Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review : Danielle French presents Miss Scarlett and The Madmen - Dark love songs

Danielle French presents Miss Scarlett and The Madmen - Dark love songs (2016) Independent
Produced by Danielle French / Tim Gordon
Tracks : 1.Last goodbye 2.Take my love 3.Did you want me 4.It must be roses 5.Black sunday 6.Splinters 7.My shadow and me 8.This is why we drink 9.Last goodbye (instrumental)
3 out of 5

Calgary, Canada based singer / songwriter Danielle French debuted with "Me, myself and I" in 1995 and 2 decades later she releases the 5th album "Dark love songs" together with the musical collective Miss Scarlett and The Madmen.
Listening to the new album feels like going down in the dungeons of London and hearing the horrific tales of Jack The Ripper and other dark historic events.
It´s easy to believe that Danielle is heavily influenced by artists like Kate Bush, Dalbello and Nick Drake. The sound is built on Irish folk music and gothic romantic pop. A lovely mix.
Perhaps not the best suitable music for the children´s party but just perfect for halloween, it´s a short album but a beautiful short album.
Highlights : Did you want me, This is why we drink
Recommended if you like Marianne Faithful, PJ Harvey, A Camp

Friday, June 24, 2016

Review : Sawtooth Brothers - One more flight

Sawtooth Brothers - One more flight (2016) Independent
Produced by Dan Deurloo
Tracks : 1.Another cliché 2.Country road X 3.What´s her name? 4.On top of the world 5.Summer all the time 6.Blame it 7.Don´t go it alone 8.The river and you 9.I should be going 10.One more flight 11.Take me away
2,5 out of 5

Are there pirates nearby? Did anyone say Captain Sawtooth and his brothers? Nah, instead we´re gonna bake a cake, a musical cake where the ingredients are country, americana and power pop.
Let´s take 50% of Willie Nelson-like country and mix it with 30% of Mumford & Sons and top it with 20% of The Rembrandts-ish power pop.
"One more flight" is the first original album from The Sawtooth Brothers that features two sets of brothers : Clint - Lead vocals/acoustic guitar and Luke Birtzer - Violin, Jesse - Lead vocals/mandolin and Ethan Moravec - Bass.
The´re definitely going somewhere with this unique sound but it´s just too much country in the cake for my taste.
A decent album anyhow.
Highlights : What´s her name?, Blame it, Don´t go it alone
Recommended if you like American roots music

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review : Acolyte - Shades of black

Acolyte - Shades of black (2016) Independent
Produced by Ben Ehrenberg
Tracks : 1.Monolith 2.Perceptions 3.The message 4.Chakra 5.In this life 6.Space and time
3 out of 5

Melbourne based 5 piece Acolyte build their soundscape on different moods rather than technical pieces which is common in progressive music, their debut "Shades of black" takes a few spins to get into but it´s worth the wait.
This 6 track EP is a promising start for this band where the star is the lead singer Morgan-Leigh Brown, she has such depth in her voice and truly knows how to express the melodies with the lyrics in the best possible way.
I find it difficult to understand why they picked the laid back  "Space and time" as the lead track and single of the EP, there are far more and better candidates to choose than this space rock song.
The chorus of "Perceptions" is a direct smash even though the song leans more towards 90´s alternative metal than prog, I wouldn´t be too surprised if they have Tool as a source of inspiration.
My favorite is the following "The message", now talk about progressive metal extravaganza.
Highlights : The message, Perceptions
Recommended if you like Voyager, Alpha Galates, Human Cometh

Monday, June 20, 2016

Review : We Are Scientists - Helter Seltzer

We Are Scientists - Helter Seltzer (2016) 100% Records
Produced by Max Hart
Tracks : 1.Buckle 2.In my head 3.Too late 4.Hold on 5.We need a word 6.Want for nothing 7.Classic love 8.Waiting for you 9.Headlights 10.Forgiveness
3,5 out of 5

I never really cared about checking out California based We Are Scientists before but when a friend told me to listen to their 5th album "Helter Seltzer", I did and I´m glad I did too.
It´s a very charming record that feels like a perfect combo of 80´s new romantic sounds and new millenium electro pop, the track "Hold on" even bring thoughts to A Flock of Seagulls.
The band is now a duo featuring Keith Murray - lead vocals/guitar and Chris Cain - bass but synthesizers has an equally important part of their sound as guitars.
This is music that will put a big smile on your face.
Highlights : In my head, Too late
Recommended if you like Paper Route, Young The Giant, Phoenix

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review : Sweet - Strung Up Expanded edition

Sweet - Strung Up Expanded edition (2016) Sony Music
Produced by Sweet / Phil Wainman / Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn
Tracks CD 1 : 1.Hell raiser 2.Burning / Someone else will 3.Rock´n´roll disgrace 4.Need a lot of loving 5.The ballroom blitz 6.Done me wrong all right 7.You´re not wrong for loving me 8.The man with the golden arm 9.Teenage rampage 10.Blockbuster
CD 2 : 1.Action 2.Fox on the run 3.The lies in your eyes 4.Fever of love 5.Set me free 6.Miss Demeanour 7.The ballroom blitz 8.Teenage rampage 9.Burn on the flame 10.Solid gold brass 11.The sixteens 12.I wanna be commited 13.Blockbuster 14.Hellraiser
5 out of 5

Up to 1973, The Sweet was labeled as a bubblegum pop band completely in the hands of songwriting duo Chinn / Chapman. On stage, the band was everything else than pop. Much louder, more rocking and far from the teen-pop hits they had on the radio.
A selection of tracks from their live performance at the Rainbow theatre, London on December 21st, 1973 was captured and released on the first disc of the classic double album Strung Up in 1975.
The complete concert was later re-released in 1999 as Live at the Rainbow, including 13 songs. Ten of these songs are now available on the expanded edition of Strung Up, the only songs missing are "Little willy", "Wig wam bam" and "Rock´roll medley".
Sweet really had the same energy as The Who back in the 70´s, I can easily compare this live disc to The Who´s Live at Leeds.
And something that strikes me while listening to the studio disc with some of their biggest hits, they don´t sound dated at all even after 40 years. This is glam rock heaven.
Four bonus tracks have been added to the studio disc, "Fever of love", "Hell raiser", "The lies in your eyes" and "Teenage rampage".
Every home should have a copy!
Highlights : The entire double album
Recommended if you like Queen, Slade, Kiss

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review : Chris Murphy - Red mountain blues

Chris Murphy - Red mountain blues (2016) Teahouse Records
Produced by Chris Murphy / Joshua Cutsinger
Tracks : 1.Red mountain blues 2.Dirt time 3.High country 4.Black roller 5.Kitchen girl 6.Cast iron 7.Dry county 8.Walt Whitham 9.Dig for one day one day more 10.Buckwheat pancakes 11.Meet me tonight 12.Johnson county 13.Chickasaw Freedman 14.The lord will provide
2 out of 5

Violinist Chris Murphy is quite a creative record artist with several new releases the past year, including "Red mountain blues" featuring Grammy award winning bluegrass vocalist Tim O´Brien.
The music is a blend of bluegrass and Irish folk music where 7 tracks are instrumental, I must say that I prefer his other new album "Surface to air" over this one.
My wife keeps telling me we should go and take squaredance lessons but I´m a lousy dancer so if she will hear that I´m listening to this record, I bet she will never stop nagging me about it because "Red mountain blues" is a perfect soundtrack for practicing squaredance.
What about the music then? Well, it´s not my cup of tea.
Highlights : Dirt time, Kitchen girl
Recommended if you like The John Jorgenson Band, The Lowest Pair, Union Station

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review : Manwomanchild - Awkward island

Manwomanchild - Awkward island (2016) Independent
Produced by David Child
Tracks : 1.I know a man 2.The retreat 3.State of exception 4.Change the channel 5.Plan B 6.The difficult years 7.The telepath returns 8.Recent history 9.One of each 10.Return to Ithaca
3,5 out of 5

Let me present a quirky record from Philadelphia based Manwomanchild, their new LP "Awkward island" is the follow-up to the self titled debut from 2010 and it´s a really cool album too.
David Child, the frontman of Manwomanchild sounds like he´s been listening a lot to artists like Thomas Dolby, Roxy Music and Devo.
I might be wrong about this because an artsy singer/songwriter like David Child could in fact just as easily has found inspiration from Bob Dylan, Marc Bolan and Gary Numan.
"Awkward island" is filled with a blend of 70´s glam rock, 80´s new wave and 90´s Britrock, a mix that feels like a winning formula on paper and it is.
There ain´t many releases today sounding like "Awkward island" so that pleases me a lot, what a charming record.
Highlights : Change the channel, Return to Ithaca, The telepath returns
Recommended if you like Sparks, Pulp, David Bowie

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review : Whitford St.Holmes - Reunion

Whitford St.Holmes - Reunion (2016) Mailboat Records
Produced by Brad Whitford / Derek St.Holmes
Tracks : 1.Shapes 2.Tender is the night 3.Rock all day 4.Hot for you 5.Hell is on fire 6.Catch my fall 7.Shake it 8.Gotta keep on movin´ 9.Flood of lies
3 out of 5

These guys don´t need any further introduction, if you don´t know who Brad Whitford or Derek St.Holmes are, you´re probably not into rockmusic at all or have been lying under a stone the past 40 years.
Brad Whitford is the guitarist of Aerosmith and Derek St.Holmes is Ted Nugent´s lead singer on his classic 70´s albums, these two legendary rockers teamed up and released a really great album in the 80´s.
While Joe Perry is playing with Hollywood Vampires and Steven Tyler is about to release his first solo album, Brad Whitford and Derek St.Holmes didn´t hesitate to rock again.
So now they´re back and tried to re-create the sound of their first album from 1981, the new album has the logic title of "Reunion" and even if it´s not the same top quality of as the 1981 album, "Reunion" is still a good record.
They have borrowed a segment of Yardbirds 60´s hit "Shapes of things" on the opening track "Shapes", it´s cool to hear the outro with the violin that bring thoughts to Kansas.
I´m glad they´re back.
Highlights : Flood of lies, Catch my fall
Recommended if you like April Wine, Barry Goudreau, Bachman Turner Overdrive