February 3, 2014
I was introduced to The Cry in early 2012 when I stumbled across the then-digital only release of their S/T debut album. Delivering twelve power pop tracks in the Exploding Hearts vein I was completely blown away by their songwriting skills and impeccable delivery. Well, two years have passed and the band have just finished up recording their second album and had the courtesy of sending me a promo, to which I’m much obliged.
Kicking off with the B.T.O.-esque Discotheque, the band launches into ten tracks of perfectly written power pop gems with a healthy dose of rock ‘n’ roll, garage and glam thrown in for good measure – and there’s even some shuffle to boot! Influences intact I still hear a band that’s matured and have taken their songwriting skills to a whole new level. Somehow this affair got me thinking of The Clash circa Give Them Enough Rope – not that they sound anything like it, but I can sense a similar development as touring, writing and gigging made them gel as a band that in a similar manner let their influences shine through without aping anyone.
The end result is a true party album with ten consecutive hits, a great sounding effort delivered with sweat and passion and every time it ends I find myself wanting to hear more – the tell-tale sign of a truly great record. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this made Best of 2014 lists towards the end of the year. A+. Get it.
September 5, 2012
Fans of heavy metal should definitely check out Dallas power trio Mothership! Starting out in 2010 with their Dad filling in duties on the drums (how cool is that!) they blend fuzzed-out 70s blues rock with heavy stoner just perfectly. No-frills, no-bullshit desert rock ‘n’ roll as it was meant to sound, and if you want a comparison imagine a more blues-based Kyuss and you’re there.
It’s Black Sabbath meets ZZ Top on their debut self-titled album where they offer up eight great tracks sure to please stoners as well as metal-fans. Great, tight musicianship, nice punchy production, and – most importantly – great songs delivered live (the album was recorded over two weekends!) Add the fact that their guitar player Kells Juett got some great chops without ever getting masturbatory and you got yourself a kick-ass band delivering some kick-ass music. Check them out!
September 3, 2012
Well, there just have to be something in the damn water up in the Pacific northwest. For a good twenty years they’ve been giving the world amazing bands that delivers an excellent mix of gloom and punk – yes, again I’m gonna mention The Wipers – and the latest great outfit is Vancouver quartet White Lung! Their second full-length album Sorry released in May 2012 offers up ten tracks that perfectly blends the gloom with punk energy bringing to mind the best of the post-punk sounds of the 80s.
Great musiciansship, great, varied songs and great vocal delivery the band perfectly mixes youthful freshness with a retro, “arty” vibe with the occasional hardcore surprise popping up now and then. I hear tons of influences and even some Dead Kennedys in the guitars! Back in say 1984 these guys would’ve been signed to IRS Records and making zillions. I am not kidding. Check ‘em out!
September 3, 2012
More emails, this time from Portland’s Beyond Veronica hepping me to their second album Hard Times For Dreamers released earlier this year on Fetish Pop Records. A dozen tracks are offered here, mostly of the mid-tempo variety with some nice hooks and a pretty retro 70s Power Pop feel – musically they actually kinda reminded me of Seattle legends The Heats!
The band is good and tight, vocalist Bonnie Veronica got a nice voice that kinda brings to mind early The Pandoras (especially on tracks like Fade Away where that 60s retro garage feel gets more evident) and unlike a lot of bands these guys offers up a wide variety when it comes to the song material, making it a pleasant experience for the listener. Check ‘em out!
August 15, 2012
Well, I gotta start this off with admitting that I pretty much know nothing about mashups or dubstep. I’m a fan of the classic dub sounds from Jamaica like King Tubby or The Scientist, but I am aware that they really don’t have that much in common and am completely clueless when it comes to the modern stuff. So apologies up front if I make no sense on this. That said, there’s something brilliant about what Australian Buttress O’Keefe creates that makes me laugh out loud from sheer surprise. Her remixes and cross-pollination of modern as well as forgotten hits are just jawdropping and truly creative pieces of insane art.
Listening to her latest album Avant Retro: Post-Tardcore I find myself being thrilled and gleefully anticipating what’s coming next. Mix Eurythmics with Joy Division? Consider it done. Add some DEVO, MC Hammer, Nirvana and the damn kitchen sink to the mix too while you’re at it. This is definitely not for everyone but I found it a true masterpiece creatively speaking and you should definitely give this a try. Brilliant!
May 25, 2012
Well, summer is finally here and I don’t know about you but for me that means lots of Beach Boys, Ramones and classic 60s Reggae/Ska/Rocksteady on the stereo. Now, like I stated in my review of Unitone HiFi/Jefferson Belt‘s split 7″ (read it here) I am fully aware that it’s a bit snobbish attitude but my main problem with modern reggae is the production. It’s just too clean-sounding and lack the grit and sheer oomph of let’s say Lloyd Charmers‘ outings. French group The Rockin’ Preachers might still sound a bit too polished but they thankfully avoid the modern dancehall sounds and sure have the vibe and songwriting down!
Four songs of upbeat, midtempo summer-esque reggae/ska vibes are served up on their debut (?) EP (the last one an instrumental version) – my favorite being Give Me Some Light. Great, great musicianship and some really good vocal delivery from the lead singer and his back-ups (sorry, no names as their site is low on info and no linked website) proving me once again wrong. Enjoy yourself (it’s later than you think)!