Monday, February 29, 2016

CD Review: New Indie-Music From Warme, The Smell Of Death, Loop Line, Wired Minds, Boolean Knife And SheLoom

First from the U.K. comes the latest release from rockers Warme titled "Council House Opera." The new album features a dozen hard rock gems that have a mainstream rawness to them, as blazing guitars and polished vocals highlight their sound. Beginning with the straight-up bar rocker, "Monday Comedown," you can hear their classic rock influences as Warme does a masterful job creating their own sound with "Give It Away." The album's lead single "Council House Opera" has an up-tempo, Buckcherry vibe, while "Walk On" is a heartfelt story of regret. They head into a pop/funk direction with "Wheel Of Emotion," before closing with the epic seven-minute power ballad "Dadgad" and the quiet bonus track "New Man." To find out more about Warme and their latest release "Council House Opera," please visit warmemusic.com.

Next from Virginia comes the latest release from underground metal band The Smell of Death titled "Penetrator." Their music contains bounds of energy as they deliver their ode to classic mystical metal as discovered in the big guitar riffs of "Hammer Of The Witch." The screams of "Rock And Roll Bone" and classic groove of "Dick Rocket To Hell" have almost a Spinal Tap quality to them, while the story of the "Headless Horseman" adds a progressive metal quality to their sound. The ten song album closes with the energetic blast of history with "300" and their return to that classic mystical metal sound with the thunderous appeal of "Grim." To find out more about The Smell Of Death and their latest release "Penetrator," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/The-Smell-of-Death.

The alternative-pop duo Loop Line recently released their latest album titled "Wakes." The new 4-song EP begins with the Weezer sounding, up-tempo post-punk feel of "Nothing About You" that has tons of potential to catch on college radio. Then they experiment with the darker tones of "Grin," before finishing up with the psychedelic-pop of "Dusty Keys." To find out more about Loop Line and their most recent release "Waves," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/looplinemusic.

From Chicago comes the debut EP from the post-punk rock band Wired Minds. Their new 3-song EP titled "Saudade" begins with the British rock feel of "Victoria" as their sound has a timeless, "MTV 120 minutes" alternative-pop/rock sound. The addition of keyboards gives the song "Strange Kind Of Love" an '80's vibe, while the album closer "Where You End And I Begin" sounds like a tribute to the nineties alternative rock decade. To find out more about Wired Minds, please visit wiredmindsmusic.com.

Also from Chicago comes the debut release from Boolean Knife, featuring local veteran musician/producer William Steffey (The Blue Meanies). The new 3-song EP titled "Astrid And The Killer Penguin" begins with the modern, alternative buzz of "Antarctica." This new four-piece band find their groove with the driving bass line of "Fifty North," before finishing with the experimental, psychedelic feel of "The Visitor." To find out more about Boolean Knife and their latest new release "Astrid And The Killer Penguin," please visit booleanknife.com.

Finally from Portland, OR comes the new album from the band named SheLoom titled "The Baron Of The Fjord." Don't let the album's name fool you, the songwriting and recording of this album is amazing, plus most of the album was made over the internet as the band members live across the Atlantic Ocean from each other. The new twelve-song album begins with the acoustic-pop of "America On Fire," but its the harmonies in "It Takes A Wrecking Ball" and "Corridors" that captures your attention. SheLoom showcases their raw, edgier side with guitars blazing during the rocker "The Bishops," before slowing down for the experimental, Pink Floydian "Spaceship Down Low." The album closes with the classical piece "White Skies" and the British rock undertone of "Caves And Shadows." To find out more about SheLoom ad their latest release "The Baron Of The Fjord," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/sheloom.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

CD Review: The "Rare Masters" Of Country Artist Doug Kershaw Get A New Release

American country singer/songwriter/musician Doug Kershaw has been a part of the music industry for almost sixty years, performing with his brothers in 1948 as The Continental Playboys. He released his first single in 1955 and his first solo album in 1969, but before his first solo album, Kershaw's recordings were scarcely covered, until now. On February 5th, Goldenlane Records in association with Cleopatra Records, released the missing link in Kershaw's career with the "Doug Kershaw Anthology: Rare Masters 1958 To 1969." It features two discs worth of Kershaw's early recordings of him with a full band and when he is by himself with only a guitar.

The sound of the recordings vary from the quiet "Big Might Man" and "Pride Verses Love" to the bright, bassless "Two Out Of Three" and "Contract For Misery," but considering their age, every word and note are crystal clear. The first disc of this two-disc set features 25 full band demos, seven of which are credited to Doug & Rusty. Songs like "Do Me Right Now" and "Hardly Anymore" seem ahead of their time, while songs like "Except" and "I'm Just A Man Called Sam" are hidden gems buried in this collection. Doug Kershaw shines on the mid-sixties output of "Baby's Gone" and "Ain't Going To Get Me Down," before closing the first disc with country/rock of "Hollywood To Memphis" and slow gallop of "I Can't See Myself."

The "guitar demos" disc showcases more of the develop of songs, beginning with the cowboy song "Love's Enemy" and "If You're Not Going To Love Me That's Alright." Some of Kershaw's pop aspects shine through on the Elvis Presley sounding "Love Bird" and with Doug & Rusty emanating The Everly Brothers on "Misery's All Gone" and "Just Hurting Me." Kershaw was ready to break through as a solo artist with demos like "Pay Not Attention" and "There's No Better Way" that showcases his great talent for songwriting. The second disc closes with the country/folk delivery of "Louisiana Sun" and "Rosie Come Take Me Home." To find out more about the newly released "Doug Kershaw Anthology," please visit cleorecs.com.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

CD Review: Resonance Records Uncovers Two Live Albums From Jazz Legend Stan Getz

The genius of Stan Getz is not very known outside of the jazz community, but with two newly discovered live shows being released, you will have a greater appreciation for this jazz musician. In 1964, Stan Getz teamed up with Brazilian guitarist/singer Joao Gilberto to create the 1964 album "Getz/Gilberto," which won the Grammy for "Album of the Year." Two years later the duo released "Getz/Gilberto #2," which was a live album recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1964. They reunited one more time in 1976 for the studio album "The Best Of Two Worlds." Now on February 12th, Resonance Records has released a newly discovered live album from 1976 tilled simply "Getz/Gilberto '76." It features twelve songs (with a spoken introduction by Stan Getz) recorded during their run of shows at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco in May of 1976. It is one of the rare appearance of Joao Gilberto as he was not fond of the stage at this time in his career, but the two of them together have produced magic. Songs like "Retrato em Branco e Preto" and "Rosa Morena" will easily find their way into your heart with Gilberto's warming Brazilian vocals and Getz's smooth saxophone. Gilberto lets his fingers walk during the Latin groove of "Joao Marcelo" and their pure bossa nova sound comes shining through "Doralice," before closing with the amazing six-minute encore "E Preciso Perdoar," which leaves you only wanting more from this duo.

As a companion piece to "Getz/Gilberto '76," Resonance Records also released a newly discovered live album titled "Moments In Time" from Stan Getz, performing solo at the same shows that Joao Gilberto joined him. He swings his way through eight classic cover songs, allowing his sax playing to be the main focus, beginning with the up-beat "Summer Night," which pushes past the nine-minute mark. Getz's delivery of the Wayne Shorter piece "Infant Eyes" is stunning as you are allowed a glimpse of his beautiful playing. He gets your pulse pumping during the twelve-minute swing of "Con Alma" as Getz's backing band supports his every move. The album closes with an elegant delivery of Duke Ellington's "Prelude To A Kiss" and the nine-minute funky romp of "Morning Star." Both releases include full-color booklets that include rare photos and new essays and interviews from historians and those involved with the production. To find out more about "Getz/Gilberto '76" please visit resonancerecords.org and to find out more about "Moments In Time," please visit resonancerecords.org.

Friday, February 26, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music "March"-ing In Next Month

You may begin to feel bombarded by all of the new underground heavy metal music arriving over the course of the next month. I will try and sort it out for you. Arriving March 4 we have the latest from death metal band, Extermination Temple releasing their "Lifeless Forms: 4-song EP, which is a follow-up to their 2014 self-titled cassette demo. Also arriving March 4th is the debut album from SOON, simply titled "Vol. 1." It features a heavy, melodic tone that mixes in "psych-rock" textures with a straight-forward metal rhythms. Canadian prog-metal band Sierra will be releasing their new EP titled "72." It features the 23-minute song "Sierra - 72," which feels like a hard rock version of Pink Floyd. Also new is the latest album from Australian death metal band Inverloch titled "Distance | Collapsed." It features five bone crushing, doom metal masterpieces as the eight-minute "Distance Collapsed (In Rubble)" and eleven-minute "The Empyrean Torment" showcase the depth in this band's songwriting. Swedish grindcore metal band Gadget arrive on March 4th with their first full-length album in over a decade titled "The Great Destroyer." It features 17-speed metal shots of power and adrenaline that will make your head spin. Multiply listens to this album will be needed, just to realize what you just heard as most tracks never get past the 2-minute mark.
 
On March 11th we get the debut EP titled "Luminous" from the Pennsylvania prog-rock band Aniquatia. This four-piece band brought together all their influences to create a distinctly addictive sound as their musicianship is top-notch. Also arriving March 11th is the sophomore follow-up for Arizona multi-instrumentalist, Shane Ocell's doom metal outfit Via Vengeance. The new album titled "Harsh Conditions" features eleven songs that Ocell recorded live in the studio as his hollowing vocals take a backseat to the buzzing guitar riffs and steady doom metal rhythm. The following week brings us the new album from Finnish death metal band Gloria Morti titled "Kuebiko." It is the band's fifth studio album and their most modern hardcore metal output. The new nine-song release is a blast of hard-hitting rhythms and growling vocals that is sure to leave no prisoners.
 
March closes out with the latest from the death metal band AHTME (formerly known as The Roman Holiday). Their new album titled "The Demonization" is actually a re-issue of their 2013 album, which was never officially released. The music hits you like a wave of technical hardcore metal as the drumming is so precise down to the second as the growling vocals and buzzsaw guitars give shots of adrenaline to the music. Also arriving on March 25th are a couple of trios that are looking to pave their own path of hard rock music. First is the new album from Canada rockers La Chinga titled "Free Wheelin'." Their sound harps back to the big guitar sound of seventies rock as flashy solos and sing-along chorus brought fame to many band from that decade. La Chinga's new ten-song album is filled with electrifying guitar riffs and rhythms that are undeniable. The second trio to arrive with a new album on March 25th is the California band Zun. It features the bluesy guitar work of Gary Arce (Yawing Man), who's references date back three decades. The new album titled "Burial Sunrise" features six-songs of soul searching rock that will draw you in with its atmospheric tones and attractive combination of blues and progressive metal music. To find out more about these artists and their latest releases, please visit earsplitcompound.com.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

CD Review: New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Music From Crossing Rubicon, UXO, Grayscale Season And Meltdown

From Bristol, CT comes the latest release titled "No Less Than Everything," from the hard rock band Crossing Rubicon. Their new album was released on February 12th through Pavement Entertainment and features ex-All That Remains bassist Jeane Sagan as their latest member. The new twelve-song release begins with blazing guitar riffs and stunning vocals of Scott Anarchy in "Tomorrow Never Comes." Crossing Rubicon get more into the hardcore metal sound of "Unhinged" and "Bittersweet Day," but sandwiched between is the mainstream metal appeal of "The Fallen." The band's harmonizing highlights the grunge/metal sound of "Cuts Deep" and they add some prog-rock to their sound with "Violet Carson." The album finishes with the electrifying solos in "Do We Not Bleed" and the uplifting closer "Return To Atlantis." To find out more about Crossing Rubicon and their latest release "No Less Than Everything," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/CrossingRubiconRocks.

The highly anticipated album from UXO duo Chris Spencer and Steve Austin was released on January 29th through Reptilian Records. It features seven songs from the duo darkest, most powerful recording they ever endured. Beginning with "Bitter," their sound is compared to controlled chaos as Chris and Steve scream the vocals along to the rhythm section of Aarne Victorine and Patrick Kennedy as they bash away at the doom metal rhythm. The quartet comes together for the grunge/metal combination of "Trauma" and work together to overpower you with the thunderous "Redlegs." UXO slow the pace down for the dark, Sabbath-like appeal of "Everything's A Mistake," before closing with the more up-tempo punk-like attack of "User." To find out more about UXO, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/UXOOFFICIAL.

From Sweden comes the debut album, "Head To Mist," from hardcore metal band Grayscale Season. The album was recorded over the course of five months last year and will be released digitally on February 29th. It features twelve bone-crushing anthems, beginning with the speedy blast of "Breathing Just Wasn't As Fun." They continue to dominate their sound with thunderous drumming, growling vocals and crunching guitar riffs, as displayed in "Queenmaker" and "Dead Man Walking." They find the perfect balance of classic hardcore metal and appealing modern death metal with "No Fear, Kill Yourself," before closing the album with the adrenaline fueled "Gospel" and the hard hitting progressive metal feel of "Mallory." To find out more about Grayscale Season and their latest release "Head To Mist," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/GrayscaleSeason.

From Norway comes the debut album from hardcore metal band Meltdown titled "Answers." It features eight hard-hitting, bone-crushing songs that will place Meltdown as one of the premier underground heavy metal bands in Europe. Beginning with the title-song, "Answers," you instantly get drawn in to the crunching guitar riffs and adrenaline pumping rhythms. The combination of growling vocals and singing choruses showcases different dimensions within the band's song structures for "The Curse," while "Time Of War" is a straight shot of power from the band. The album closes with the quick-pace of "Nightmare" as you easily find yourself head-banging along. To find out more about Meltdown and their latest release "Answers," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/meltdownofficialnorway.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CD Review: New Imported Heavy Metal Music Arriving From Devotion, Interment, Ferium And Bushwacker



One of Italy's newest hard rock imports is the latest release from Devotion titled "Words And Crystals." The last ten years for this band have seen them grow from the underground scene to opening for such bands as the Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Their new ten-song release begins with the buzzsaw guitars of "Roller Derby" as the music is a shot of adrenaline. They continue with the hard hitting nu-metal appeal of "Cloud Atlas" and the heavy guitar riffs and screaming vocals of "Drops Flux." Devotion picks the tempo up with the bashing rhythm of "P. Hamilton," before closing the album with the moderate, mainstream appeal of "Feeling The Desert Air." To find out more about Devotion and their latest release "Words And Crystals," please visit devotionsound.it.

Arriving in April is the latest from Swedish death metal band Interment with "Scent Of The Buried." If features ten, non-stop, headbanging numbers that are not for the faint of heart. Beginning with "Death And Decay," the howling vocals and machine gun drumming lay the groundwork for what you can expect from this band. Screaming guitars and speed drumming motor "Sinister Incantation" and "Chalice Of Death" as they also contain that classic trash metal sound. Their sound gets chaotic during "Scent Of The Buried," but they quickly focus on what they are best at with "Rise Of The Dead." The album closes with the speed of "Skull Crushing Carnage" and the epic sounding delivery of "Nailed To The Grave." To find out more about Interment and their latest release "Scent Of The Buried," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/interment.

Also arriving in April is the latest album titled "Behind The Black Eyes" from Israeli metal band Ferium. Their new hardcore/death metal release feature nine-songs of bone crushing force, beginning with the powerful attack of "Aftermath." Growling vocals and crunching guitars fill "A Journey We Had" and "Revelation," before the band tones down the attack to feature the amazing musicianship of "She Feels Like Home." They come roaring back with the heavy bashing of "We Fell Apart, We Fall Together" and then closes with the seven-minute prog-metal of "A Free Man." To find out more about Ferium and their latest release "Behind The Black Eyes," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/FeriumIsrael.

From Canada comes the latest release titled "The False Dilemma" from progressive/death metal band Bushwhacker. Recorded over a year ago, the band have honed their skills since their 2011 self-titled debut album. The new nine-song release begins with the chugging guitars of the seven-minute "Tower" as their music sounds very multidimensional. The songs "Dead Man's Waltz" and "Perfection" are a blast of energy as the outstanding musicianship takes hold of you as crave for more. The album closes with a couple of great instrumental tracks titled "The Path" and "Bushwacker," which leads to the final attack of the death metal growl of "Golden Shell." To find out more about Bushwhacker and their latest release "The False Dilemma," please visit their Facebook page facebook.com/BushwhackerYukon

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Video Review: "American Masters" Premieres The Story Of The Legendary Fats Domino

The PBS show "American Masters" continues their award-winning ways with their latest episode about one of the founders of "rock 'n' roll" music, Fats Domino. He took modern music in the mid-fifties and shook it up to help create a new form of music. The hour-long documentary tells the tale of the life of Fats Domino, including his introduction to music by his brother-in-law and his love for the "boogie-woogie" jazz piano style.
 
Being brought up in New Orleans, Fats Domino was surrounded by all this great music in the clubs, which helped Fats hone his skills on the piano. His first hit was "The Fat Man" in 1949, which paved the way for Fats Domino to play his style of music, combining jazz and rhythm & blues to create this new form of music, called rock 'n' roll. His signature song "Ain't That A Shame" skyrocketed up the 1955 music charts and opened the doors for other artists like Little Richard and Chuck Berry to follow Fats into the "rock 'n' roll" era. This led to Fats Domino becoming the biggest star in music in 1956, topping the music chart numerous times, appearing on television and even starring in movies as his music was everywhere. Not only did his music break down the walls for black musicians, it also helped with the integration of black and white people. His legacy continues through famous artists like John Lennon and Paul McCartney naming Fats Domino as an influence on the music of The Beatles as their influence grows on this generation of musicians. 
 
This latest episode of "American Masters" will air on PBS this Friday, February 26. Check your local listings for times. For more information on this episode, please visit pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters.

Monday, February 22, 2016

CD Review: Peter Murphy Releases Live Album From His "Wild Birds Tour"

English singer/musician Peter Murphy is considered the "Godfather of Goth" music, which is an art-based rock music with dark overtones. He found success in the late 70's with his band Bauhaus before pursuing a solo career in 1986 and finding success on the U.K. album charts. His latest release is an unreleased live album from his "Wild Birds Live Tour" in 2000. It was released on February 12th through Cleopatra Records and features 2CDs of a revived Murphy, who returned to performing live following his "greatest hits" compilation.
 
The shows features 18-songs from Murphy's solo catalog, beginning with his earliest single "Final Solution," with it's industrial, post-punk feel. He then hits a modern rock groove while reeling off the up-beat "Scarlet Thing In You," "Wild Birds" and "Mirror To My Woman's Mind." The always experimental Murphy displays some of his artistic pieces like "Subway" and "Surrendered," while also pouring his emotions into "Hit Song" and "Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem." He proudly serves up his biggest hit singles, "Indigo Eyes" done acoustically as he jokes with the audience, and "Cuts You Up" is delivered with pride and meaning. The shows closes with the electronic beats of "Roll Call - Recall" and the exciting, eight-minute delivery of "Huuvola." To find out more about Peter Murphy's latest live album "Wild Birds Live Tour," please visit cleorecs.com.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

CD Review: New Music From "America's Got Talent" Singer Tim Hockenberry And U.K. Singer Nigel Thomas

"America's Got Talent" finalist Tim Hockenberry will be releasing his debut album on March 4th through Poignant Records. His weathered voice gives an authenticity to his sound as his songs carry a strong country vibe. The new nine-song release begins with the slow ramble of "Me And You" as Tim co-wrote the song with his son Maxx back in 2012. The gentle touch of "Ease Your Pain" allows Tim to find his way into your heart with his emotional delivery of his lyrics. He brings together the best of country and rock with "Faith In You" as this could be a hit single for Tim along with the acoustic, Americana feel of "Come On Let's Dance." His words have as much of an impact as his voice and his music as in "If The Sky Was To Fall" in which you can't help but listen to every word. The album finishes with the country blues of "This Time By Me." To find out more about Tim Hockenberry and his self-titled debut album, please visit timhockenberry.com.

From the U.K. comes the latest release from former Foxes frontman Nigel Thomas titled "Travelling Man." It's a collection of ten songs that Thomas has written during his solo tour of the U.K. and Germany last winter. Beginning with his earlier released single "Fever," Thomas injects a rawness into his sound as simplicity is the key to the success of his songs. He mixes his styles with the big sweeping ballad "Dancing," while "Ghosthunter" has the funk-fueled, garage rock that will make Thomas an indie-music star. The acoustic strumming and harmonies of "Destiny" and "Que Sera" gives him a retro sound that is very much needed in today's over polished pop world. The album closes with Thomas showcases his wonderful songwriting in the "Third Movement." To find our more about Nigel Thomas and his latest release "Travelling Man," please visit nigelsongs.com.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

CD Review: Shining New Releases From Singer/Songwriters Brett Harris And Sammy Walker

From Durham, NC comes the sophomore album from singer/songwriter Brett Harris titled "Up In The Air." He collaborated with the power pop band, The dB's and was a member of Big Star's "Third" tour, which helped Harris with his craft on this latest album. The album begins with The Beatles like pop/rock of "End Of The Rope" as his voice has a timeless quality to it that has you wanting more. The smooth strumming of "Don't Look Back" and "Lies" showcases Harris' folk side and the piano ballad "High Times" has the perfect balance of soul and emotion to make it memorable. He slinks his way through the funky "Summer Night" and displays that classic folk/pop appeal with the acoustic title-song "Up In The Air." The album closes with his best written song, the emotional "Spanish Moss." To find out more about Brett Harris and his latest release "Up In The Air," please visit brettharrismusic.com.

American folk singer/songwriter Sammy Walker was heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie as his sound reflected those early folk storytelling styles. He released five albums between 1976 to 2008 and his latest release is a collection of demos that got Walker his album contract with Warner Bros. in the seventies. On April 8th, Ramseur Records collected ten of Sammy Walker's best demos that he recorded over 40 years ago to showcase this forgotten folk hero. The new release begins with "Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin'," as you'd swear this was a lost outtake from Bob Dylan's early years. Walker's songs are the perfect mesh of vocals and words that made stars of Arlo Guthrie and John Prine. Listening to his stories, takes you back to a simpler time as "My Old Friend" and "If I Had The Time" are simple enough to follow as Walker deserves to be in the same conversation with some of the best, well-known folk artists. The album closes with "Talkin Women's Lib" as you easily fall in love with his style of storytelling. To find out more about Sammy Walker's latest release "Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin'," please visit conqueroo.com/sammywalker.

Friday, February 19, 2016

CD Review: Anthrax Release One "For All Kings" Of Thrash Metal Music

Thrash metal pioneers Anthrax will be releasing their 11th studio album, "For All Kings" on February 26th through Megaforce Records. They returned from an eight year absence in 2011 with their amazing comeback album "Worship Music" and have been riding a new wave of popularity, performing live at sold out venues and producing some exciting new music. This new album also introduces band member Jonathan Donias to the fold as the band's new lead guitarist.


The new twelve-song release begins with the epic opener, "You Gotta Believe" that pushes the music of Anthrax into discovering their progressive-metal side. Guitarist Scott Ian's classic thrash metal guitar riffs expand into an Iron Maiden-like middle section that shows a new depth to the band's songwriting. Ian describes that he took a different approach writing this album since bringing a child into the picture, "it makes everything so much scarier." The perfect reaction to this is the song "Monster At The End" as singer Joey Belladonna does a masterful job on the vocals. The amazing drumming of Charlie Benante will shake your speakers during "For All Kings," before arriving at their latest single "Breathing Lighting" that has the perfect balance of mainstream metal with touches of classic thrash to showcase the band's expanding dimension. 


Anthrax look to push the envelope out even further with their eight-minute, prog-metal masterpiece, "Blood Eagle Wings." Then, they march into battle with the aggressive feel of "Defend/Avenge" and display their maturity in their songwriting once again with the controlled heavy metal sound of "The Battle Chose Us." The band just explodes to close the album with the power and speed for "Zero Tolerance," just to remind us that they are the premier thrash metal band that help start it all. 


Anthrax will be heading out to South America in March to open for the legendary Iron Maiden, before returning to the States for four dates in May. To find out more about Anthrax and their latest album "For All Kings," please visit anthrax.com.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

CD Review: New Children's Music From Dre Towey And The Singing Lizard

Children's recording artist Dre Towey is ready to release her fourth full-length album titled "In A Pickle." It delivers fun with food as Towey brings together many of her originals mixed with some children's classics. Her sweet voice mixed with these playful lyrics makes for a perfect marriage for kids and parents to enjoy listening to. The new 15-song album begins with the steady rhythm of "Tea Party" as her lyrics become the playful part of the song. Dre covers the traditionals like "Aiken Drum" and "On Top Of Spaghetti," but her originals are where she shines. Songs like "Turkey Bop" and "Mama Makes The Mashed Potatoes" are up-tempo, fun songs that kids will love to dance and sing along to. Her voice is so sweet and innocent in her delivery of "Criss Cross Applesauce" and "Lemonade For Sale" that you can't help but get lost her songs. The album finishes with the well-known Jamaican folk song "Day-O," that closes with a gentle touch of international flavor. To find out more about Dre Towey and her latest release "In A Pickle," please visit dretowey.com.

From California comes the latest release from Liz DeRoche (a.k.a. The Singing Lizard) titled "Club Called Awesome." It features thirteen original tunes that contain an infectious fun, playful pop rhythm. Liz' voice is so animated with the songs "Growing Up" and "I Spy" that you can picture her singing these songs along with your little ones. Her song "Celebrate" sounds as if it was produced by Ferrell Williams as the beat is fun, light and contagious. She also promotes a positive attitude with "Be Yourself" and "Show Me Your Happy," before finishing with the R&B style of "Take A Bite" and the bright, energetic "Peace Sign." To find out more about The Singing Lizard and her new album "Club Called Awesome," please visit thesinginglizard.com.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Extraordinary Instrumentalists Stefan Nilsson And Alan J. Bound

Swedish film composer Stefan Nilsson recently released his latest album titled "The Gift." It features eleven jazz instrumentals that were inspired by the jazz/rock band Kornet, to which Nilsson was a key member of in the mid- to late-seventies. The creativity on this album continues to show with each listen as you discover new layers to each of these songs. Beginning with "Yttersti" you instantly get drawn into Nilson's keyboard as it takes you along on a journey. He injects new life into Bach's "Menuet," giving the song a modern flair. Nilsson displays his quiet side during "Martin Beck Theme" and the magical jazz appeal of "Let's Go." The album also includes covers of Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose" and Duke Ellington's " Don't Get Around Much Anymore." Both songs still carry that classic sound, even when given a shot of modern flair. To find out more about Stefan Nilsson and his latest release "The Gift," please visit mwe3.com.
European guitarist Alan J. Bound has put together a "retrospective" collection of some of his best instrumentals of the last ten years. The new nine-song release begins with the soaring guitars of "N365" and the exploring space/rock of "Solaris." Alan experiments with sound, adding some synthesizers to "Delightful Changes," before blasting off with his guitar for the electrifying delivery of "Dune." The new album closes with the seven-minute progressive hard rock feel of "Moonglider" and the nine-minute guitar groove of "Float." To find out more about Alan J. Bound and his latest release "Deep Space," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/AlanJBoundDeepSpace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From Gehannah, Redemption And AntropomorphiA

A trio of new releases from Metal Blade Records have made their way to your headphones over the last couple weeks. New music from Redemption and Gehannah are looking to bring them back to the forefront of the underground metal scene, while AntropomorphiA revisits a classic with their latest release.

For five years, Gehennah seemed like the #1 choice to carry the torch of the classic heavy metal sound projected by bands like Motorhead and Venom. Since 1997, Gehannah have released a new 7" singles sporadically, but the have finally returned after almost 20 years with their first full-length album on Metal Blade Records titled "Too Loud To Live! Too Drunk To Die!" The new album features that classic double-bass drum kicking metal sound as the opener "Still The Elite" that looks to continue where Motorhead left off. The band's raw energy is displayed in "Scumbag" and "Let's Fall Off The Wagon" as the songs stick to that hard hitting formula. The new thirteen-song release finishes with the growling vocals of "We Stole Your Song" and the high-powered album closer "All Of The Decadence, None Of The Success." To find out more about Gehennah and their latest release "Too Loud To Live! Too Drunk To Die!," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/gehennah.

Progressive heavy metal band Redemption are releasing the new album "The Art Of Loss" on February 26th. It follows the band's breakthrough release "This Mortal Coil" as they look to expand their progressive metal side with more intricate playing, while still keeping the hooks and riffs that make their music stand out above the rest. The new nine-song release begins with the quick-paced, heavy bashing of the titled-song "The Art Of Loss" as Ray Alder's vocals takes control of the song. Nick Van Dyk's guitar playing on "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" showcases why he has returned a stronger, smarter performer. The band is just exciting to listen to as they electrify with the ten-plus minute "Hope Dies Last" and they give The Who's "Lover Reign O'er Me" a clean, powerful shot of heavy metal. The album closes with the epic 23-minute musical adventure "At Day's End." To find out more about Redemption and their latest release "The Art Of Loss," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/RedemptionBand.

Metal Blade Records recently released the cult classic debut release from European hardcore metal band AntropomorphiA titled "Necromantic Love Songs." It combines the band's first EP with their demo to complete a new 11-song release that reminds fans from where they came from and how they've grown over the course of 23 years. The growling vocals of the opener "Crack The Casket" are helped by the intense delivery of drums and guitar, while "Birth Through Dead" speeds things up with with its hardcore metal groove. The four song demo has a raw, heavy metal appeal that gives the music a more spontaneous feel as with the the tempo changes of "Bowel Mutilation" and the eight-minute doom metal of "Splattered Remains." To find out more about AntropomorphiA, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/AntropomorphiA.

Monday, February 15, 2016

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Delivers Reissue Of Game Theory's "Lolita Nation"

Omnivore Recordings have done a masterful job with re-issuing the back catalogue from '80's power pop/rock band Game Theory. The band has been praised by MTV for their creativity as they released some of the most unique underground music during the '80's. Their albums have been long out-of-print, until Omnivore Recordings got a hold of the rights to remaster and re-release them. On February 5th, we saw the release of the band's masterpiece, their 1987 double-album "Lolita Nation." It features 27 tracks and includes an entire second CD of bonus tracks.

Spin magazine described "Lolita Nation" as one of the band's "gutsiest" album as punk-like alternative rock riffs replaced their lighter pop sound on this album. Songs like "Exactly What We Don't Want To Hear," "Look Away" and "Slip" are shots of energy as Game Theory deliver a post-punk sound. The album features some of band leader Scott Miller's best songwriting as displayed in the rock ballad "Andy In Ten Years" and the modern rock gold of "Mammoth Gardens." If Game Theory were to have a hit on this album, it was the eighties pop/rock of "Chardonnay" as the song's up-beat rhythm and addictive chorus was the perfect match for that decade.

The full disc of bonus tracks begins with the entire eight-minute version of  "Chardonnay" as you discover how good Game Theory were as a band performing together as a tight unit. The real gems on this bonus disc are the live tracks that are spread across the disc, whether it was in front of an audience or in the radio studio, it showcases how good this band was at performing live. Classic covers like The Hollies' "Carrie Anne" and Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" gets the Game Theory make-over, while they also pay tribute to one of their heroes David Bowie with a covers of "Candidate" and "Drive-In Saturday." The 21-song bonus disc closes with an alternative version of their song "Choose Between Two Songs," performed acoustically. To find out more about this latest re-issue from Game Theory, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

CD Review: Popa Chubby Puts On A "Big, Bad And Beautiful" Live Performance

American blues singer/songwriter/guitarist Popa Chubby gathered a following, the old fashion way, by performing live. He played over 200 shows a year during the early '90's and self-released his first couple albums before scoring a record deal with Sony Music for the release of his 1995 studio album "Booty And The Beast" and his first live album "Hit The High Hard One." Now over 20 years later, Popa Chubby returns with a brand new live album titled "Big, Bad And Beautiful." It was released on January 22nd through Cleopatra Records.

The new two disc set was recorded during his 2015 tour of France and contains 27 songs of mixed originals and covers. He begins with the chugging shuffle of "Working Class Blues" and the blazing guitar work of "Stoop Down Baby." He keeps the spirits high with the classic romp of "One Leg At A Time" and "69 Dollars," before letting up on the gas for the slow blues of "Same Old Blues." His guitar skills are exceptional, while he delivers the lyrics of "Life Is A Beatdown" like a skilled rapper, but his does his best talking with his guitar. The first disc closes with a five-minute clash of instrumentals called the "Chubbfatha Medley."

The second disc starts out with a ten-minute session on how to ply the blues as Popa Chubby gives his all for his music during "Rock On Bluesman." He pays tribute to the Rolling Stones with a trio of songs, "Love In Vain," "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses," which electrifies the audience. He bring back that classic rockabilly swing with "Caffeine And Nicotine," before slowing the tempo down for the nine-minute blues journey "The People's Blues." The album closes with Popa picking the energy back up with "Noise Making Love Machine" and ten-minute rocking rendition of "Over The Rainbow."

Popa Chubby is currently touring through the east coast, beginning with shows in Woonsocket, RI and Mildale, CT. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about Popa Chubby and his latest release "Big, Bad And Beautiful," please visit popachubby.com.