Friday, November 30, 2012

CD Review: CT's Ghost Of Chance Releases New EP, While Dastardly Sings "Ballads"

Connecticut’s own Ghost Of Chance is putting out a 4-song EP, “Paddle Boat” to tide their fans over before their next full-length album. A movie soundtrack-type surf guitar leads the way on “Mexico City,” while “Wooden Tambourine” has that classic ‘60’s backbeat that's going to keep the song energized. The real California surf sound is hear on “Stormageddon,” before closing the album with the loud, guitar driven “Bobcat Villager.”

The new EP, “Paddle Boat” is available now. For more information, check out ghostofchance.com.

Another new 4-song EP comes from Chicago’s own Dastardly. After the release of the debut EP back in January, the band reconvened to put together their second EP entitled “Ballads In Blue” which was released back in July. Their songs carry a very early, New Orleans jazz sound with banjos and spoon-clapping as in the opener “Sentimental Blue.” Their music is self-described as The Muppets music “mixed with beautiful harmonies and interesting/haunting lyrics,” like in “So Long, Caroline.” The EP closes with the Queen-like lullaby of “Blue Dreams.”

Dastardly also has an album of demos entitled “Songs For Sad Clowns” which is available now. For more information, please visit http://dastardlytheband.tumblr.com/.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CD Review: New Music From Indie Artists Erez & The End And Nick Peay

From New York City come the roots/folk rockers, Erez And The End with their debut EP, “Silent Mountains.” Lead singer Erez Eisenman has a very weathered sound to his voice as heard in the opening track, “Better Days.” He could easily fill-in as a voice double for the legendary Marc Knopfler as his style of singing puts the accent on certain words to give a different feel to the song as in the title track. The band picks up the tempo on the mellow rocker; “No More Cryn” as Erez sounds like his is stretching out to reach some of those higher notes. The album closes with the slow jaunt of “For A Little While” which suits the band overall sound and storytelling lyrics.

Erez And The End’s new EP “Silent Mountains” is available now. The band will be performing at The Shrine in New York on December 21. For more information, please visit erezandtheend.com.

Louisville singer/songwriter Nick Peay recently released a four-song EP entitled “Feathers & Fables.” His new album begins with the acoustic rocker “(Two Miserable) Blackbirds” which hits the alternative mainstream sound of today’s radio.  He slows down to create a more gentle pop-rock approach in “Fly Away,” but it’s his simply acoustic, coffeehouse approach that allows the listen just get lost in his lyrics as on the closer “Mockingbird.”

For more information on this rising artist, please visit nickpeaymusic.com.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CD Review: New Music From Some West Coast Artists

Oregon singer/songwriter Barry Brusseau is ready to release his second album “The Royal Violent Birds.” This follows his self-released, vinyl exclusive debut album and his CD-only EP. In order to make his new album, Brusseau put away fifty dollars from his pay check in order to record at Portland’s Type Foundry Studio. The dedication paid off, as his songs sound so pure and real as in “Across The Fire” and “Empty Head.” His voice sounds so genuine and pure at heart that you can put on his album and sit back and relax with a good glass of wine. His lyrics play out like short stories as in “Home Sick Yawn” and on the album closer “Till The Wind Blows Everything.”

For more information on Barry Brusseau and his new album “The Royal Violent Birds,” please visit his website at barrybrusseau.com.

From Los Angeles, CA comes another singer/songwriter, but with a pop-rock sound that is big right now on modern rock radio. Shotgun Honeymoon recently released his latest 5-song EP entitled “The Culmination” on Rock ‘n Renew Records. As I said the music on this new album has an upbeat, pop-rock vibe with some great lyrics to go along with the music. Songs like “Show Me” and “How To Fail” just need to find the right audience to become big. His songwriting shines through on the slower, more folk-style songs like “1000 Years Ago” and the closer “Wishing.”

To find out more about Shotgun Honeymoon, just make to visit shotgunhoneymoon.com.

Finally we get to the new debut album, “Learning” from the Oregon-based trio, Pictorials. The sound on this 4-song EP carries a modern-rock, underground alternative sound, especially on the opening song, “Sense Of Vanity.” The music chugs along with “Mystery Matter,” before getting a punk-like drumbeat in “The News.” The album closes with the experimental sounds of “Movement” as the band sticks close to roots with their sound.

To find out more on the Pictorials, please visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Pictorialsband.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CD Review: Finishing November With New Music From Metal Blade Records

Heavy Metal record label, Metal Blade Records took over November 20 by releasing five new albums from some of metal’s underground giants. New music from Aeon, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Troubled Horse, Sacred Reich and Diagonal are now available to band your head to.

First off is the one, two punch of Sacred Reich and Aeon. Sacred Reich is releasing their live show from 2007’s Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. It features the full 12-song set from that show which includes songs from throughout the band’s 15 years and a spot on cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in which the audience takes over the lead vocals. The band’s thrash metal sound has propelled Sacred Reich to the top of the metal community with their aggressive sound. The album begins with the heaviness of “The American Way” before kicking it into high gear on “Administrative Decisions.” The live album closes with the guitar driven “Death Squad” which leads into the fan favorite “Surf Nicaragua.” The live CD comes with a DVD of the show as well as some interviews and candid footage.

Sweden death metal band Aeon are back, releasing their fourth album “Aeons Black” and are ready to reign supreme as the world’s most noted underground death metal band. The 15-song release just blasts the flesh off your face. Right from the opening explosion of music in “Still They Pray,” Aeon is ready to take no prisoners on their assault on your senses of hearing. The growling  vocals on “The Glowing Hate” and the machine gun like drumming of “I Wish You Death” are just a couple of examples of what this band has to offer. The album closes with energetic attack of “Die By My Hand,” which features some amazing guitar work.

Also from Sweden comes the ‘70’s, garage rock sound of Troubled Horse with their debut album “Step Inside.” The band features three members from the original band Witchcraft, who are also known for their classic rock sound. The new album starts off with “Tainted Water” as you’d swear it came from the band Blue Cheer or Steppenwolf. The band’s sound combines the raw, freshness of The Black Keys with the big classic rock sound of Deep Purple, especially in “Another Man’s Name.” The album finishes up with the soulful groove of “I’ve Been Losing.”

Newcomers Diagonal and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are both looking to take a bigger slice of the heavy metal pie with their new albums. Progressive rockers Diagonal return from the debut album with “The Second Mechanism.” The five-songs bring you on a journey as the band jams on the opening song “Voyage/Paralysis.” With songs hitting the nine and ten minute mark, Diagonal let the music do the talking for them. Now the trio of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats has developed a cult following through Youtube. With only two self-financed, mail order only albums available, not much is known about this heavy, melodic rock group. Here we get a proper release of their self-made album, “Blood Lust” with a newly recorded album due next spring. The rough recordings show a band with classic rock influences as they combine them with the horror genre to create an appealing death metal sound. 

For more information on all these new releases from Metal Blade Records, please be sure to visit metalblade.com.

Monday, November 26, 2012

CD Review: Oak Street Blues Are "Waiting For Something" On Their New Release

From Southern California comes the Oak Street Blues with their new album entitled “Waiting For Something” on Slo Mo Records. The sound on this new release is pure indie rock as the band experiments with their music creating a truly alternative rock sound.
 
The album begins with the catchy guitar hook of “Stars” as the band tries to create a pop radio hit. Then Oak Street Blues get a little funky with “Heavy On The Backbeat,” before rocking out on “Perfect.” The band brings back an underground eighties sound to their music with “Miss U,” then they bring their live show influence into the “Robot Song.” The album closes with the band giving their all for “You.”
 
Oak Street Blues has some live dates left on their calendar running until the end of the year. For more information, please visit oakstreetblues.com.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CD Review: Calvin Harris Fills "18 Months" With Hit Singles

From Scotland comes singer/songwriter/DJ/producer Calvin Harris with his new album “18 Months.” This album has been highly anticipated following the success of his gold and platinum selling singles “Let’s Go” and “Feel So Close,” respectively and his multi-platinum hit with Rihanna, “We Found Love.” The album was released on October 30 through Columbia Records in association with Fly Eye Records and Deconstruction. Over half of the fifteen songs feature guest appearance from the like of Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch, Kelis and Ne-Yo amongst others.
 
The album begins with the introduction of “Green Valley” with the repetitive lyric of “Oh,” but quickly changes gears to the dance floor with “Bounce” featuring vocals by Kelis. We finally get Calvin’s vocals on the upbeat single, “Feel So Close,” which was his first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart reaching #12. The song that blew up on the chart is “We Found Love” with Rihanna’s smooth vocals leading the way which is also featured on her album “Talk That Talk.” Calvin Harris gets to show off his DJ skills on the instrumentals “Mansion” and “Awooga,” but it’s the songs with vocals like “Drinking From The Bottle” featuring Tinie Tempah that gives the album more substance. Harris closes with what could be considered for another single, the dance-floor, pop of “Thinking About You” featuring Ayah Marar.
 
For more information on Calvin Harris’ new album “18 Months,” be sure to visit calvinharris.co.uk.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Review: Willie Nelson Gives Us Tips From The Road In "Roll Me Up"

One of the more interesting books to be released this past month is based on country music legend Willie Nelson and his adventures on the road. The book is called "Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die: Musing From The Road" and it was published on November 13 through William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Willie Nelson has recorded over one hundred albums during his six decades in the music industry. He has toured the world more times than he cares to say and now we get his input on his family, religion, the environment and one of his favorite pastimes, marijuana. This is one easy book to get wrapped up in as it reads so natural.

The book begins with some of Willie's early memories about Reddy, his first "horse" and about being a door to door salesman before writing music. Willie loves to take about his family, bragging at every possibility. One of the things about this book that makes it stand out is it features some of Willie Nelson's son Micah's drawings and some of Willie's poetry and song writings that has not been used before for any of his thousand songs. The book feels like you sat down and had a cup off coffee with Willie Nelson and he told you his life story.

A must have book for fans of legendary music artists and just how they deal with life on the road. This book is available now at all major outlets. For more information, please visit http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Roll-Me-Up-and-Smoke-Me-When-I-Die-Willie-Nelson?isbn=9780062193643&HCHP=TB_Roll+Me+Up+and+Smoke+Me+When+I+Die

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: Miles Davis Defines Cool In "The Complete Illustrated History"

New from Voyageur Press comes an outstanding book based on one of the greatest jazz musicians of all-time, Miles Davis. "The Complete Illustrated History" features 224 pages choke full of photos, album covers, concert posters and more. Many of the early pictures of Miles Davis' career look like artistic pieces as the photographer captures a mood through their lenses. It's also great to see Miles' transformation through the years in pictures. Beginning as a sideman for Charlie Parker, continuing as a solo artist, defining cool, until his chart-topping combination of rock and jazz.

The book also features input from acclaimed jazz artists Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock as they discuss Miles Davis rise to stardom from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Comedian and jazz connoisseur Bill Cosby discusses the coolness of Miles Davis' style, while Francis Davis gives his insight on some of the great jazz ballads that Miles Davis produced over the course of three decades. This book also includes input from over a dozen more artists and authors giving their educated opinion on all the different aspects to Davis' career.

This book has it all, from the way Miles Davis changed the face of Jazz, to his dark side of drug abuse, to creating an album that will stand the test of time. The book has become the new "go to" place to find out about all things Miles Davis. For more information "Miles Davis: the Complete Illustrated History," pleas visit voyageurpress.com.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Book Review: "Five Brothers" Discuss The Past Of New Kids On The Block

A brand new authorized biography from Simon & Schuster features one of the most popular, most successful boy bands of all time, the New Kids On The Block. The new book entitled “Five Brothers And A Million Sisters” was released on October 2nd and is the first authorized biography to include input from every member of the band. Author Nikki Van Noy does an excellent job digging for the most accurate accounts of what happened in their early days growing up in Boston and the formation of Nynuk. NKOTB recall their rise to fame following the release of their 1988 single “Please Don’t Go Girl” and how their lives changed with the success of their multi-platinum albums “Hangin’ Tough” and “Step By Step.” They also discuss what went into each recording of those hit albums.

Not only does the book touch on the highs, but also the lows of the early to mid-nineties when their album “Face The Music” failed to crack the Top 20. It became hard for NKOTB and their die-hard fans to come to terms with the members of the group going their separate ways. But, their return to glory came almost 15 years later as they capped off an amazing comeback with a new album, “The Block,” successful tours and a career high, a sold-out show at Boston’s Fenway Park on June 11, 2011. The book also gets fans perspectives on how protective they are of their boy band.

The 275 page, hardcover book also contains 16 pages of high-glossy photos and little informational writings at the end of each chapter. To find out more about “New Kids On The Block: Five Brothers And A Million Sisters,” please visit nkotbandus.com or simonandshuster.com.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CD Review: Aerosmith Rejoin To Make Sweet "Music From Another Dimension"

Legendary rockers Aerosmith recently released their fifteenth studio album, “Music From Another Dimension!” on November 6th. It is the band’s first album of new material in over eleven years. In those past eleven years, the band has seen some highs and a lot of lows, many of them seem to involve lead singer Steven Tyler. He’s had to get a hold his addictive personality, which almost cost him his position in the band, but on the flipside, Tyler introduced Aerosmith to a whole new generation through his stint on American Idol. But now the band is back together as one huge monster of classic rock and blues.

The new fifteen song album contains all the ingredients that have made Aerosmith the powerhouse they are today. Beginning with the straight-up rock of “Luv XXX,” you instantly remember how great this band sounds together. They try to combine the bluesy rock of “Out Go The Lights” and “Closer” with the pop sounds of “What Could Have Been Love” and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” as the album fluctuates with the up and down tempos. The songs that save this album from being another throwaway Aerosmith album is the fast-paced heaviness of “Street Jesus” and the classic Aerosmith sound of “Lover A lot.” Guitarist Joe Perry gets his turn on the lead vocals in “Freedom Fighter,” but it’s the combination of drummer Joey Kramer, bassist Tom Hamilton and guitarist Brad Whitford that makes the songs all work as a complete album. They finish this release with the piano ballad “Another Last Goodbye,” which shows us why Steven Tyler is the one and only true front man of this truly exceptional band.

Aerosmith are currently on the road, promoting the new album. Dates run until mid-December, but look for more dates to be announced soon. For more information, please be sure to visit aeroforceone.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CD Review: "Young States" Debuts For Citizen

From Toledo, OH comes the indie rockers Citizen with their debut EP entitled “Young States.” The album was released back on October 23 on Run For Cover Records and the band just wrapped up a month of live dates.

The new 7-song EP starts off with the energetic song “Untitled,” which carries a punk-rock edginess to it. The band youthfulness pours into the songs “Young States” and “Drown.” They also show us that they are just more than about blasting your eardrums with the mainstream rock of “I Still Shut My Eyes” and the darkness heard in “Detached.” The EP closes with the quick, aggressive sound of “I’m Sick of Waiting.”

Digital copies of the album contain bonus tracks, acoustic versions of a few of the songs on the new album. For more information on this new rising band, please visit the band’s facebook page (facebook.com/Citizentheband).

Monday, November 19, 2012

CD Review: Former Dokken Members Reunite For Some T&N

New powerhouse hard rock band T&N reunites “The Big Three” (George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown) from the eighties rock giant Dokken to create a supergroup within itself. The band just released their debut album “Slave To The Empire” on October 30 and it features seven original songs and five newly recorded versions of Dokken classics like “It’s Not Love” and “Kiss of Death.” The album also features guest appearances from Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Robert Mason (Warrant), Sebastian Back (Skid Row) and Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest).
 
The album begins with the drumming attack of Brian Tichy on the title song, “Slave To The Empire” as the song is just a blazing return to the hard rocking eighties. Their classic sound is heard on all the original songs like “Sweet Unknown” and “Rhythm of the Soul,” but it’s the remakes of the Dokken songs that make you sit up and take notice. Doug Pinnick’s vocals fit in perfectly on the fast-paced “Tooth and Nail,” while “Alone Again” sound more like a Skid Row cover from 1989 than a newly recorded version. T&N sound more energetic on the originals like “Mind Control” and “Access Denied” as they are out to prove they still can rock as hard as any band out there.
 
The new album is available now through Rat Pak Records (ratpakrecords.com). For more information on this gathering of hard rock giants, be sure to visit the band’s facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/TN/264254906995701).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

CD Review: The Blue James Band Want You To Give Them "Love" For Their New Release

From Boston, MA comes the Blue James Band with their third full-length album “Give Me The Love Or Give Me The Fight.” It was released back in September through Payne Records and produced by founding member Clifton Williams and Scott Riebling (Weezer, We The Kings). The new album combines all the band’s influences of roots rock, reggae and classic rock to create an adventure for the listener.
 
The album begins with “Not Ready For You,” which mixes the band’s bar rock sound with touches of reggae to give the song a sunny island vibe. The Blue James Band keeps the music fresh with the bright, up-lifting sounds of the title song and “They Come and They Go." Williams and the band hit the heights on the mellow jam of “Everyone’s Running” as you can just imagine extending the music on that song in a live setting. The album closes with the funky “Standing In The Fire” and the slow-building, classic rock of “Eyes In The Dark.”
 
The Blue James Band has a load of shows scheduled in the northern New England area. For a complete list of live dates and for more information on the new album “Give Me The Love Or Give Me The Fight,” please visit bluejamesband.com.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CD Review: New Hits For The Holidays

With Thanksgiving coming this week and Christmas right around the corner, it's time to break out all those Christmas themed CD that get stored away for 11 months of the year. Which also means that record companies continue to produce new holiday themed albums from some of today's most popular music artists. This year seems like there are more choices, with current pop icons releasing Christmas albums as well as some very well established artists. Here are some new albums to help in your decision making.

First up is "Cheers, it's Christmas," from country music's "Entertainer of the Year," Blake Shelton. With the success he has found on NBC's "The Voice," now is the perfect time for him to release his first ever Christmas album through Warner Bros. Records. The 14-song CD features a mix of holiday classics like "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" alongside newly-written originals "Santa's Got A Choo Choo Train" and The Very Best Time Of Year." Blake Shelton also brought along some friends to join him. Reba McEntire duets with Blake on the country-twang of "Oklahoma Christmas" and Michael Buble lends a hand to his original "Home." This album is a great addition of fans of that old-fashion country Christmas.

Now if you're looking for something more pop-oriented, there are a couple of recently released choices. Christina Perri, who hit the heights of mainstream stardom with "Jar Of Hearts," has a new 6-song EP entitled "A Very Merry Perri Christmas." The songs on this release range from the gentle-piano original "Something About December" to the acoustic, slow-building "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." The ones that steal the show are "Merry Christmas Darling" and "Ave Maria," which allow Christina to really use her vocal talents. The other Christmas pop album is from Nickelodeon entitled "Merry Nickmas," which will be released by Columbia Records on November 20. The CD carries nine songs featuring Nickelodeon cast artists Drake Bell, Victoria Justice and Big Time Rush performing Christmas classics as well as some originals. This album also contains Rachel Crow's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," which she will be performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Dora float.

Now if you're not into any of the newly recorded Christmas albums, then I have the perfect thing for you.The newly remastered version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was released by Fantasy Records back in October and features three bonus tracks not on the original album. This album as become synonymous with Christmas since its original release in 1965. It was first released on CD in 1986 and since has been re-release and remastered four times. So why do we need another version, well as technology has improved, so has the ways of remastering and bringing out the best in the album's original sound. While the last version came out in 2006 with much controversy over the poor sound quality, this new 2012 version makes this the definitive version to have in your collection. While it does not include any alternate versions of the song on the soundtrack, it does include the original verision of "Greensleeves," which was left off the original album because of time restraints. Also, for the first time, paired with the Christmas songs are the two songs that pay tribute to the holidays prior, Halloween ("Great Pumpkin Waltz") and Thanksgiving ("Thanksgiving Theme"). This newly remastered version by Joe Tarantino really allows Vince Guaraldi keys to sound and new and fresh as ever before. For more information on this release, please visit http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-2012-Remastered-Expanded/.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CD Review: Simon Spire Uses Some "Four-Letter Words" In His New Release

From New York, via New Zealand, comes singer/songwriter Simon Spire with his second full-length album entitled “Four-Letter Words.” The album was released in October, where it reached #6 on the New Zealand Independent sales chart alongside such acts as Sufjan Stevens, John Mayer and Ryan Adams. Simon has also been receiving airplay on MTV.com, AOL Music and various retailers including Hollister, Levis and Foot Locker stores.

The new album starts off with the pop rock sound of “Liberate Your Love” as you can instantly notice a star on the rise. The album’s first single, “Uncomfortable” is a slow-build, pop-folk song which runs through the same vein as John Mayer or Conor Oberst. As Simon Spire picks up the tempo on “Knocking On An Open Door,” he begins to draw similar sounds to Crowded House. His songwriting shines on the slow-ballad “No Solid Ground,” before heading back to the pop-rock sound of “Find” and “Today.” The album finishes with Simon having fun with his lyrics on “Light Survives” and a clean version of his pop single “Uncomfortable.”

Simon Spire recently released his video for the song “Uncomfortable” which can be seen at http://www.simonspire.com/2012-uncomfortable-music-video/. For more information on the new album, “Four-Letter Words” please visit simonspire.com.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

CD Review: Guitarist Marcus Singletary Releases His First Anthology

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Marcus Singletary has become very nostalgic recently. Earlier this year he released the guitar solo compilation “Holy Guitar!” and now he is releasing a sixteen-song anthology entitled “Satan’s Spawn.” This album was assembled from demos, outtakes and songs from some of his past albums.

The album runs in a sort of chronological order, beginning with some very early recordings done on cassettes. The sound is a bit ruff at times, but they do show some potential in Marcus’ songwriting ability at a young age. It’s not until about halfway through the album that you get to hear the fullness of Marcus’s talents as in “Chicago Stomp” and “Shame.” This compilation anthology ends strong with the funk sounds of “Start Something” and “Get The Dance Gene” before closing with the nine-minute guitar solo “Occupy.”

To find out more about Marcus Singletary and his latest release “Satan’s Spawn,” please visit his facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MarcusSingletaryMusic).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CD Review: Jason Isbell Goes "Live" With His Band, The 400 Unit

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Jason Isbell released his first solo album back in 2007 after performing as a member of the Drive-By Truckers. He gathered a few established musicians to become his backing band, “The 400 Unit” and they released two albums together in 2009 and in 2011. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit supported fellow singer/songwriter Ryan Adams on a tour this past spring and then played a couple sold-out shows in his home state of Alabama, which were recorded for a live album. On November 20, fans will be treated to Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit’s first full-length live album entitled, “Live From Alabama.”

The live album begins with the up-tempo “Tour of Duty” off their most recent studio album “Here We Rest.” Jason wastes no time bringing out songs from his days with the Drive-By Truckers as he performs jamming renditions of “Decoration Day” and “Danko/Manual.” He also throws in some obscure covers like “Heart On A String,” which was also on his most recent studio album and Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane.” The band only visits Jason’s solo album once for “In Razor Town” as most of the songs in the set list dates back to his days with the Drive-By Truckers.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will be hitting the road on November 20 with a show at Grimey’s in Nashville, TN before making their way up to Connecticut on December 8 at the Arch Street Tavern in Hartford. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on their new live album, please visit jasonisbell.com.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CD Review: Blood Of The Sun Burn With "Desire" Along With Beyond Threshold

Finally making its way to North America is the latest release from Blood of the Sun. They will be releasing their fourth album “Burning On The Wings Of Desire” on November 27 through Listenable Records.

The band’s seventies influences are heard all throughout this new release, beginning with the Ted Nugent sounding “Let It Roll.” Blood of the Sun has honed their skills as each song is a four-minute flashback to when classic rock was exploding onto the music scene. Between the heavy metal drumming of “Rock Your Station” and “Good Feeling,” the band just keeps the energy going. The album closes with the seven-minute, keyboard driven “Good And Evil” as they end the trip on a high note.

For more information on Blood of the Sun and their new album “Burning On The Wings Of Desire,” check out the band’s facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Of-The-Sun/195026150602951).

Also recently released from Goomba Music is the second album from the heavy metal band, Beyond Threshold. Their dark, heavy rock sound comes through on “Downside” before they get the adrenaline flowing on “First Blood.” The aggressive “Ever-changing” and “Justify The Means” only prepares you for the “in your face,” head-banging sound of “Who We Are.”

Beyond Threshold have a handful of shows left this year. Check out the band’s facebook page (facebook.com/beyondthreshold) to find out more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

CD Review: Muse Follows "The 2nd Law" On New Release

English rockers, Muse released their sixth album, “The 2ndLaw” back in September as it debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The trio of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard created a rock opera using an abundance of musical styles and sounds.
 
The new album begins with “Supremacy” as the band dives into crunchy heavy metal guitars and pounding drums, backed by an orchestral string section. The band states that the album’s single, “Madness” was influenced by Queen’s song “I Want To Break Free” and David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps." The album’s latest single “Panic Station” gives Muse some funk mixed with English dance/pop. The band creates such a grand sound on “Survival” that you’d swear it was from a famous opera as the song became the official theme of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The band incorporates a lot of electronics into this release as in the dance beats of “Follow Me” and “Animals.” They return to a more classic rock sound on “Big Freeze” before closing the album with the mini-conceptual pieces of “The 2nd Law.”
 
Muse is currently performing in Europe before hitting U.S. shores in early 2013. For more information on the band’s new album “The 2ndLaw” please visit muse.mu.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

CD Review: Third Time Around For Dethklok With "Dethalbum III"

In honor of National Metal Day we get the latest release from melodic death metal band Dethklok. They recently released their third full length album entitled “Dethalbum III.” The band is featured in virtual form on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim program and was founded by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. Also featured in the band is drummer, Gene Hoglan and bassist, Bryan Beller.
 
The album is a full-out metal assault on the senses with a bit of a “tongue-in-cheek” humor. With songs like “I Ejaculate Fire” and “Killstardo Abominate” the lyrics under any other pretext would sound out of place, but fit perfectly with the aggressive attack of the music. The songs on this album are featured in seasons two, three and four of the animated show “Metalocalypse,” but fit together nicely on this release. While some of the lyrics to the songs are unrecognizable, the music is pure pumping adrenaline as on “Impeach God”and “Skyhunter.” The album closes with the motorized drumming of “Rejoin” as Dethklok continue to impress with quality heavy metal music.
 
For more information on the new album, “Dethalbum III” check out the band’s facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dethklok/25928656352. You can also catch their show, “Metalocalypse” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and look for Seasons 1-4 on video.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CD Review: Guitarist Gary Clark Jr. Turns New Album "Blak And Blu"

Texas born and raised singer, songwriter, guitarist Gary Clark Jr. has had a year he will never forget, and neither will his legion of fans. After releasing two solo albums that failed to make a dent in the musical spectrum, his 4-song EP "The Bright Lights EP" earned a five-star rating in Rolling Stone magazine. The anticipation of his new full-length solo album only increased as the year went on. He performed along side blues legends B.B. King and Buddy Guy at the "Red, White and Blues" event at the White House and also shared the stage with the Dave Matthews Band and Alicia Keys.

His latest release, "Blak And Blu" came out on October 22nd where it debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The 13-song album shows the many different musical sides of Gary Clark Jr. The album begins with the funk-rock of "Ain't Messin' Around," before Clark shows off his guitar chops in the Jimi Hendrix infused "When My Train Pulls In." If the guitar solo in that song doesn't make you a believer, then his guitar work in "Glitter Ain't Gold" definitely will. Now, don't get caught thinking that Gary Clark Jr. only knows how to play rock and blues. He displays a sweet rhythm & blues beat in the title song before heading to a dance, pop sound on "The Life," which was influenced by his writing sessions with Alicia Keys. But if it's the blues you're looking for, then look no further then "Numb" and "Third Stone From The Sun/If You Love Me Like You Say." The way he takes influences from the past and recreates them for today's sound is uncanny. The album closes with the country-blues stomp of "Next Door Neighbor Blues" as Gary Clark Jr. summons up the ghost of John Lee Hooker.

Gary Clark Jr. is finishing up the year with a string of dates in California. For more information on this rising blues artist, be sure to visit garyclarkjr.com.

Friday, November 9, 2012

CD Review: Cisco Adler Says "Aloha" To New Solo Career

California recording artist Cisco Adler is finally ready to release his debut solo album, “Aloha.” After fronting the rock band Whitestarr, Adler turned his attention to working with hip-hop artist Shwayze. After three successful albums, it was time for Cisco Adler to return to his roots on his island beats filled new album.

Cisco incorporates the help of G. Love on the Sublime-style of “You’re A Fool” as the groove becomes so contagious you’d wish you were on a beach. Adler adds a little hip-hop beat and rapping reggae to “Boom Boom Boom” with the help of Don Carlos and G Eazy. The album’s feel good appeal shines on “Classic” and “Waking Up In Paradise” as the North Mississippi All-Stars lend a hand. Cisco spreads his love on “Tha Good Life” as he shares the vocal duties with Mod Sun and Pat Brown. The songs begin to take on a more pop appeal with “Medicine” and “Try You,” finishing with the laid-back beats of “Sunday Afternoon.

Cisco Adler is currently on tour promoting his new album, “Aloha.” For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on the new album, please visit ciscoadlerpresents.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

CD Review: King's Bullet Duo Debut Their New Album

From Nashville, TN comes the country/rock duo King’s Bullet with their self-titled debut album. King’s Bullet is made up of singer/songwriters Trey Bruce and Loni Rose. Both artists are not new to the music industry, but are beginning a new adventure together.

The new 8-song EP starts off with Loni’s warm, comforting voice on “Watermelon Sun” as the music just sets the perfect backdrop. King’s Bullet slows the music down to a country jaunt on the heartfelt ballad “I Won’t Be Your Second Choice,” before building the tempo back up on “What Were You Thinking.” The album’s first single, “One Brick Shy” is a true duet between these exceptional songwriters, displaying the passion, but lacking the energy of some of the other songs on this release. The album closes with the perfect blend of their two voices on “Been There.”

King’s Bullet new album is available now on iTunes and at Amazon.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CD Review: Chicago Artists Cole DeGenova And Hemmingbirds Roll Out New Albums

From Chicago comes soul singer Cole DeGenova with his second full-length album “Another Country.” The album was produced by Greg Magers (Lupe Fiasco, Matt Santos) and released back in August.

The album begins with the R&B/dance of “Those Kids” as the song combines the perfect mixture of up-beat tempos and pop lyrics. Cole brings a little of that Stevie Wonder soul into his music in the songs “Miles and Miles” and “Blues No More.” He also adds some funk to his musical repertoire with “Lovely Generation” and “Whose Baby Are You,” before finishing with the experimental keyboard sounds of “Decolonized Minds.”

Cole DeGenova has a busy schedule through the end of the year with shows scattered around Chicago, plus a show in London and in Nashville, TN. For more information on Cole DeGenova and his new album “Another Country,” please visit coledegenova.com.

Also from Chicago comes the return of Hemmingbirds with their sophomore album, “The Vines Of Age.” The album was released back in September and was funded by Kickstarter, which allowed the band to reach their goal of $2500 in 16 days.

The new album starts off with “My Love, Our Time Is Now” a modern rocker with some great musical breaks and an upbeat sound that is very infectious. Guitars are blazing a path in “Line Of Bones,” before the band slows down for the gentle acoustic ballad, “Oak Tree.” The band’s mainstream alternative rock sound shines on “Toxic Noise” and “Better Than,” before experimenting with the screeching guitar sounds of “Evening Is Rising.” The album closes with the big, epic sound of “Falling Through The Aether.”

The Hemmingbirds have some shows scheduled in the middle of the U.S. beginning November 8 at The Fremont in Des Moines, IA. For a complete list of live show and for more information on the new album, please visit hemmingbirds.com.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CD Review: Green Day Begin Their Album Trilogy With "Uno!"

American punk band, Green Day are riding a creative high. Their 2004 album (American Idiot) and 2009 album (21st Century Breakdown) both won Grammy awards and achieved platinum status. They created a successful musical based on these two albums and are now looking to regain their place as one of the premier punk bands of the world.
 
When the band entered the studio back in February, the band had so much great material that they decided to release a trilogy of albums. The first release of this trilogy, entitled “Uno!” brings together 12 upbeat songs that flow between garage punk and epic pop rock.
 
The album begins with “Nuclear Family” as the band’s sound returns to their 1994 album “Dookie.” The song’s quick-paced drumming and simple guitar riffs makes Billie Joe Armstrong’s vocals sound so aggressive and in-your-face. Green Day have plastered their influences all over this album, with The Clash sounding “Carpe Diem” and the Operation Ivy sound of “Let Yourself Go.” The album’s second single “Kill The DJ” has a British dance-rock beat that sounds very fresh in the hands of Green Day. The band’s edginess comes shining through on “Angel Blue,” before closing the album with the pop-fused punk sounds of “Oh Love.”
 
Green Day will be releasing the second album of the trilogy,“Dos!” on November 12 and chapter three, “Tre!” on December 11. The band was to embark on a U.S. tour at the end of November, but have since put their plans on hold in order for Billie Joe Armstrong to recover. For up to date news and more information on this trilogy of music, please visit greenday.com.

Monday, November 5, 2012

CD Review: The Debut Album From Ménage Rocks Among Siblings

From Los Angeles, CA comes the brother-sister trio Ménage with their self-titled debut album. The new album will be released on November 13 through Liberdade Records in association with American Lie and Loud and Profound Records. Originally from Toronto, Canada; the siblings used to travel to Portugal to visit with family which found an influence into their pop-rock sound.
 
The album begins with the guitar blazing rocker, “Bury Us Young” as singer Basillio Fernando Ferreira has a very edgy sound to his vocals that only get smoothed out by the harmonizing of his sister Bela. She gets her chance in the spotlight, taking the lead vocals on “We’ll Be Alright” and “Doomed From The Start.” The album’s first single, “Tonight” has the perfect mix of vocals by the siblings as well as an up-tempo beat and an ear-catching chorus. This formula also works in the song “These Are The Days,” which should be considered strongly as the second single. Ménage add a more pop to their sound in the song “Now We Walk,” before closing out the album with the slow-sway of “Better This Way.”
 
Ménage has a couple U.S. dates on the schedule, including November 6 at the Viper Room in Los Angeles and November 10 at the University of California. For more information on Ménage and their new album, please visit menagetheband.com.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

CD Review: Matchbox Twenty Head "North" With New Album

American pop/rock band, Matchbox Twenty returned with their first new album of all new material in ten years. This past September saw the release of the band’s fourth studio album, “North” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The album was produced by Matt Serletic, who produced all of Matchbox Twenty’s albums and was released through Emblem and Atlantic Records.
 
The new album begins with a just a simple guitar and Rob Thomas’ familiar voice on “Parade,” as if they were never gone for that long. The album’s first two singles (“She’s So Mean” and “Overjoyed”) reminds us how Matchbox Twenty crafts such infectious pop hits that are pure fun to listen to. The band ads some club beats to the dance floor on “Put Your Hands Up” before returning to rock on “Our Song.” The heartfelt ballad “I Will” just puts you at ease before the album builds back up to speed with “English Town” and “How Long.” The album closes with the mellow “Sleeping At The Wheel” as Thomas digs deep for his vocals.
 
Matchbox Twenty are finishing out the year with a few shows in Australia, but watch for more U.S. tour dates next year. For more information on their new album, “North” check out their website at matchboxtwenty.com.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

CD Review: Tony Bennett Lets Loose His Latin Side With "Viva Duets"

Tony Bennett doesn’t know of the word “retire.” At 86 years young, Tony Bennett is releasing his latest album of new recordings entitled “Viva Duets.” This album follows his prior two platinum selling duets-themed albums. This version adds a little bit of spice as Bennett duets with some of the top names in the Latin recording community. All of Bennett’s “Duets” albums were recorded live in the studio and this one is no exception as Bennett and the artist are able to feed off each other’s energy.
 
Even if Spanish is not your first or even second language, this album carries the passion that Tony Bennett puts into each of his performances. Whether it is the loving rendition of “The Way You Look Tonight” with Mexican singer, Thalia or the jazz-filled “Are You Havin’ Any Fun?”featuring Dani Martin, Tony Bennett’s voice sets the stage for each guest to rise to the occasion. Even when he duets with the ever popular ladies of Latin, Christina Aguilera and Gloria Estefan, Tony’s voice becomes the main attraction of the recording. One of the highlights of this album is Bennett’s duet with Marc Anthony on Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” as each artist makes the other one sound so pure. The album closes with the classic “Return To Me” done with some Latin flair provided by Vicente Fernandez as it was recorded at Fernandez’ ranch in Guadalajara.
 
The new album was released on October 22 through Columbia Records and debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. Tony Bennett is currently touring the U.S. before heading down to Brazil in December. For more information, please visit tonybennett.com.

Friday, November 2, 2012

CD Review: Brittany Jean Made Sure To "Let It Go" On Her New EP

Singer/songwriter Brittany Jean returns with her second EP entitled “Let It Go.” It was released on October 23 and features five songs that are described as the “old-school” approach to songwriting.

The tone of this new album is very earthy with great acoustics that really allow you to hear and appreciate Brittany’s vocals. The opening song, “Machines” sounds a little like a Natalie Merchant outtake, while “Only Once” is definitely the highlight of the album. Her songwriting and passion for singing comes across in her vocals. Her country-folk storytelling comes shining through on the album closer “The Line.” Hopefully her next release will be a full album, because her voice and music are just so relaxing to enjoy.

Brittany Jean has one show scheduled for November 3 in Fairfax City, VA. For more information on her new album, please visit her website at brittanyjeanmusic.com.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CD Review: New Indie Albums From Dynoride and Maker

From Quad City comes the three-piece hard rock band Dynoride with their debut album, “What You Wanted.” The album was released back in June and carries a very energetic, grunge/punk sound.

The album starts off with “Tina” as the basis for their music draws from the Seattle grunge of Nirvana and Mudhoney. The songs have a very raw appeal to thm as in “Empty” and “Mostly Dead.” They darken their sound on the bass driven “What You Wanted” and then blast their guitars on “DNA” as they add a dash of heavy metal to their music. They also show us a softer side to their sound on “Sleeper” before closing the album with the scream rocker “The Weigh In.”

Dynoride have a few live shows lined up at the beginning of November in Illinois. For more information, check out the band’s facebook page at facebook.com/dynoride.

Nine months after the release of their acclaimed album, “Mirrors,” punk band, Maker returns with a five-song, self-titled EP. The album will be released on November 13 through Asbestos Records, just in time for their fall US tour.

The new album begins with “Shadows” as the music takes on a moody, alternative sound, a little different from the energetic punk sounds of their last album. The vocals still carry that punk edge as on “Medina” and also on the EP closer “Hurricanes” as Maker finishes with their strongest song in the set.

Maker is beginning their tour on November 16 in New York before heading west. The band will return to the east coast before the end of the year performing a show at the Webster Underground in Hartford, CT on December 21. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about the band’s new album, be sure to visit thisismaker.com.