives you just a little taste of Reed’s talents. Reed and his band heat up for the quick-steppin’ song “The Singapore Sling.” His songwriting talents all come together for the unforgettable “Honey Bee,” then Reed goes honky-tonk on “That Old Brass Ring.” Reed’s beautiful lullaby “Tullia” leads us into the story of “Clawtown” before finishing with a jazzed-up duet with Madeleine Peyroux on “A Fool At The Other.”

Mick Reed and his band are performing Monday, February 27 in New York before heading to Massachusetts for a couple of shows. Check out Mick Reed’s website (mickreed.com) for more information on this rising musician.

Friday, February 24, 2012

CD Review: Youth A.D. Calls Out The "Corporate Dogs"

From Serbia comes the industrial music of Youth A.D. with a new album entitled “Corporate Dogs.” Youth A.D. is the brainchild of Stevan Pivnicki with the purpose to create music that will never be compromised by trends or fashion.

The ten-song release begins with “God TV,” which combines the clash of synthesizers and drum beats that are layered on top of unrecognizable vocals. This becomes the blueprint for the rest of the album with changes in beats as in “Focus On The Mission” and different mixes of heavy metal vocals layered on electronic sounds. The song “State Of Terror” sounds like an early Nine Inch Nails outtake, while “Death Inc.” tries to summon the underworld with its buzzing vocals. The album finishes with “Nothing” which plays out like a movie soundtrack with samplings.

The album was released in September of last year through CyberfArts. For more information on Youth A.D., check out facebook.com/youthad.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CD Review: Mordax Tells Us About "Violence Fraud Treachery"

Denmark thrash/death metal band, Mordax are releasing their new album entitled “Violence Fraud Treachery” on February 24. The physical version of the album will only be released in Europe, Israel and Japan, but a digital version will be available worldwide on that date. The album was mixed and mastered by Swedish metal legend Dan Swano (Opeth, Asphyx, Hail of Bullets).

The new album begins with a 3-minute instrumental introduction to get your pulse pounding for an onslaught of great metal music. The song “Trademark Strangulation” lays out the perfect blueprint for thrash metal with fast guitars, quick drumming and powerful, in-your-face vocals. Mordax dive into the dark side with “Devoured By Life” as their death metal side comes shining through. The power and speed just continues as Swano provides guest vocals on the bone-crushing “Monarch Of All.” The instrumental song “Contrapasso” is a slow-building invitation that calms your nerves in the beginning with the gentleness of acoustic guitars, and then blazes a path of destruction by the end of the song. The album finishes with some more outstanding death metal with the song “Treachery.”

Mordax have a handful of dates scheduled in their home country of Denmark. Please visit their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mordaxmetal) for more information on their tour dates and how to get copy of their new album “Violence Fraud Treachery.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CD Review: Eastern Phoebes Serves Up "Eggplant"

From Long Island comes the indie-pop duo known as Eastern Phoebes with a new album entitled “Eggplant.” This is the band’s fourth “homemade” EP and it was produced by singer/songwriter Ry Smith.

The thing you notice immediately is how light and free the music sounds, especially when you get to record near your surroundings and at your own convenience. The harmonizing between Smith and vocalist Meg Bayley sounds heavenly in “Kingfisher” and “The Strait of Magellan.” The songs “Big Thunder” and “Stay Together Learn The Flowers Go Light” are perfect examples of folk music at its best.

For more information on this wonderful pop duo, please visit their website (easternphoebes.com).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CD Review: The Luck Of Eden Hall Bring On The Second Coming Of "Butterflies"

Psychedelic rockers The Luck of Eden Hall have recently released their follow-up to “Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 1,” with “Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 2.” They capped of their “year of the butterfly” with a well-deserved follow-up that was recorded and the same time as the first volume. The Luck of Eden Hall polished up the songs for this new release, which gives the band twice as much material to expand their sound (and mind).

The new album begins with the Peter Gabrial sounding “Metropolis” before diving into their psychedelic rock sound on “Complicated Mind.” The folk gatherings of “North Hampton Woods” breaks up the edginess of “Caroline” and “The Ottoman Girl” as the band seems poised to bring the 60’s rock into today’s world. The band brings out the garage rock with “Realization Loop” and “We Are Not Self Control,” before finishing with the experimental, head-swimming sounds of “A Drop In The Ocean.”

The Luck of Eden Hall has two shows scheduled in March, supporting Jefferson Starship on their appearance at Reggies in Chicago. Check out the band’s website (theluckofedenhall.com) for more information on this rising psychedelic rock band.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CD Review: Water Tower Bucket Boys Show Us "Where The Crow Don't Fly"

After less than a year, the Water Tower Bucket Boys return with a five-song EP entitled “Where The Crow Don’t Fly.” A vast amount of inspiration must have hit when the Boys recorded their 2011 album “Sole Kitchen” as these songs rank up there with some of their best work. Most of the songs on this new release have a darker overtone than its predecessor, but the storied lyrics are still fun to follow.

The band breaks out of its folk shell for the upbeat, toe-tapping “Walkin’ The Road” which is the most fun the band has performing on this EP. “Pilgrim Song” displays the wonderful harmonizing and great musicianship between the bandmates. The Water Tower Bucket Boys bring out their pop-song instincts on “Easy Way Out” before finishing up with the quietly, gentle “R Song.”

The Boys are currently on tour, performing along the west coast until May. Check out their website (watertowerbucketboys.com) for tour information, song samples from the new album and more.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CD Review: Tony Bennett's "Romantic" Voice Shines On New Release

The latest compilation from the legendary Tony Bennett is all about romance. The Concord Music Group gathered 15 of Bennett’s most romantic standards from the 1970s and titled this new album “Isn't It Romantic?” Bennett lends his timeless voice to well-known classics from Rogers & Hart, Cole Porter and Henry Mancini amongst others. Each of these songs was remastered by Joe Tarantino just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Tony Bennett’s voice is so smooth and timeless that these songs could have been recorded yesterday instead of almost 40 years ago. Songs like “Make Someone Happy,” “My Foolish Heart” and “Dream Dancing” seem the most heartfelt as Bennett sings along to only a piano melody provided by Bill Evans. The album flows between the full sound of a big band with songs like “As Time Go By” and “Life Is Beautiful” to the simplicity of only a piano in “But Beautiful” and “Lucky To Be Me.” The song "Lover" places you in a cafe, sitting across from the one you love with your own personal performance from Bennett. The one constant feature in each song is Bennett’s vocal delivery that could only be matched by the late-great Frank Sinatra. It’s amazing at how good these recordings sound and is almost guaranteed to put love in the air.

For more information on this release, as well as other great released from the Concord Music Group, please visit their website at concordmusicgroup.com.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Gives Us Blood Ceremony And Church Of Misery

Legendary heavy metal label Metal Blade Records is preparing the re-release of some of their newly signed artists. This will be the first time some of these album will be made available in the U.S.

First up, from Canada, comes horror metal band Blood Ceremony with their debut album on Metal Blade Records. The album is a re-release of their 2008 self-titled, independent album. They also released an album last year on Rise Above Records called “Living With The Ancients.”

The new Metal Blade Record release begins with an eerie keyboard, which leads you into the band’s dark, heavy sound of “Master of Confusion.” The organ solo gives the song a bit of a retro, 70’s hard rock feeling along with lyrics about the occult. Lead singer/flutist/organist Alia O’Brien lets her talents fly on “I’m Coming With You,” which sounds like a cross between Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull. The instrumental “A Wine of Wizardry” gives a glimpse of medieval times which gets carried into “The Rare Lord,” along with the band’s signature heavy guitars and drums. The songs “Hop Toad” and “Children of the Future” carry a mystical feeling about them before the album closes with the 8-minute epic “Hymn to Pan.”

The band just finished a month-long tour in the Northeast supporting the band Ghost. Look for more dates to be announced soon. For more information, please visit http://www.metalblade.com/bloodceremony/.

More releases from Metal Blade Records comes from the trio of Tatsu Mikami (bass), Junji Narita (drums) and Hideki Fukasawa (vocals, synthesizer). The band came together over 15 years ago over their love of heavy metal music forming the band, Church of Misery. They recently signed with Metal Blade Records to re-release two of their 2011 albums, “Master of Brutality” and “The Second Coming.” Both albums have been digitally remastered and include bonus tracks and will be available for the first time in the U.S. on February 28.

The album, “The Second Coming” is a hard hitting metal album that is surrounded by the theme of serial killers like Ted Bundy and Dean Corll. The drumming and guitar work of “Soul Discharge” and on the Cactus cover “One Way…or Another” is some of the best in metal today. The one bonus song on this album is a 13-minute cover version of May Blitz’s “For Mad Men Only.”

The album “Master of Brutality” begins with “Killifornia” which has a voice-over of Ed Kemper along a soundscape of what sounds like backwards music before the band dives into their heavy, doom metal sound. The band comes into their own with “Megalomania” and the Blue Oyster Cult cover “Cities On Flame.” The band is obsessed with serial killers as each song on their albums tends to revolve around a certain former serial killer like the title song which is aimed at John Wayne Gacy. The bonus songs begin with the 8-minute “Boston Strangler” and finishes with a 17-minute live version of “Lucifer Rising,” which gives you a small glimpse of Church of Misery’s live show.

Speaking of live shows, Church of Misery will begin their European tour in March, performing select shows with Orange Goblin. They will be hitting the U.S. shores on May 27 for Deathfest 2012. Check out the band’s website (churchofmisery.com) for more information.

Friday, February 17, 2012

CD Review: Dark New Day Start A "New Tradition"

After forming in 2004, Dark New Day hit it big in 2005 with their debut album “Twelve Year Silence.” The band, consisting of members of Evanescence and Sevendust, toured and released an EP the following year. At the completion of Dark New Day second album, “Hail Mary,” Warner Bros. Records dropped the band and the album was never released. Fast forward to 2012 and Dark New Day is ready to rise again with a new album entitled “New Tradition” to be released on February 28 through Goomba Music.

The new album begins with the grungy, buzzsaw guitars and pounding drums of “Fist From The Sky” as you can tell the band has a chip on their shoulder. Lead singer Brett Hestla lays it all on the line and sets up the listener for a hard rock adventure. The first single from the new album is “New Tradition,” and it carries a very heavy, modern rock feel with some great guitar work from Clint Lowery. The slow, dark beginning of “Tremendous” gets built up to an unforgettable, sing-along chorus. Dark New Day break-out the grooves on “Straitjacket” and “Breakdown,” which shows some diversity in the band’s overall sound. The album finishes with “Burns Your Eyes,” one of the more aggressive songs on the album. This new release features 13 songs that rock, with no ballads or second-rate filler songs as Dark New Day put everything into each song.

The band is looking to tour behind the release of their new album, “New Tradition” so be sure to check out their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/darknewday) for tour announcements.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

CD Review: Hadwynn Builds "Monuments" With New Release

From Raleigh, NC comes the indie-rock trio, Hadwynn with a new album entitled “Monuments” on Lucas Gambit Records. The new release carries a very personal feeling as the members of Hadwynn don’t overpower the songs with unnecessary instrumentation. Songs like “O! The Noise!” and “Sing Softly” use just enough music and vocals to give the songs a unique feel to them. The song “Sort of Grey” brightly displays the songwriting talent his band has offer as they put their hearts into this performance. Hadwynn’s pop side shines on “Things I Already Know” before finishing the album with acoustic folk song “The Seed Song.”

For more information on this rising band, check out their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Hadwynn).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CD Review: The Life And Times Show Their "Love" For You

Indie-alternative rock band The Life and Times returns with their SlimStyle Records debut album, “No One Loves You Like I Do." It will be the band’s first record without founding member Rob Smith and is also the first time the band will be performing as a trio, fronted by Allen Epley, formally of the band Shiner.

The titles of the songs on this new release are actually just numbered days and carry no particular order as the album begins with “Day Six,” which is a good lead-off song. The consistent drumbeat and squilling guitar plays the perfect backdrop for Epley’s mundane vocal delivery. The Life and Times continues with the bass driven “Day Nine” as more life gets put into the up-tempo rocker “Day One.” The moodiness of “Day Five” gets a boost from “Day Three” with its combined drumming/guitar attack. The album finishes with the alternative pop sounding “Day Twelve” and the six-minute experimental “Day Eight.”

The Life and Times are currently on their U.S. tour and will be heading to the east coast at the end of February. Check out the band’s website (thelifeandtimes.com) for a complete list of tour dates and posts about their tour stops along the way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CD Review: "The Concert Sinatra" Gets Well-Deserved Upgrade

In 1963, singer Frank Sinatra wanted to record an album using multi-track recorders, but the problem was that the technology wasn’t invented yet. Instead, Sinatra recorded his album “The Concert Sinatra” on a motion picture soundstage with multiple recording machines synchronized to capture as many different channels of stereo as possible. Since its original mix was prepared almost 50 years ago, these tapes of the sessions have not been touched since.

Fast forward to 2011, producer Charles Pignone used the original “Magnestripe” tapes from the recording session to create a completely new, remastered sound mix for this 2012 release. “The Concert Sinatra” has never sounded better. You can hear every instrument in its purest form as you feel as if you were on that soundstage back in 1963. Right from the first verse of “I Have Dreamed” Frank’s voice just wraps you up and takes you on a journey. The orchestra, conducted by Nelson Riddle, finds its musical peaks in the songs “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “This Nearly Was Mine,” without getting in the way of Sinatra’s classic vocals.

This new remastered version also includes two bonus songs that were recorded during these sessions, but were released as 45-rpm singles instead of being included on the original album. The song “California” was commissioned by Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown for Sinatra to create a new song for a Sacramento gala in 1963. The other bonus song is a never-before-heard version of our national anthem, “America, The Beautiful” sung by Sinatra with a 24-voice choir.

The newly released version of “The Concert Sinatra” was released back in January through the Concord Music Group. For more information, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CD Review: Don Dehlia Taps "Veins" For New Release

Alternative rockers Don Dehlia return with a new 3-song EP entitled “Veins.” The idea of this new release was that the band wanted to do a conjoined release with the prog-rock indie band Call Me Constant. Don Dehlia provided two new songs, “Stonewaller,” which shows the band stretching out of their comfort zone with a more expanding sound. The second song is a slow burner called “Faux Pas.” The music in this song is more compelling and shows us an interesting direction that the band is headed in.

The last song is called “Chiaroscuro” and is performed by Call Me Constant. The seven-plus minute rocker sounds more like ska-punk then progressive rock. The changes in tempo are what keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear what comes next.

The new release is available through Painted Ox Records. For more information, check out the band’s facebook page (facebook.com/dondehlia).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Will Release New Dawn Of Ashes EP

For over 10 years horror metal band, Dawn of Ashes have been feeding off the weak. Now, they return with a new 8-track digital EP entitled “Farewell To The Flesh.” The new release features three new songs along with remixes of past songs, “Transformation Within Fictional Mutation,” “Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space,” and “Seething the Flesh in the River ov Phlegethon.”

The album begins with the title-track “Farewell to the Flesh,” which attacks you with its machine-gun drumming and dark-evil vocals. The addition of keyboards gives the song a more grandeur feel. The other two new songs appear at the end of the EP. The song “Torture Devise Part 2” paints a picture in your mind with its monster-like vocals and dark overtones. The EP finishes with the quick one-minute instrumental “Blood-Shed with the 3rd Eye.”

Dawn of Ashes currently have no tour dates scheduled, but their new EP will be available digitally on February 14. For more information, including song samples, check out their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/dawnofashesofficial?sk=info).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Releases New Albums On Valentine's Day

There are two new releases coming from the classic Heavy Metal label, Metal Blade Records. First is from the doom metal band Pilgrim, who are ready to release their debut album on February 14th entitled “Misery Wizard.” The album features six songs, only one of them falls below the six-minute mark. The band’s trio of musicians put their main focus on their instrumentation as the songs carry that very dark, slow, heavy sound.

The introduction of the opening song, “Astaroth” perfectly lays out what to expect from this band. The constant drum beat and buzzing guitars (that never solo) become the very definition of doom metal. Songs like the 10-plus minute “Misery Wizard” just seems to go on and on with very little vocals or indication that the music is not stuck on repeat. The song “Quest” is centered on a consistent bass line that just gives enough life to the song, while the 11-minute epic “Masters of the Sky” tries to give the listener more vocals and a broader mix of sound. The album ends with the 13-minute “Forsaken Man” which follows along the same lines as the rest of the album, with its dark overtones and deep, heavy sounds.

Pilgrim has a string of dates at the beginning of March. For more information on this doom metal band, check out their website metalblade.com/pilgrim.

The other new release from Metal Blade records comes from New Orleans. The speed/death metal band Goatwhore will have a new album out February 14th entitled “Blood For The Master.” The quick-hitting new music follows hot on the heels of their 2009 breakthrough album “Carving Out The Eyes Of God.” The band has taken that new found popularity and used it to create one of the best albums of their career.

The band’s powerful, neck-breaking sound is heard right from the opening track, “Collapse In Eternal Worth.” The chaotic grace of “When Steel Meets Bone” and “In Deathless Tradition” is led by the dark, evil sounding vocals of singer Louis B. Falgoust II. The song “Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos” is the pinnacle of this album with its thrash metal sound. The occult is the main focus of most of the songs on this album, especially “Beyond the Spell of Discontent” and “Death to the Architects of Heaven.” The album closes with even greater neck-breaking speed, as the song “My Name Is Frightful Among The Believers” ends the album on a high note.

Goatwhore have a long list of live shows that run until mid-March. Check out goatwhore.net for a complete list of tour dates, as well as information on the new album.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CD Review: Moot Davis Steps Out On The "Town"

From New Jersey comes country crooner Moot Davis with his third album entitled “Man About Town.” His first two albums garnished him the attention of “leader in the new insurgent country music scene” and one of the Best Country Albums of the Year for 2007. Now, the honky-tonk singer is ready to return to his rightful place on top of the country music charts.

The album begins with the classic, honky-tonk, twang sounds of “Rags To Rhinestones” and “Rocket.” The album features Marty Stuart’s long-time guitarist Kenny Vaughan, who also doubled as the album’s producer, as well as steel guitar player Chris Scruggs, drummer Harry Stinson and bassist Paul Martin. The smoothness of Davis’ voice is heard in “Fade to Gold” and in “Crazy In Love With You” in which he duets with Elizabeth Cook. The song “How Long” shuffles along like a Johnny Cash Sun Records’ single as Davis then shows-off his storytelling lyrics in the 7-minute “Black & White Picture.” Moot Davis sounds like Chris Isaak on the meaningful “Memory Lane,” before closing the album with the slow country-jaunt of “Man About Town.”

Moot Davis has shows scattered throughout the first half of the year, with a string of dates in Nashville, TN. For a complete list of tour dates and information on Davis’s new album “Man About Town,” check out his website mootdavis.com.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CD Review: Mitch Ryder Makes "The Promise" For His Fans

The legendary Mitch Ryder began his career half-a-century ago with the 1962 single “That’s The Way It’s Gonna Be.” In the late 60’s, Mitch Ryder and his band The Detroit Wheels hit the Top 10 with the songs “Devil With A Blue Dress” and “Sock It To Me-Baby!” Mitch Ryder is ready to release a new album entitled “The Promise.” It will be Ryder’s first new album in 30 years to appear in the U.S.

Right from the opening track, “Thank You Mama” there is not doubts that Ryder knows how to turn up the funk. The new album contains 11 original songs that capture Ryder’s unique combination of funk, blues and rock. Ryder gets his bass groove going with the title track before heading down south with the Latin sounds of “Let’s Keep Dancing.” Ryder pours his heart and soul in to the ballad “Crazy Beautiful,” then rocks on the guitar driven “Get Real.” The album contains one cover song, a live version of the Jimmy Ruffin classic “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted,” before the album finishes with the politically charged “The Way We Were.”

Mitch Ryder’s new album, “The Promise” was produced by Don Was and be released in February. Mitch Ryder will be performing in Germany thru mid-March, but look for him to hit U.S. shores soon. For more information, please visit mitchryder.net.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CD Review: Kingsley Flood Feel "Colder Still" With New EP

From Boston comes Kingsley Flood with a new EP entitled "Colder Still" which proves why this bend received all the accolades from its first album. Kingsley Flood was named Best Roots Act in the 2010 and 2011 in the Phoenix Best Music Poll. They also hit #48 on the iTunes Roots Music chart and #1 on Amazon's Roots Music chart.

Their new album begins with "I Don't Wanna Go Home" which fits in perfectly with today's Americana scene that includes the likes of Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers. This uptempo song is a great piece of folk-rock music with a chorus that sticks in your head. The band aims for a more bluegrass sound with "Wonderland" with its fiddles and harmonies. The lyrics of "Black Boots" are masterfully sung by Naseem Khuri, as the electric guitar solo give the song its edge. The country sounds of "Quiet Quiet Ground" and "House on the Hill" are broken-up by the rockabilly rhythms of "Mannequin Man." All three songs display the versatility this band has to offer.

Kingsley Flood have a couple of shows left on their current tour, but be sure to check out their website (kingsleyflood.com) as more dates are announced. Also make sure to check out their new EP while you're there.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CD Review: Attack! Attack! Goes To "War"

From Columbus, OH come hardcore metal rockers Attack! Attack! with a new album entitled “This Means War.” The album was released back in January on Rise Records and peaked at #11 on the Billboard Album chart. The album was produced by frontman Caleb Shomo and is also the first album not to feature Joey Sturgis in the production seat.

The album comes blasting out of the gate with the lead-off track, “The Revolution,” which seems like a “call to arms” as Shomo’s vocals attack the lyrics. The album’s first single is “The Motivation” which is just a complete barrage of music and noise until the slow-down chorus. The album’s second single is “The Wretched,” that features some nice drum work by Andrew Wetzel as Shomo’s vocals become a little more mainstream rock. The album continues with this hard-hitting formula all the way through to the last song, “The Eradication.” Attack! Attack! give you 36 minutes of adrenaline pumping, hardcore music.

Attack! Attack! is currently on tour promoting the new album. They will be in Connecticut on February 25 at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury. For a complete list of dates and information on the new album, please visit attackattackoh.com.

Monday, February 6, 2012

CD Review: RAM Bring Out "Death"

Heavy Metal band RAM return with a new album entitled “Death” on Metal Blade Records. Since their formation in 1999, RAM has stayed true to what heavy metal meant and stood for. Their new release continues that belief with amazing guitar riffs and “in your face” vocals.

The album begins with the 3-minute, keyboard heavy instrumental that lays the ground work for your trip through the heavy metal sounds of “Death.” The blazing guitars and powerhouse drumming of “…Comes From The Mouth Beyond” is what fans of metal music have been waiting for from RAM. The album’s first single, “Defiant” has that classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound, very similar to early Iron Maiden. RAM speeds things up with the head-banging drumming of Morgan Pettersson in “Under the Scythe.” The album closes with the instrumental soundscapes of “1771,” which bookends the album nicely.

RAM have a couple of festival scheduled at the moment, but watch for more dates to be announced soon. For more information, check out the band’s website (http://www.metalblade.com/ram/).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

CD Review: Matt & The City Limits "Crash" Onto The Music Scene

Jazz Prodigy Matt Berman is ready to release his debut album entitled “Crash.” Matt and his band, The City Limits, hail from New York and combine the sound of his influences like Steely Dan with the clever pop-oriented wordplay of John Mayer and Jason Mraz to make some truly original music.

The album begins with “That Girl,” which is a great introduction to shows off the wonderful talents of The City Limits as they complement Matt’s vocals perfectly. At times it sounds like Matt and The City Limits are bringing Jazz to the mainstream in the pop-style of “Keep Love,” but also proudly display their love for classic Jazz, in the nightclub sounds of “Change.” Matt lets his vocals soar on the ballad “On the Other Side” before finishing with the horn-lead instrumental “Bring It On Home To Me.”

The new album will be released on February 21 through Island/Def Jam records. For more information on Matt and the City Limits new album “Crash,” please visit their facebook page (facebook.com/MattandTheCityLimits).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

CD Review: Celebrate Mardi Gras With A New Release From The Concord Music Group

New from Rounder Records, a division of the Concord Music Group, comes a new compilation just in time for Mardi Gras. The new album entitled “Meet Me At Mardi Gras” brings together a dozen artists that bring some of these classic southern songs to life adding their own flair.

The album begins with the funky original, “Say Na Hey,” a song that is sure to get you up out of your seat and moving. The most famous song on this compilation is “Goin’ Back To New Orleans” which has been covered by artists, Dr. John and Deacon John. The song is performed here by Joe Liggins and his backing jazz band, The Honeydrippers who put a classic spin on the song. Singer Zachary Richard adds a bit of island flair to The Hawkettes original “Mardi Gras Mambo,” while the New Orleans Nightcrawlers stretch-out the party-filled “Funky Liza” to over seven minutes. The fun continues with Larry Williams' quick version of the traditional “Jockamo (Iko-Iko)” and also with Al Johnson’s retro sounding “Carnival Time.” The parade begins with this New Orleans’ anthem “Go to the Mardi Gras,” before the album closes with the Mardi Gras staple “Meet Me With You Black Drawers On” performed by Chuck Carbo who is from the vocal group The Spiders.

This album is sure to capture the spirit of that wonderful February festival. So, if you can’t make it to New Orleans, all you need to do is pick-up this album and have your own Mardi Gras wherever that may be. This album was released at the beginning of January and is available now through major music retailers. For more information, please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Friday, February 3, 2012

CD Review: Drunken Prayer Enters "The Missionfield"

Indie-folk band Drunken Prayer are releasing their sophomore album, “Into The Missionfield” on February 7 through Fluff & Gravy Records. The music on this new album ranges from classic Americana to garage rock with clever folk lyrics sprinkled throughout.

The album starts off with the gentle, slow-build of “Brazil,” which introduces to singer Morgan Christopher Geer as the songs sounds like an outtake from The Band’s early years. Drunken Prayer picks up the tempo on the fast-paced garage rocker “Ain’t No Grave,” before heading out to the country on “Always Sad” with its simple, easy to follow lyrics. The band heads back to the garage on the sixties sounding “Talk A Walk” then slows down for the country jaunt of “The Missionfield.” Geer has fun with his lyrics in the acoustic storytelling of “Beachcomber,” then finishes with the slow burn of “Never Tend To Forget.”

Drunken Prayer have a load of tour dates, beginning along the east coast in March before stopping at the SXSW festival and the Doo-Nanny Outsider Folk Art Festival at the end of the month. For a complete list of tour dates and information on the new album, check out drunkenprayer.com.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

CD Review: The Jealous Sound Return With A "Reminder"

After a nine year absence, The Jealous Sound return with their sophomore effort entitled "A Gentle Reminder." The new release will need to live up to the hype of its predecessor "Kill Them With Kindness" which was named one of Spin magazines' best albums of 2003. The new album was recorded at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 and was produced by John Lousteau.

The 10-track release begins with "Beautiful Morning" in which frontman Blair Shehan gets to flex his vocals during the chorus. The only other original member is guitarist Pedro Benito who lets his presence known on the uptempo, alternative rocker "Change You." The tempo changes of "Promise of The West" displays how the band's songwriting has grown since its last release. The album peaks with the modern rocker "This Is Where It Starts" and contagious, sing-along chorus of "Perfect Timing."

The new album was released on January 31 through Music Is Subjective and Fontana Distribution. The Jealous Sound will began their tour soon which runs through the month of February. For a complete list of dates, please visit the band's website (jealoussound.com).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CD Review: Pop Music Finds Its Youth With Young London

From Boston, MA comes the new pop duo Young London with their new self-titled debut album on Fugitive Records. Performers Matt and Sarah find the right combination of Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, and then add a bit of electro-dance flair to their original sound.

The album’s lead-off single “New Reputation” is very addicting with its repetitive chorus and top 40 beats that just get carried through the entire album. Every song sounds like a radio hit, including “Let Me Go” and “Dangerous.” The song “Whipped” is one of the highlights of the album that fully displays the talents of these two musical artists. Sarah’s vocals on “The Good Stuff” and “U Got Me” can be compared to some of today’s pop divas as she may, one day, become the newest member to this club.

For information on Young London, including song samples, videos, tour dates and more, check out their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/younglondonmusic).