Bruce Tunkel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

I started off with the intention of writing a review of Bruce Tunkel‘s latest release. Another New Jersey musician, I thought. I was sent several cds, and after listening to them, over and over again, I have discovered that Bruce Tunkel is not just another New Jersey musician.

The most recent release, 2017’s ‘Bittersweet‘, is a poignant look into the artist, filled with songs that deal with emotional upheaval, love, hope, and depression. There are wonderful melodies, accompanied by beautiful piano and powerfully soulful vocal tracks. The simplicity of using only piano and vocals, adds to the mood of the album, and touches the listener. The songs are well written, and to be honest, I really didn’t miss any additional instrumentation. The exception, “So Many Ways“, uses acoustic guitar and mandolin to exact the same emotions I felt in the other tracks. A brilliant release, one which you should get your hands on. You can check it out here.

We’ll Make It Up As We Go‘, a double cd released in 2015, is insanely good. A very different sound than that on ‘Bittersweet’, this album is filled with melodic Jersey rock songs, with influences as diverse as power-pop, country and blues infused throughout. I heard very cool guitar, organ, strings, and powerful vocals. The arrangements are dynamite, and I was unable to find a track I didn’t like. At times there is a familiarity to the album, and I can hear bits of Bon Jovi drifting in, only to become part of something bigger in the track. Wonderfully done. I only wish I had been aware of this album in 2015. Favorite tracks: ‘Losing Kind‘, ‘Drive Me Sane‘, ‘Dream Big‘,  and ‘Birthday Girl‘.Check it out here.

There was project I was able to listen to, the 2017 release of The Susan Rumors debut album. A pop-rock-blues album that would be a dynamite addition to any collection. You can check out The Susan Rumors here: https://thesusanrumors.bandcamp.com/.

After my weekend spinning Bruce Tunkel cds, I have realized just what a talented artist he is. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, songwriter, and arranger, able to pull several genres and fuse them into one cohesive album. Wonderful stuff.

Jenny & The Felines-‘Don’t Judge Me’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

As a follow up to their 2013 album ‘Don’t Look Back‘, New Jersey’s Jenny & The Felines released the 9 track ‘Don’t Judge Me’ in March, 2017. 4 years in the making, and well worth the wait. Backed by a new clowder of cats, the disc is filled with catchy pop melodies, and is significantly more guitar focused. The songs are wonderfully written, encompassing influences from early 1960’s rock, country-blues, power pop, and rockabilly. There are memorable hooks, sweet harmonies, great changes, and way cool riffs.  The lyrics are brilliantly written, with no subject off limits, and I heard some incredible, yet subtle effects. Dynamite cat-pop! Get yourself invited to this feline fiesta, and pick up a copy. Favorite tracks: ‘Mrs. Pratt‘; ‘Jail Bird Johnny‘.

Check it out here:

 

Running From Daylight-‘Coffin For Two’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

Out of London, On., comes Running From Daylight, with their recently released 3 track ep. ‘Coffin For Two‘. I was told when the music was submitted, that this was Rockabilly . I was not however, informed that this was Rockabilly on steroids. I grew up listening to Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and a host of others, and this is not that Rockabilly. Call it Psychobilly, but it screams fun. There are 2 wonderfully up tempo tracks, filled with twangy guitar riffs, cool harmonies, and a stand up bass that Joe B. Mauldin would be proud of. The lyrics are insanely dark, but resonate camp and wit. The third track is a throwback to the early 1960’s Teenage Tragedy song, in which the girl will forever be the boy’s “Ghost Bride“. A wonderfully good time that will have you boppin’ and rockin’ the night away. Looking forward to hearing what these guys come up with next. You can listen for yourselves right here.

https://rfdband.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Counteracts-Counter Punch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

The April, 2017 release of the The Counteracts new ep, Counter Punch, delivers much of the same quirky, UK pop on previous releases, but this time it has been blended with an uncanny easy listening vibe. The boys from Kent, give us well written songs, designed to take you back to a simpler time. There are wonderful harmonies, layered over simple, yet elegant melodies, with some unique changes and transitions. There are sweet string sounds running through ‘And I Lost It All‘, while ‘If You Only Knew‘ is filed with exciting Caribbean percussive instruments, and some organ. The band continues to amuse, and entertain with a sound that is both soothing & uplifting. Something you should check out.

https://thecounteracts.bandcamp.com/album/counter-punch

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2016, so far…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

 

Its getting close to year’s end, so we thought we would recap some of our favorite releases in 2016. Somewhere in here could be our album of the year….

 

Young Benjamins-“Losing Our Shadows”

 

The Everywheres“Dignity Fever”

 

Sidewatcher“Otra Vez”

 

The Auras-“Saturn Day”

 

The Tracks

 

Propeller“Fall Off The World”

 

The Corsets“Monta Sanica”

 

Fruition“Labor Of Love”

 

The Counterfactuals

 

Hazen Sage“Thrive”

 

Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers“The Dirty Gospel”

 

The Minnows

While there is no album, yet, and no date set for release, we are hoping this band from Belfast can get something released in 2016. After listening to several of the tracks slated to appear on a new album, we know it will Irish rock.

 

 

THE NURSERY-Digital Ashes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the nurseryOne of my favorite Toronto Indie Bands, The Nursery, recently released a 6 track EP, entitled Digital Ashes. I have been a fan  since the 2013 release of Carnival Nature, and they continue to amaze me with wonderful melodies, and socially relevant lyric. These new tracks, at times, seem more electronic, but, these guys make it work. “She Speaks The Wave” delivers a way cool riff, nice keyboards, and a wonderful 1980’s New Wave vibe. “Digital Ashes“, a wonderful electro-pop track showcases the band’s ability to write great melody lines. I dig the cool harmonies of “Ocean’s Of You“, and the dynamite effects on the  instrumental, “Xyloto’s Dream“, are like a trip down weirdly, wonderful lane. “Crystal Beach“, offers cool guitar, nice vocal effects, a dynamite melody, and some sweet keyboards, all with a wonderfully Brit Pop feel. Our Favorite track, “Hexes + Ohs“, has great guitar, and a great feel, with wonderful changes, and a dynamite vocal track, all of which remind me of something XTC. Killer track, and perhaps, a hit single!

An exceptionally fun time created by The Nursery. Wonderful songs, that seem nursery33to have grown darker over the years, but with a blend of pop, wave, and synth pop, that they have made a sound distinctively their own. Still eclectic, and eccentric, Alex Pulic‘s angst ridden vocals pull you in, and hold you there. With a flair for the musically dramatic, this album takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Yes, The Nursery continue to march to the beat of their own drummer, and let’s hope that never changes. Check it out for yourselves. Visit them on facebook. Buy the album. Go see them live.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

And then, there are The Easy Outs….