Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Loverboy - Rock´n´roll Revival

Loverboy - Rock´n´roll Revival (2012) Frontiers Records
Produced by Bob Rock
Tracks : 1.Rock´n´roll revival 2.No tomorrow 3.Heartbreaker 4.Turn me loose 5.Working for the weekend 6.Lovin every minute of it 7.The kid is hot tonite 8.Lucky ones 9.Always on my mind 10.Queen of the broken heart 11.When it´s over 12.Hot girls in love
4 out of 5

Loverboy is without doubt one of the best bands from Canada, they´re giants of AOR with more than 10 million sold albums where their 1981 "Get lucky" album is the most successful one. The new album "Rock´n´roll revival" is the first release since "Just getting started" (2007) but there are only 3 new tracks on it, the other 9 tracks are re-recordings of their biggest hits. Only songs taken from their 4 first albums performed by the original line up except bassist Ken Sinnaeve who used to play with Paul Dean and Matt Frenette in Streetheart, before Loverboy.
Well, it´s a bit of a disappointment to get only 3 new tracks and I´m not too excited about these re-recordings even if they´re performed very close to the original versions, Mike Reno still sings like a hero and the production from Bob Rock is faultless. I want new music! What about the new material then? Yeah, they´re great of course, classic Loverboy so to speak. It´s impossible to give this album any less than 4 stars, by the way.....a cool bass solo from Ken Sinnaeve on "Hot girls in love". Nice.

Hess - Living in yesterday

Hess - Living in yesterday (2012) Frontiers Records
Produced by Harry Hess
Tracks : 1.Living in yesterday 2.Reach for you 3.It´s over 4.Don´t leave me 5.What if 6.Nothing lasts forever 7.Falling down 8.I live for you 9.I don´t wanna want you 10.Where to run
3 out of 5

"Living in yesterday" is the 2nd solo album from former Harem Scarem singer Harry Hess, his first one "Just another day" from 2003 was a mediocre album but the new one is better. Even though Harem Scarem parted ways in 2008 with their last studio album "Hope", we´re still getting Harem Scarem-like albums such as First Signal in 2010 which was a collaboration between Hess and Dennis Ward. And now "Living in yesterday" that sounds like a softer Harem Scarem album, not so strange since his former bandpals Pete Lesperance, Creighton Doane and Darren Smith are playing on the album. There are also guest appearances from well respected guitarists like Tommy Denander on "I don´t wanna want you", Magnus Karlsson on "Living in yesterday" and Howie Simon on "What if" and "It´s over".
This is a safe buy if you´re a fan of Hess, where the highlights are the title track, "I live for you" and "I don´t wanna want you".

Monday, July 30, 2012

Close To Home - Momentum

Close To Home - Momentum (2012) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Andrew Wade
Tracks : 1.Make it count 2.Don´t waste your breath 3.Pirates belong at sea 4.Hanging onto nothing 5.Family ties 6.Backstabbers need not apply 7.Sleepless in Cincinatti 8.Young and stupid 9.Fake it til you make it 10.Modern warfare 11.Nights like tonight
3,5 out of 5

This album is just great, melodic post hardcore with layers of keyboards and pop punk choruses with huge hooks. Close To Home released their debut "Never back down" last year but their singer left the band to work fulltime as a fire fighter so the band had to look for a replacement and they found Andrew DeNeef the week before they headed into the studio to record the new album.
If someone asks me if I ever get to tired to listen to or talk music, my answer NEVER! I just wrote 2 new songs with the guitarist and my bandpal in Blue Cow Kent, only to visit my daughter to hear about the Kid Down show who by they way, are her friends as well. And between this, I had Close To Home in my mp3 player during the walk. I live, eat, sleep and breath music.
All for the chance of hearing new great albums like Close To Home´s "Momentum", they´ve got enough energy to light up the entire autobahn in Germany. Just listen to "Don´t waste your breath" or "Pirates belong at sea", what a great way to start the album!
Buy or die!

A Bullet For Pretty Boy - Symbiosis

A Bullet For Pretty Boy - Symbiosis (2012) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Zeuss
Tracks : 1.Red medic 2.Forgiven not forgotten 3.Come clean 4.White noise 5.Illumination 6.The grateful prey 7.De(v)tails 8.Reptilian tongue 9.Obstruct 10.Self-disclosure
3 out of 5

The christian hardcore band A Bullet For Pretty formed in 2006 and released their debut "Revision:Revise" in 2010, this summer their follow up "Symbiosis" comes out and according to the band, it´s a deeply personal record with some very honest lyrics. The album is full of varying dynamics and musical experimentation where tracks like "Red medic" and "Illumination" are proof of. They are really heavy in "The grateful prey" while songs like "Forgiven not forgotten" and "Self-disclosure" can be described as atmospheric metalcore. Great choruses. Another huge chorus can be found in "Come clean", the best track along with "Reptilian tongue" that is rather odd. Imagine a punkish King Crimson in 2012 and you´ll get "Reptilian tongue". Nice.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

12 Stones - Beneath the scars

12 Stones - Beneath the scars (2012) Executive Music Group
Produced by Skidd Mills
Tracks : 1.Infected 2.Bulletproof 3.For the night 4.Worlds collide 5.That changes everything 6.The one thing 7.Blind 8.I´m with you 9.Bury me 10.Psycho 11.Only human 12.Someone like you 13.Shine on me 14.Pretty poison
4 out of 5

With 2 million albums sold, the Louisiana rock band 12 Stones is to be reckoned with but I have always thought they walked in the footsteps of Nickelback on their 3 first albums. However, they have broken out of the chains of postgrunge music similar to Default and Puddle of Mudd on their new album "Beneath the scars". It´s less postgrunge and more basic hard rock with traces of modern rock, perhaps the label change from Wind up Records to Executive Music Group only did good for the band since the new album is their best so far. This is very much a rocking album with just a few ballads, the 2 first singles "Infected" and "Bulletproof" are major active rock hits. Great songs but what about the killer title track "Worlds collide", love it. While "Psycho" is a traditional modern rock track and a good one too, the brilliant "For the night" and "That changes everything" bring thoughts to Goo Goo Dolls. Just super!
"Beneath the scars" is their first full length album in 5 years since "Anthem for the underdog" in 2007 and it´s definitely worth the wait. Hallelujah!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Evolove - Acoustic Sessions Vol.1

Evolove - Acoustic Sessions Vol.1 (2012) Opus 1 Music
Produced by Evolove
Tracks : 1.Wake up call 2.Everything´s falling 3.Four walls 4.3 Cheers 5.Irony of life 6.The dream 7.Nothing but me 8.Let me in 9.Spare me 10.Fear 11.Toyshop girl 12.2012
2,5 out of 5

Los Angeles based pop/rock band Evolove is fronted by the charismatic Lucy Levinsohn who´s voice reminds a bit of Gwen Stefani (No Doubt) and Greta Valenti (Well Hung Heart). But the music on their new acoustic album has more in common with Paramore and 4 Non Blondes, we get 3 unplugged versions from their debut "2012:Countdown to the end" where the track "Let me in" stand out. The band also deliver 5 new acoustic versions of all tracks from last year´s "Breaking heartstrings EP" where the laid back "Nothing but me" is my personal fave. The real bonus of this album are the 4 new tracks, "3 Cheers", "The dream", "Spare me" and "Everything´s falling". I would love to hear full band electric versions of "3 Cheers" and "The dream" so I hope they can re-record them on the next album.
Since this one is called Vol.1, I guess they will release Acoustic Sessions Vol.2 too, it´s a bit too early for that I think. Unless they record a bunch of covers.

Panooc - Session 1 : Re_Generative

Panooc - Session 1:Re_Generative (2012) Independent
Produced by Sean Thornton / Leah Gough-Cooper
Tracks : 1.Outbreak 2.White doves to Florence 3.L to Q to Coney 4.Cross-Moor 5.Some way back home 6.Sunshine state 7.Pink, brown and beige
2 out of 5

I get the most odd review requests sometimes and once in a while I do jump on it and head into a musical world I wouldn´t normally visit, like for example Saxophone player Leah Gough Cooper´s new project Panooc. She released her first jazz-fusion album "Human equivalent" in 2009 and now follows up with the sophomore album "Session 1:Re_Generative" which is more of a jazz/electronica/funk album. Not that far from Miles Davis be-bop/electronica adventures, just listen to "White doves to Florence" that could´ve been penned by Miles Davis before he went away. The funky "Outbreak" is really cool but the Frank Zappa melodies of "Cross-moor" is by far the best track here, lovely groove.
The music gets a little too electronic in tracks like "L to Q to Coney" and "Sunshine state", they are in fact quite annoying. A decent EP anyhow.

Jason Masi - Life is wonderful

Jason Masi - Life is wonderful (2012) Independent
Produced by Jason Masi / Mike Jarvis / Daniel Clarke
Tracks : 1.The right kind of things 2.Next to you 3.Don´t know nothin´ 4.The situation 5.That summer 6.Windy road 7.Grain of sand 8.People 9.Miss you around 10.Golden sun 11.Life is wonderful
3 out of 5

You could easily think that an album that takes the listener through a soundscape of jazz, country, folkrock, blues and traditional singer/songwriter style, should be a rather shattered affair. But Jason Masi manages to hold it all together and does it real nice, it´s quite easy to tell that Masi loves his own music because it shines through on tracks like "Don´t know nothin´" and "Life is wonderful". Not to mention the cool "People", he sings really well on this song as well. I did a little complaining about his limited vocal performance on the previous album "Balance and pull" (2010) but Masi knows what vocal range to make the melodies in on the new album and the result feels a lot more relaxing. Just listen to "Grain of sand" or "Next to you" that gets you in the sunday afternoon mood right away. The best track is "The right kind of things" that opens the album, a perfect song to start the show with or as an encore. It gets you up and going in no time.
Good stuff.

Wake Up Lucid - Feel it

Wake Up Lucid - Feel it (2012) Independent
Produced by Joe Cardamone
Tracks : 1.Feel it 2.Arms 3.Rising tide 4.When I come around 5.Fame 6.Drunk on information 7.Facepaint 8.Just can´t ignore 9.Death valley 10.Where are we now 11.Black hair woman
2 out of 5

The Los Angeles based trio Wake Up Lucid has created a suitable 70´s retro sound on their new album "Feel it" that drops on Aug 7th, they deliver bluesy garage rock with traces of Black Keys, White Stripes and The Strokes. The album is a bit uneven but I like tracks such as "Facepaint", "Just can´t ignore" and the riff rocker "Black hair woman". If Jimi Hendrix was alive today, I bet he would have Wake Up Lucid as one of his favorite bands. They aren´t that bad really, I really like their live-like production and energy but some songs just don´t move me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sound Storm - Immortalia

Sound Storm - Immortalia (2012) Scarlet Records
Produced by Ettore Rigotti
Tracks : 1.Immortalia 2.Back to life 3.The curse of the moon 4.Blood of maiden 5.Faraway 6.Promises 7.Call me devil 8.Seven veils 9.Watching you fading 10.Wrath of the storm 11.The portrait
3 out of 5

In the press release of Italian power metal band Sound Storm´s new album "Immortalia", it says "an outstanding mix of powerful guitars, magnificent symphonic choirs, gothic atmospheres and baroque melodies". That sounds like an interesting mix, don´t you think? The new album is the follow up to the critically acclaimed debut "Twilight Opera", and the band truly deliver a bombastic metal album with dramatic and theatrical pieces. I think of them as musical cousins to The Murder of My Sweet, Sabaton and Nightwish, songs like "Back to life", "Faraway", "Promises" and "Seven veils" will without doubt put them on the map of symphonic metal. I like this!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Polarization - Chasing the light

Polarization - Chasing the light (2012) Mediaskare Records
Produced by Polarization
Tracks : 1.Damages 2.Ultrazone 3.Pulse 4.Teardrop 5.Reanimate 6.Solar attack 7.Neon sky 8.Alive 9.Chasing the light 10.Shape shifter 11.The other side of paradise
3,5 out of 5

Instrumental rock albums can be pretty boring at times if the music doesn´t contain any elements of surprise or beautiful arrangements, not to mention the most important part, strong melodies.
Los Angeles based trio Polarization deliver a rather odd fusion affair with traces of death metal and progressive rock. Among their influences we find Freak Kitchen, Meshuggah, Sikth and Allan Holdsworth. They are excellent players and I am especially impressed by the six string work, their guitarist truly sound like a mix between Mattias Ia Eklundh and Allan Holdsworth. Awesome. The songs are quite entertaining too, they blend heavy riffs with jazzrock harmonies where the highlights are "Ultrazone" and "Neon sky".
This album do have the elements of surprise so thumbs up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Forever Came Calling - Contender

Forever Came Calling - Contender (2012) Pure Noise Records
Produced by Matt Vincent / Sam Pura
Tracks : 1.Learning 2.For the wolves 3.Harbours 4.The office 5.Ideas 6.If Bukowski could see me now 7.I´ll be better I promise 8.Front porch sunrise 9.Contender 10.Dead poets honor
2,5 out of 5

California based pop punk band Forever Came Calling is getting rave reviews over websites like Absolutepunk and AlternativePress for their debut album "Contender", they supported Hawthorne Heights on tour this summer and if you´re out for a short album with 2 minute songs that shouts out more punk than pop. This album might be your cup of tea. There are moments when I think of MxPx and in others, Millencolin but without the skate punk sound. If you think there´s too much pop in Green Day these days and miss their early days of punk rock, then you should check out "Contender". The music on this album doesn´t move me that much so it´s not a contender for the album of the year for me.
The band is tight and I do enjoy "The office" which is a catchy song but they could´ve had a bit more attitude on the rest of the album.

Shannon Noll - Turn it up

Shannon Noll - Turn it up (2007) Sony Music
Produced by Luke Ebbin
Tracks : 1.Loud 2.Everybody needs a little help 3.In pieces 4.Crashing down 5.Is you 6.Walls 7.Breakdown 8.Way out 9.Sorry is just too late 10.Afterburn 11.Won´t let you go 12.Only thing missing
3,5 out of 5

Aussie rocker Shannon Noll´s 3nd album "Turn it up" is a safe buy if you loved his previous hit album "Lift" from 2005, he continues with hookladen melodic rock/AOR on this album that also features a guest appearance from Richie Sambora on "Sorry is just too late" which Sambora co-wrote with Noll. That ballad feels rather average though, however there are plenty of upbeat tracks on "Turn it up" where my favorites are "Loud", "In pieces" and "Afterburn".
For fans of Mitch Malloy, Billy Klippert and Harry Hess.
Shannon Noll is touring Australia this year supporting his new album "A million suns".

Monday, July 23, 2012

Serial Miller - End of the line

Serial Miller - End of the line (2007) Independent
Produced by Beard Bates
Tracks : 1.Survival 2.End of the line 3.Free reign 4.My least favorite things 5.Leave now 6.Sink 7.Hold on 8.How many times 9.Soulfire 10.Everlasting 11.Glorified 12.Excuses 13.Beer commercial
2,5 out of 5

Singer Corey Miller was born in Hawaii but grew up in Texas, and then moved to Los Angeles where he and his brother Jesse Miller formed the band Critter Jones and released the debut EP "We´ve come to take you home" in 2003. Corey left Critter Jones to start his own band Serial Miller in 2007 with the album "End of the line" as the only release. Now, he´s back in Critter Jones and they´ve got a new album called "Now´s the time" out in 2012. So how do Serial Miller sound like? Well, take a piece of 90´s alternative rock and a piece of grunge and mix it with real dose of rocknroll and we´re close to the sound of "End of the line". Definitely for fans of Candlebox, Buckcherry and Seven Mary Three.
Songs that stand out are "Free reign" and "Leave out", I don´t like the Led Zep-blues of "How many times" at all. The album is a bit uneven but the good moments are really good on the other hand.

Scream Silence - Aphelia

Scream Silence - Aphelia (2007) Plainsong Records
Produced by Scream Silence
Tracks : 1.My eyes 2.Harvest 3.Kerosene 4.The vitriol 5.Nothingness 6.My tenebrous illusion 7.Unspoken 8.In every sin 9.Riders 10.Aphelia
3 out of 5

I continue my trip among 5 year old releases that has remained unheard for me until now when I decided to listen to every record I have in my 2007 folder on my computer. This time out is the German goth rock band Scream Silence that formed in 1998 and debuted with "To die for" in 1999. Their 6th album "Aphelia" came out in 2007 and it´s quite obvious that they´re heavily influenced by H.I.M, The 69 Eyes and Type O Negative. We´re talking dark synth-laden goth rock here, the album is well produced and I really enjoy tracks like "Kerosene" and "Unspoken". The band also released "Apothology" in 2008 and the self titled new album in February 2012.
Solid stuff!

Scouting For Girls - Scouting For Girls

Scouting For Girls - Scouting For Girls (2007) Sony Music
Produced by Andy Green
Tracks : 1.Keep on waiting 2.She´s so lovely 3.It´s not about you 4.The airplane song 5.Heartbeat 6.Elvis ain´t dead 7.I´m not over you 8.I need a holiday 9.The mountains of Navaho 10.James Bond
3,5 out of 5

Better late than never, I mean the Britpop band Scouting For Girls reached #1 on the UK album chart with their debut album from 2007 that also features 7 hit singles where 3 are Top 10 hits, but it´s the first time I listen to this album. And it´s really good, the album is filled with bright upbeat piano driven pop in the same vein as The Boo Radley´s, The Adventures and Deep Blue Something. This is music that makes you happy, I love all tracks but I would like to lift up "Elvis ain´t dead" and "It´s not about you" a bit more. Irresistable pop dear friends! This trio also released "Everybody wants to be on TV" in 2010 and in September this year, their 3rd album "The light between us" comes out. Bravo!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Satellite - Into the night

Satellite - Into the night (2007) Metal Mind Productions
Produced Wojtek Szadkowski
Tracks : 1.Into the night 2.Dreams 3.Downtown skyline 4.Lights 5.Don´t go away in silence 6.Heaven can wait 7.Forgiven and forgotten
3,5 out of 5

We used to have an "old but fresh" review section at melodic.net, this album fits that category just fine.
You can always count on quality music from Polish progrock band Satellite after their first two albums "A street between sunrise and sunset" (2003) and "Evening games" (2006), that both were great. Not to mention their 3rd album "Into the night" that follows the same tradition of old school prog with epic tracks like "Forgiven and forgotten", "Into the night" and the 13 minute long "Dreams".
Although it doesn´t match the first two albums with equally great songs, this album is a must anyhow where the songs are rich of nuances and pro-musicianship.
The band released one more album with "Nostalgia" in 2009 but then there´s silence, no word if they´re a defunct band today or if they are writing for a new album. Let´s hope for the last.

Stockholm - Eyes in the dark

Stockholm - Eyes in the dark (2012) Independent
Produced by Stockholm
Tracks : 1.Don´t stop now 2.Wildfire 3.Goodbye tomorrow 4.Runaway 5.Dream 6.I´m coming home 7.Eyes in the dark 8.The young and free 9.This love 10.Bad by design 11.The end
2 out of 5

They´re called Stockholm but they are hardly from Stockholm, Sweden but instead Orlando, Florida. If you don´t know which sound you should focus on, just make trendy music and hope that someone will dig your songs. That is, if you have a bunch of great songs lined up but Stockholm forgot all about this important fact. To me, they sound like a 2nd division Coldplay/The Killers where I cannot seperate one song from another. They all soundalike and I get bored halfway through the album, mediocre is a word that comes to mind while listening to songs like "Runaway" and "Wildfire". There are a couple of songs that saves this album from sinking totally and they are "Don´t stop now" and "This love", pretty good in fact.
Next time you make a record, try to write songs that aren´t in the same key all the time.

The Royal Concept - The Royal Concept

The Royal Concept - The Royal Concept (2012) Sony Music
Produced by The Royal Concept
Tracks : 1.Gimme twice 2.Goldrushed 3.Knocked up 4.D-D-Dance 5.In the end
3 out of 5

The Royal Concept, formerly known as The Concept, are most often compared to the French electro pop band Phoenix. Their hit single "Gimme twice" is all over the airwaves and they are slowly building a name for themselves in Europe, the catchy and Melody Club-like "D-D-Dance" sounds like a contender for the next single. The upbeat "Goldrushed" will please fans of The Killers and Neon Trees, I think a more suitable way to describe their music would be bubblegum new wave!
Make way for The Royal Concept, they´re about to conquer the world.
I just wish they had a little more identity in their sound.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seremedy - Welcome to our madness

Seremedy - Welcome to our madness (2012) Ninetone Records
Produced by Patrik Frisk
Tracks : 1.Welcome to our madness 2.No escape 3.Siren 4.World domination 5.Always by your side 6.Ricochet 7.Torygan 8.Shivering 9.Yellow flash 10.Bulletproof roulette 11.Closure
3 out of 5

Ninetone Records is slowly becoming one of the leading rock/metal labels in Sweden with bands like Corroded, The Durango Riot, Lillasyster, Entombed, Sherlock Brothers and now also Seremedy. This band has signed with Universal Music in Japan where their 16 year old guitarist Yohio is getting the same attention as Yngwie Malmsteen. Respect!
Seremedy combine dark and aggressive metal with bright and melodic rock, there are traces of classic heavy metal as well as industrial rock in their debut album "Welcome to our madness". But mainly, it´s a pop metal album with radio ready songs like the first single "No escape", "Siren" and "Always by your side". Especially the track "Always by your side" sounds like The Rasmus meets Tokio Hotel, I won´t be surprised if the kids will hum on this chorus during this fall.
It´s a good album and I have no doubt they will be playing Festivals next year, my favorite track is "Yellow flash" that bring thoughts to Orgy. Cool!

9Tomorrows - Gravity in love

9Tomorrows - Gravity in love (2011) Blind Eye Records
Produced by David Kellogg
Tracks : 1.Levity 2.Insane 3.Walk through the door 4.Karma too 5.Interlude 6.Enough for two 7.Tomorrow today is yesterday 8.Let it go 9.Still life 10.Morning light 11.Slip on by 12.Gentle and sideways 13.Halfway around the world 14.Reprise
3,5 out of 5

"Gravity in love" is the debut album from Minneapolis based 9Tomorrows, led by producer/songwriter David Kellogg that first released the "Wrong turn into yesterday" EP in 2010 and then this full length album that feels like a warm summer breeze. Kellogg is joined by wonderful lead singer Dax Young with a voice reminiscent of the late Paul Young of Mike and The Mechanics, bassist Jai Bowie (son of Banjo god Jim Bowie) and Kellogg´s studio partner Stephen Helvig on vocals/guitars.
The band deliver a fine mix of reggae, acoustic pop and alternative rock, for fans of Counting Crows, Crowded House and Sting (in some moments). It´s wrong to compare this to Jason Mraz because the music of 9Tomorrows feels way more mature and has depth to it as well, my favorite tracks are the single "Levity", "Karma too", "Still life" and the beautiful "Tomorrow today is yesterday".
Real nice!

Silver Snakes - Old Light

Silver Snakes - Old Light (2012) Animal Style Records
Produced by Steve Choi
Tracks : 1.Loom 2.Circles
3 out of 5

Los Angeles based rock/hardcore band Silver Snakes formed in 2010 and released their debut album "Pictures of a floating world" in 2011, the band features Alex Estrada - Vocals/Guitar, Jeremiah Bignell - Guitar, Mike Trujillo - Bass (no it´s not the Metallica bassist) and Daniel Pouliot - Drums. This summer, the band releases the new 2 track single "Old light" with the new songs "Loom" and "Circles". It´s nice to hear some good old hardcore that bring thoughts to Refused, Cave In and At the drive in. The songs grow on me, they´re more of dark and moving rock songs than aggressive hardcore I think, fans of Thrice and Hell is for heroes should also check out this band. The guitar harmonies of "Loom" are massive.

This Is She - Nobody is ok

This Is She - Nobody is Ok (2012) Independent
Produced by This Is She
Tracks : 1.Grow up 2.Ghosts 3.Disobey 4.Misery 5.Nobody is ok 6.Brace myself
4 out of 5

This band came as a surprise to me, I have followed solo artist Alana Grace through her career with great albums like "Break the silence" (2007) and "With one word" (2009) and really love the cool modern rock band The After Midnight Project that released a strong album in 2009 called "Let´s build something to break" plus a few independent EP´s. But I had no idea that members of The After Midnight Project and Alana Grace had a new band, awesome! They´re called This Is She and features Christian Paul Meadows - Guitar, Ryan Folden - Drums and Alana Grace - Vocals. They met during the Warped Tour in 2009 and started working together in 2010 when The After Midnight Project went on indefinite hiatus. The result is the 6 track EP "Nobody is ok" and I truly like what I hear a lot, this EP is quite different from their earlier work and can be described as as a rock-pop-electronica-dance affair. I really hope they can create some buzz in the music industry with these infectious songs that will work just as fine on the dance floor as on active rock radio. I love all songs except the title track that sounds like a producer had just a little too much fun in the remixing mood. The question is, when will Rihanna cover "Disobey"? This is bloody great folks!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Reasoning - Awakening

The Reasoning - Awakening (2007) Comet Music
Produced by The Reasoning
Tracks : 1.Awakening 2.Chasing rainbows 3.Playing the game 4.Aching hunger 5.Sacred shape 6.Fallen angel 7.Shadows of the mind 8.Within cold glass
3,5 out of 5

Imagine if there was such a thing as a music blender where you could create your own favorite albums, for example, you put in Pink Floyd, Anathema and Enchant and out comes The Reasoning. That´s exactly how the British progrock band The Reasoning sounds like. Their debut album "Awakening" from 2007 is a really great old school progrock affair and I have no good answer of why I haven´t listened to this great band earlier. The song "Within cold glass" has a special guest as Steve Rothery of Marillion, but it´s not the best track here. I love the songs "Aching hunger" and "Awakening" more, we´re talking songbased progrock here with less technical parts. Nice.
The band was formed by Matthew Cohen (ex.Magenta) and they have released 2 more albums in "Dark angel" in 2008 and "Adverse camber" in 2010, but there is a 4th album "Adventures in neverland" coming out in September 2012. So beware.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For The Fallen Dreams - Wasted youth

For The Fallen Dreams - Wasted youth (2012) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Tom Denney
Tracks : 1.Hollow 2.Resolvent feelings 3.Please don´t hurt 4.Until it runs out 5.Sober 6.Living a lie 7.Always about you 8.Moving forward 9.Your funeral 10.When push comes to shove 11.No one to blame 12.Waking up alone 13.Pretending
3 out of 5

There are albums that you just don´t like the first time you hear it, but after a while you get to appreciate a few songs and immediately the album opens up for you. I thought I would give Michigan based metalcore band For The Fallen Dreams new album "Wasted youth" a 2nd chance because perhaps I wasn´t in the right mood this morning. A long walk with my dog and then back home to this album for another spin, ohyeah it sounded a bit better now. The album is pretty massive and works better in small doses but I really enjoy songs like "Please don´t hurt", "Moving forward", "When push comes to shove" and "Hollow".
According to the band, this is their heaviest album so far so their fans will probably love it.

Belle Histoire - Dreamers

Belle Histoire - Dreamers (2012) InVogue Records
Produced by Belle Histoire
Tracks : 1.Don´t run away 2.Everyday 3.Without you 4.Keep your heart 5.Kids 6.See you again 7.We´ll never learn 8.Ghost 9.Do you love me 10.My dear 11.Home
3 out of 5

The debut album from Cincinatti based indie rock band Belle Histoire is filled with catchy upbeat songs like "Don´t run away" and "Kids" that both would work just fine on alternative rock radio or if you´re out for nice ballads, just listen to "See you again" or "Keep your heart". This is a varied album that sounds like a mix between Sixpence None The Richer, Copeland and The Cardigans. Singer Jane Smith is really talented where her vocal performance is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette on the beautiful "Home", and I like their bandname Belle Histoire which is the French meaning for beautiful history.
Expect to see more of this promising band.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Small Community - A day becomes a lifetime

My Small Community - A day becomes a lifetime (2007) Edge Records
Produced by My Small Community
Tracks : 1.The choice is yours 2.Let it burn 3.Within reach 4.Open world 5.Endless day 6.Poison 7.What I can do with you 8.Before you 9.Into the unknown 10.Blindfold 11.Disappear 12.And the chopper returns
3 out of 5

What do I know about rock music from Hungary?.........(silence).....eh, ok then, I know a few bands like The Idoru, H.A.R.D and Age of Nemesis. And now also My Small Community from Budapest.
But the big stop sign comes up after these 4 bands, for a long time it hasn´t been easy for rock bands to get somewhere on the eastern front. But things are changing and thanks to the internet, bands like My Small Community has a bigger chance to get their music outside Hungary.
Their debut "A day becomes a lifetime" is a solid hard rock/heavy metal affair with traces of 80´s rock but I can also feel the winds of grunge in a few songs. They even pull off a cover of Alice Cooper´s "Poison" but in a more punk-ish way, nice. The best tracks are "Let it burn" and "Within reach".
The band also released an EP in 2010.

Movies With Heroes - Nothing here is perfect

Movies With Heroes - Nothing here is perfect (2007) C.I Records
Produced by Movies With Heroes
Tracks : 1.Wake up 2.Ink 3.Wildflower 4.Nothing 5.Believe 6.Warmer 7.The wave 8.Moth and rust 9.Need it now 10.Miracle drug
3,5 out of 5

It´s fun to discover new unknown bands even if their albums are a few years old like this one with Pennsylvania based Movies With Heroes. Formerly known as Mack, The Coffee Name which is a lousy name but they changed to Movies With Heroes and released their debut EP "Slate" in 2003, followed by the full length album "Nothing here is perfect" in 2007. And then silence.
Like always with these emo bands, no future at all since the trends are blowing a completely different direction soundwise. But a great album is a great album no matter what genre!
Their sound can be described as a mix between Saves The Day and The All American Rejects, not entirely 100% emo but also traces of powerpop. There are lots of memorable songs on this album such as "Wake up", "Ink", "Nothing", "Warmer" and "The wave".
Highly recommendable!

Minipop - A new hope

Minipop - A new hope (2007) Take Root Records
Produced by Chris Manning
Tracks : 1.Fingertrips 2.Like I do 3.Generator 4.A new hope 5.Precious 6.Ask me a question 7.Butterflies 8.Someone to love 9.My little bee 10.Untitled
3 out of 5

I listened to San Fransisco based Minipop when my wife came home from work, -what you´re listening to? She said. -A band called Minipop, I told her. -What a crappy bandname? She answered.
Well, I don´t think it´s a great name but on the other hand, it´s not that bad either.
The band features Matthew Swanson - Guitar/Keyboards, Tricia Kanne - Vocals, Nick Forte - Bass and Lauren Grubb - Drums. Their debut album "A new hope" is produced by Chris Manning of Jellyfish and it´s a beautiful dreampop album in the same vein as A Camp, Dream State and Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks theme). The music is very soft where the first half of the album is stronger than the 2nd half, but what a nice song "Fingerprints" is. Love it.
They have also released the "Automatic love" EP in 2010.

Mindrite - The meaning of the word love

Mindrite - The meaning of the word love (2007) The 660 Group
Produced by Ari
Tracks : 1.Borderline 2.More 3.Hail the queen 4.Humility 5.Driver 6.Die right now 7.God´s honest truth 8.Stranger 9.Never again 10.pulse 11.Without color 12.Diary 13.The end
3,5 out of 5

Iowa based alternative metal band Mindrite was really creative between 2006-2010 with 6 album releases from the debut "The Xenocide" to the latest album "Author of addiction". Their two best albums are considered to be the 2008 album "This moment or lack thereof" and this one, "The meaning of the word love" from 2007. It´s a top seller at CDBABY and this is actually the first time I listen to it. Well, it´s never too late to check out a great record because this is a strong rock/metal album with catchy choruses and superheavy riffs that bring thoughts to 10 Years and Deftones.
Highlights : "Driver", "God´s honest truth", "Borderline"

Mighty Six Ninety - Cheers to the bitter end

Mighty Six Ninety - Cheers to the bitter end (2008) Invisible DJ Records
Produced by Tommy Henriksen
Tracks : 1.Keeping you in mind 2.Mistakes like these 3.With me 4.I´m not smiling 5.Northern border 6.Leave this world 7.Regardless 8.Unknown 9.Believable 10.I wonder if I´m even here 11.Never go to sleep 12.Break up 13.Cheers to the bitter end
3 out of 5

Los Angeles based Mighty Six Ninety only released one album, "Cheers to the bitter end" in 2008. It was followed by the "Mistakes like these" EP the same year, the track "Mistakes like these" is included on this full length album and is also one of the highlights along with "Regardless" and "Unknown". This band takes the listener back to 80´s Britpop a la The Cure, Echo and The Bunnymen and New Order. They do it well and the sound is very retro, well performed songs and there are moments when my thoughts go to another band that producer Tommy Henriksen worked with in 2006, namely Clear Static.
A solid album worth checking out if you´re into The Cure-like new wave.

Megan McCauley - Better than blood

Megan McCauley - Better than blood (2007) Wind up Records
Produced by Bob Marlette / Max Martin / Neal Avron
Tracks : 1.Migraine 2.Fragile 3.Wrong way out 4.Reverie 5.Tap that 6.Wonder 7.Realize 8.See through 9.Come to me 10.Porcelain doll 11.I´ll pay you to shoot him
3 out of 5

The future seemed bright for 17 year old Megan McCauley back in 2007 with songs featured in soundtrack albums to Fantastic Four and Elektra, a major label deal with Wind up Records and a full length debut album produced by some of the biggest names in the business such as Bob Marlette, Max Martin and Neal Avron. But the album "Better than blood" was dead on arrival, definitely not a flip but more of a flop. Because it was that bad? Not really, there are some great songs on it like "Wrong way out" and "Porcelain doll". But Megan McCauley doesn´t get to prove who she really is, all the label wanted was to put her in the same lane as Evanescence, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne. No own identity at all so to speak because in "Tap that" she sounds like Pink and in "Wonder" all I think of is Kelly Clarkson. The rocker "Fragile" could´ve been an unreleased song by Evanescence and "Reverie" has Avril Lavigne written all over it.
There are no signs of Megan McCauley after this 2007 album but rumours has it that she is working on a new album this year, we can only hope she will try her own wings this time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Maps - We can create

Maps - We can create (2007) Mute Records
Produced by James Chapman / Valgeir Sigurdsson
Tracks : 1.So low so high 2.You don´t know her name 3.Elouise 4.It will find you 5.Glory verse 6.Liquid sugar 7.To the sky 8.Back and forth 9.Lost my soul 10.Dont fear 11.When you leave
3,5 out of 5

Maps is a one man band with James Chapman from Northampton, UK, handling everything from programming to synthesizers and vocals. The debut album "We can create" can be described as Owl City meets Moby on a picnic with Stars of Track and Field. Electronic dream pop that will soothe your soul, imagine yourself in a space shuttle gazing at the stars with the tones of "It will find you". The opener "So low so high" is my favorite, the song is more upbeat but I also enjoy the bright pop of "You don´t know her name" and "Lost my soul". Maps followed up with "Turning the mind" in 2009 and in 2012, the 3rd full length album will be released. This is a great album folks.

Lynden - The act of becoming

Lynden - The act of becoming (2007) Independent
Produced by Lynden
Tracks : 1.The war to end all wars 2.Slip from my hand 3.Why 4.Indisguise 5.Breathe 6.Back together 7.The other side 8.Too much 9.All I know 10.Over you 11.Again
3 out of 5

I thought it was just a matter of months before the band Lynden would be signed by a major label when I did the review of their debut album "Pieces Vol.1" (2006) at melodic.net. But just like in many other cases when talented artists vanish into thin air, there would only be 2 releases from this band where "The act of becoming" was their last one. Frontman Coury Palermo decided to go solo and has released 2 EP´s and the full length album "The broken way we love" up to now, but he´s also working on The Fury project with Jennifer Paige and a new single will be out this fall.
We´re talking beautiful pop/rock here where the major part is laid back, Coury is a great singer and I love songs like "Slip from my hand", "Too much" and "All I know" but I thought the first album was a bit stronger.
You get kinda romantic while listening to "The act of becoming", I wonder why no major label artist has picked up the lovely ballad "Again"? It deserves to be on the charts.

Long Since Forgotten - The theft

Long Since Forgotten - The theft (2007) Evo Recordings
Produced by Kevin Bruchert
Tracks : 1.Hot house 2.Ready or not 3.Large Farva 4.Vegas 5.Mr Rubber burner 6.Memphis 7.Shazbot 8.Waltz 9.Moonlight 10.Amy racecar 11.Octopussy 12.Palindromes 13.You write the music 14.The money 15.The cybernetic ghost
2,5 out of 5

There are lots of bands out there that never makes it, their ambition to get somewhere is the fuel that keeps them going. To play for a few hundred fans in small clubs and release albums that sell a few thousand copies if they´re lucky. The East coast band Long Since Forgotten is such a band, formed in 1999 and released 4 full length albums where "The theft" is the latest one from 2007. The Japan version of this album contains 3 more tracks, when I did a review of their previous album "Standing room only" (2004) at melodic.net, I gave it 2,5 stars and thought they sounded a bit British like Manic Street Preachers and Travis. Well, I don´t get the same feeling when hearing "The theft". LSF has become more emo on this album but still with the indie rock-feel to it, songs like "Waltz" and "Octopussy" are quite good but there are way too many mediocre tracks too. "Hot house" is another catchy song that bring thoughts to Jimmy Eat World while "You write the music" is the best Japanese bonus track.

Lahannya - Shotgun reality

Lahannya - Shotgun reality (2007) Kabuki Records
Produced by Lahannya / Lutz Demmler
Tracks : 1.Beautiful girl 2.Bleed for me 3.Narcotic 4.Doors 5.Wandering 6.Rain 7.Charades 8.Losing yourself 9.Heaven 10.Roundabouts 11.Silent victim 12.Payback
2,5 out of 5

It´s really nice with vacation and lots of time to spend on all those old albums you haven´t listened to yet so today the debut album from London based artist Lahannya is spinning in my stereo. "Shotgun reality" has a nice sound and not so industrial that I expected, it´s more like a warm gothrock album with traces of industrial rock and a slight touch of new wave. Lahannya is not the strongest singer I´ve heard, she has a rather average voice but it works to the music. There could´ve been a little more power to the mix as well but other than that, it´s a good album. I like the dark soundscape of "Narcotic" and the Rush-like "Doors" bring thoughts to their Grace under pressure era. Cool. The track "Charades" takes the listener back to the late 70´s and synthmusic such as Ultravox and Simple Minds.
Also available with Lahannya : Welcome to the underground EP (2008), Defiance (2009), Scavenger (2010), Dystopia (2011).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Holy Knights - Between daylight and pain

Holy Knights - Between daylight and pain (2012) Scarlet Records
Produced by Holy Knights
Tracks : 1.Mistery 2.Frozen paradise 3.Beyond the mist 4.11 September 5.Glass room 6.Wasted time 7.Awake 8.The turning to the madness
3,5 out of 5

I usually get kinda bored with powermetal albums if the songs are lined up with double kick drumbeats and army parade choruses like 1000 cliche´s waiting to zzzzzz you to death. But once in a while, I get to hear a really great powermetal album too. Like in this case with Italian band Holy Knights and their new album "Between daylight and pain" that comes out in August.
Their debut "Gate through the past" was released in 2001 and then the band went on hiatus with the members focusing on bands like Thy Majestie and Crimson Wind.
But now they´re back with the line up of Dario Di Matteo - Vocals/Keyboards, Simone Campione - Guitars/Bass and Claudio Florio - Drums. They deliver top song arrangements where I am especially impressed by the keyboard work, the first two songs "Mistery" and "Frozen paradise" are the highlights of the album. The band end the album with a couple of weaker songs in "Awake" and "The turning to the madness" but it doesn´t lower my overall opinion of the album. I think you should check out this symphonic metal piece that goes in the same vein as Royal Hunt and Luca Turilli.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mike Viola - Acousto de perfecto

Mike Viola - Acousto De Perfecto (2012) Lojinx Records
Produced by Mike Viola
Tracks : 1.Secret radio 2.Happy and normal 3.Date night 4.Primary care giver 5.I´m your dog 6.Thing in C 7.El mundo de perfecto 8.Soundtrack of my summer 9.Closet cutter 10.Hair of the dog 11.Tony leather tips
3 out of 5

"Acousta de perfecto" is a collaboration between singer/songwriter Mike Viola and Los Angeles based violinists Eric Summer and Kate Reddish. The album features 6 new songs plus 5 re-interpretations from Viola´s catalogue, including 3 tracks from his latest "Electro de perfecto" album (2011).
Mike Viola is a really cool guy that has written a song called Kiss Alive II and worked with Bleu on the side projects L.E.O and The Major Labels, he has also collaborated with artists like Tim Christensen, Dan Wilson and Ryan Adams. Viola´s songs appeared in films like "Get him to the Greek", "That thing you do" and "Walk hard" and last year he covered Ratt´s "Round and round" on the Guilt by Association Vol.3 compilation. He has released several solo albums as well a few with his band The Candy Butchers.
This acoustic album is quite good but it takes a few spins to get into the music, there are moments when I think his voice is reminiscent of Mark Spiro. The flirt with The Beatles in "Happy and normal" makes me put on a smile but I also dig the new versions of "Soundtrack of my summer", "Closet cutter" and "El mundo de perfecto" from his latest studio album "Electro de perfecto".

The After Party - Kansas

The After Party - Kansas (2012) Independent
Produced by The After Party
Tracks : 1.Waste the day 2.A better me 3.She´s gotta boyfriend 4.Still got love 5.Here comes the rain 6.Unforgettable nights
3 out of 5

Pop/rock act The After Party has named their 3rd EP after their homestate, this band is slowly creating a name for themselves by touring real hard and building up a loyal fan base. They have supported bands like Secondhand Serenade and Boyce Avenue, their infectious songs are handmade for radio where the first single of the new EP "Waste the day" has true hitpotential. But there´s more of those catchy and addictive pop/rock choruses on this 6 track EP, just listen to the upbeat "She´s gotta boyfriend" that would do just fine on a One Direction album or the modern rocker "Still got love" that shows a more mature band. Songs like "Unforgettable nights" and "A better me" will please fans of Allstar Weekend no doubt. Sunny and bright pop indeed.

Friend Slash Lover - The Grey Area

Friend Slash Lover - The Grey Area (2012) Independent
Produced by Thom Flowers
Tracks : 1.As seen on TV 2.The grey area 3.Unaware 4.Dear god 5.S2PD HMN 6.Carry your weight
3,5 out of 5

Now this is a great EP, the 2nd album "The Grey Area" from Los Angeles based Friend Slash Lover that is fronted by singer/songwriter Josh Mintz. A band influenced by David Bowie, The Killers and Depeche Mode sounds really interesting and the music does not disappoint. You can tell they´re huge fans of 70´s new wave and 80´s indie rock, Friend Slash Lover sounds like a mix between The Cure, The Boomtown Rats and A Flock of Seagulls. Songs like "The grey area", "S2PD HMN" and "Unaware" are just adorable or why not the exceptional cover of XTC´s "Dear god" which is lovely. Also available with the band is the 2010 EP "As American as ones and zeros".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Despite Exile - Re-evolve

Despite Exile - Re-evolve (2012) Independent
Produced by Despite Exile
Tracks : 1.Oscillate 2.Perfection neutralized 3.Mechanical
2,5 out of 5

The Italian 5 piece Despite Exile released their debut album "Scarlet Reverie" in 2011 and follow up with the brand new 3 track EP "Re-evolve" this year, they call their sound as progressive deathcore and I think it´s a good way to describe it. The band is tight and they´ve got a massive sound no doubt but many riffs soundalike and I can´t seperate track 2 from track 3. But the opener "Oscillate" is really powerful and I like the nuances in the guitar harmonies here. Perhaps a change in tempo and key will do the trick for these guys when they release the next album?

Krezip - Plug it in

Krezip - Plug it in (2007) Sony / BMG Records
Produced by Adel Dahdal / Peter Mansson
Tracks : 1.Play this game with me 2.Life is sweet 3.Plug it in and turn me on 4.Ordinary day 5.Can´t you be mine 6.Easy way out 7.Not tonight 8.Bored 9.You´re wrong 10.Hey there love 11.All my life
3 out of 5

Alright, one more "old but fresh" review before returning back to new albums again. The Dutch alternative rock band was active between 1997-2008 and released 4 major label albums, 2 on Warner and 2 on Sony/BMG. "Plug it in" is their last studio album but there are two more releases with a "Best of" compilation in 2008 and the live album "Sweet goodbye" in 2009. The band collaborated with Jesper Anderberg and Felix Rodriguez from The Sounds on this album which is so obvious when you listen to tracks like "Play this game with me" and "Plug it in and turn me on". True The Sounds disco rock but the entire album is more of a new wave affair compared to the alternative modern rock on their previous albums. Like a modern Blondie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kiss Kiss - Reality Vs. The Optimist

Kiss Kiss - Reality Vs. The Optimist (2007) Eyeball Records
Produced by Kiss Kiss
Tracks : 1.Janet 2.Iris and eye 3.Sixth sense 4.A conch to the ear 5.Machines 6.Satellite 7.Dress up 8.The friend who bends his bolts at friends 9.The cats in your house 10.The most beautiful birth everendured 11.Vagabond 12.Stay the day
4 out of 5

I´m so glad I finally listened to this album from 5 piece band Kiss Kiss that has the same hometown as the monster rockers Kiss. Namely, New York. Their debut album "Reality Vs. The Optimist" is my cup of tea with dramatic and experimental rock, imagine Fair To Midland meets Brazil with a touch of the progrock of Kansas, thanks to the electric violin performed by Rebecca Schlappich.
This is a really entertaining album even though it´s rather complex at times, I think you could call it artrock/indie/emo. They´ve got a unique sound and if you want to check out more music with this awesome band, listen to their 2nd album "The meek shall inherit what´s left" from 2009. Frontman Josh Benash has formed a new band called Vuvuzela so stay tuned.

Kingfisher Sky - Hallway of dreams

Kingfisher Sky - Hallway of dreams (2007) Suburban Records
Produced by Jochem Jacobs / Bouke Visser
Tracks : 1.The craving 2.Hallway of dreams 3.Balance of power 4.November 5.Big fish 6.Through my eyes 7.Seven feet 8.Persephone 9.Her white dress 10.Brody 11.Sempre fedele
3,5 out of 5

If you want to find out anything about melodic rock, you go to heavyharmonies.com. If you want to read about modern rock, you head on over to melodic.net and if you want to know more about progrock bands, you visit progarchives.com and so I did with Kingfisher Sky. They´re from the Netherlands and was started by former Within Temptation drummer Ivar De Graaf and classically trained vocalist Judith Rijnveld, 4 more musicians joined the band and they released their debut "Hallway of dreams" in 2007. Influenced by artists like Tori Amos, Marillion, Anathema and Porcupine Tree, the band received rave reviews for this album as well as the follow up "Skin of the earth" in 2010.
We´re talking heavy song based prog here where songs like "The craving", "Seven feet" and "Persephone" stand out and another cool song is "Through my eyes" that bring thoughts to Page and Plant.
I like this a lot!

Ken Hensley - Blood on the highway

Ken Hensley - Blood on the highway (2007) Membran Music
Produced by Ken Hensley
Tracks : 1.This is just the beginning 2.We´re on our way 3.Blood on the highway 4.You´ve got it 5.It won´t last 6.Think twice 7.There comes a time 8.Okay 9.What you gonna do 10.Postscript 11.I did it all 12.The last dance
3 out of 5

You gotta admire Ken Hensley for all his classic songs in Uriah Heep, he turned 66 years old this year and is still going strong with the new album "Love and other mysteries" out now. The man has recorded over 50 albums with various bands and as a solo artist, he was in Uriah Heep between 1970-1980 and in Blackfoot between 1982-1985 and is working with former Uriah Heep singer John Lawton once in a while. Such as this album from 2007 that is also available as a concert DVD as well as a book, the Ken Hensley autobiography.
Ken has gathered 4 great singers on "Blood on the highway" like Jorn Lande on the major part of the songs, John Lawton on "It won´t last" that truly sound like a lost Uriah Heep tune, Glenn Hughes is singing on two more soft songs, "The last dance" and "What you gonna do" and Eve Gallagher takes on a more Tina Turner-like vocal performance on "Think twice". The songs by Lande has more in common with early Whitesnake than Hensley´s former band I think. Fans of Uriah Heep will enjoy this piece of work like I did but it´s not a selection of Hensley´s best songs. You will find them in Blackfoot and Uriah Heep.

Kaddisfly - Set sail the prairie

Kaddisfly - Set sail the prairie (2007) Hopeless Records
Produced by Kris Crummett
Tracks : 1.Summer solstice 2.Campfire 3.Waves 4.Harbor 5.Birds 6.Clouds 7.Empire 8.Winter solstice 9.Snowflakes 10.Via rail 11.Silk road 12.Mercury 13.Clockwork 14.Forest
2,5 out of 5

Kaddisfly was an alternative progrock band from Portland, Oregon. Active between 2001-2008 with 3 EP´s and 3 full length albums released where "Set sail the prairie" was the last one. The "Demos and rarities" collection came out in 2011 but the band has split up and some of the members continue as Water and Bodies with their debut album released last year.
This is a lengthy album but unfortunately an uneven affair, it sure has it´s shining moments like "Clouds", "Empire" and "Snowflakes" which shows the band in fine form but there are also some dull moments that makes me wanna skip a few tracks.
For fans of Dredg, Incubus and Circa Survive.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Justin King and The Apologies - S/T

Justin King and The Apologies - S/T (2008) Independent
Produced by Rob Schnapf / Ron Aniello
Tracks : 1.Beauty bar 2.Bailing the Titanic 3.Missing something 4.Postcard 5.Hours 6.25 signs 7.Change 8.Sweetheart 9.Devil and the deep 10.Same mistake 11.Bright and dirty lights 12.Outro
3,5 out of 5

You gotta have patience with me right now since I´m going through a lot of albums that I own but never listened to until now, it was a time when I received more music than I could ever soak in. But in these times I´m taking it a lot slower with new music so I do have the time to discover all these old releases.
Justin King is a really great guitar player and you cannot blame him for making the same album twice, he has put out everything from acoustic albums to instrumental electronic oriented albums as well as guitar oriented rock like Justin King and The Apologies from 2008.
Justin King was signed to Epic records and recorded this album for a major label release but it got stuck due to staff changes at the label´s office, the band struggled hard to get the rights for their album and eventually managed to get their hands on the master tapes.
The sound lies somewhere between Pete Yorn and Eric Gales Band, I think it´s a varied album where my favorites are "Bailing the Titanic", "Postcard" and "25 signs".
Highly recommendable!

Just Jinjer - Just Jinjer

Just Jinjer - Just Jinjer (2006) Independent
Produced by Just Jinjer
Tracks : 1.Steady 2.Time of your life 3.Till I´m done 4.What he means 5.She knows 6.Shine on you 7.Subject 8.Home 9.Safer 10.Take me there 11.Seasons
3 out of 5

The South African trio Just Jinjer are one of the biggest rock band exports in South African history, having sold more than 250,000 albums. The band has toured with U2, Counting Crows and Def Leppard. Their debut "All comes around" was released in 1997 and 4 more albums came out before this self titled release in 2006, which is almost the same as the international version on Curb Records in 2010. The song "Seasons" is only featured here while the 2010 version contains 3 new tracks, this is a laid back modern rock album with soulful vocals from Ard Matthews. My thoughts go to the late 90´s modern rock with a touch of Christian rock a la Delirious?. And speaking of their frontman Ard Matthews, his solo debut "First offerings" was released on July 6th this year so head on over to their website and learn more.
You can call this comfy rock.

Jason Falkner - I´m OK.....You´re OK

Jason Falkner - I´m OK....You´re OK (2007) Noise McCartney Records
Produced by Jason Falkner
Tracks : 1.This time 2.NYC 3.The knew 4.Stephanie tells me 5.Hurricane 6.Anondah 7.Komplicated man 8.Runaway 9.Say it´s true 10.Contact 11.This life of mine 12.I don´t mind
3,5 out of 5

As a former member of bands like Jellyfish, The Grays and TV Eyes, Jason Falkner has built up a reputation that led to collaborations with Paul McCartney, Beck, Air etc. Jason released his solo debut "Presents author unknown" in 1996 and followed up with the critically acclaimed "Can you still feel?" in 1999, his 3rd solo album "I´m OK....You´re OK" was released in 2007 and the latest effort "All quiet on the noise floor" came out in 2010. You can also add 2 instrumental albums of Beatles covers to his discography, it´s not a secret that Falkner is a huge Beatles fan but he´s also heavily influenced by 60´s pop like The Kinks and The Beach Boys. Add a touch of Jellyfish and even XTC into the mix and you´ll get the sound of "I´m OK....You´re OK". Well performed and produced all by Falkner himself, we can only hope for a new album real soon.

Jackdaw4 - Bipolar diversions

Jackdaw4 - Bipolar diversions (2008) 369 Music
Produced by Jackdaw4
Tracks : 1.Sooma 2.Frobisher´s last stand 3.Jesus wants my soul back 4.Bipolar diversions 5.My little gangsta 6.Heimlich´s manoeuvres 7.All around the world 8.Illuminati 9.End of the party 10.Sleep
4 out of 5

It´s time to dig in my pile of unheard albums and here´s most certainly one of England´s best kept secrets in the pop/rock scene. Jackdaw4 released their debut "Gramophone logic" in 2007 and followed up with this brilliant 2nd album "Bipolar diversions" in 2008, their latest record "Eternal struggle for justice" came out in 2010 and they are currently recording their 4th album via PledgeMusic.
If you´re a fan of 70´s pop a la E.L.O, 10cc and Jellyfish, you´re gonna love Jackdaw4 and their harmony vocals. You can of course find traces all the way back to The Beatles and even more modern progressive pop such as Toy Matinee in their sound, this is without doubt an old but fresh album that contains 38 minutes of pop la grandeur!