Archive for December, 2013

JON MULLANE-Shine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

What do you get when a Canadian boy from Halifax, Nova Scotia walks into New Jersey garage? Jon Mullane. His most recent album, Shine, caught the attention of Indie label, and keeper of the Jersey sound, Bongo Boy Records. They were so impressed, they signed him. jm3The ballad, “The One That Got Away“,  has a hauntingly beautiful melody. There are great changes, sweet harmonies, and I like the piano. The 1960’s pop song “Take Me Away“,  offers amazing changes, a cool guitar riff, a great musical hook, and hand clapping that has this track destined to become a classic. “So Into You“, with its wonderfully subtle guitar, demonstrates once again that less, is indeed more. The background vocals are terrific. The up tempo “Shine On Tonight“, has a nice groove. The chorus and bridge rock and the  synth gives this track a 1970’s-1980’s feel. “In Your Life” opens with vocals and guitar only, and adds some great keyboards. There are nice effects and harmonies.  “Born Beautiful” gives up some great changes and transitions. The guitar riff and vocals are great, and the drumming rocks. The synth sounds of “Body Rock” give it a fullness that supports the great guitar riff, powerful vocals and wonderful hook. Add to this the sound of horns, and you’ve got an amazing song. “Any Other Way” has a beautiful melody and some cool jm1acoustic guitar. There is a great bridge, but this track is all about the melody and the vocals. “Way Up” and “Way Up (Radio Mix)” are similar versions of 21st Century pop. The overlapping vocal tracks, cool guitar riff and solo, and driving beat, make for a cool tune, a surprisingly great dance tune! My favorite track, “My New American Girlfriend”  had me thinking garage pop-rock at first listen. On the second listen I heard a wonderful summer on the beach feeling. This Beach-Rock song delivers a great melody, and some great power chords in the chorus. The vocals are wonderful and the lyric contain soon to be classic lines-“she’s original, not so typical, a little naughty, but nice”, and “photogenically, schizophrenically, she’s broken all of the rules”. Amazing. The solid hook, dead on vocals, and wonderful background vocal arrangements, make this one way cool track. A wonderful song, that rocks all of the way through. Seems this Canadian boy has struck gold with his new American girl. jm2Shine rocks. It rocks Halifax and Jersey. Jon Mullane writes amazing songs with exceptional melodies. He has that cool, gravelly voice, and subtle approach to instrumentation. His passion for 1960’s pop and 1970’s garage create a near perfect hybrid  of garage-pop. And he looks the part. White t shirt, jeans, and a bit of a snarl that reminds me of early Springsteen. But Mullane is his own force to be reckoned with. With three singles already lifted from the album-My New American Girl, Body Rock, and Any Other Way, and several more to chose from, Great things are happening for Jon, and I anticipate many more. With Bongo Boy Records behind him, I am certain they will come. A great writer, a great musician, a great album. One of the coolest albums I have had the good fortune to have listened to. Congratulations, Jon. Well done. Definitely one for your collection and your car. You can listen to Jon Mullane: https://myspace.com/jonmullane bb Check out Jon and other great artists at:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com         newlogo https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/ Follow us on twitter:

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JANN KLOSE-Mosaic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

jk2Well. Well. Well. I have listened to Mosaic, the latest album by Jann Klose, for the third time.  At first I was not sure what to make of it.  It simply defies genre.  The album is off the beaten path, and as eclectic as any I have heard. The reggae beat of “Make It Better“, the Irish folk ballad style of “On & On“, the Calypso influence of “Four Leaf Clover“, and the southern Roots feel of “Beautiful One“, make this a true mosaic of music.

Jann Klose writes songs with beautiful melodies, and wonderful changes and transitions. His lyrics speak of love, and love lost. The instrumentation, as diverse as his musical stylings includes great 1960’s organ, maracas, violin, flute and oboe, and I think I heard an accordion and some vibes, and electric piano. The arrangements are flawless, with beautifully woven harmonies. And, I find, Jann does not end songs. Somehow he leaves them hanging there after they stop. Very cool. Yes, this guy can write.

jk3Not just another singer/songwriter, this German now living in New York, comes from the same mold as Scott Walker and Tim Buckley.  Jann Klose is a story teller. An artist who paints with music and words. His vocals are outstanding, powerful, yet filled with emotional fragility. The acapella version of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren“, devastatingly beautiful.

jk1My favorite song on the album, “Long Goodbye“, kills. This quintessential pop-rock song, contains everything: great melody, awesome guitar riffs and solo, powerful drumming, amazing vocals, and a way cool organ. Jann’s voice conveys so much emotion, one can feel his desperation.

I am not certain why this man is not a household name. The album, as exceptional as it is, throws more at you with each listen. It is timeless, as any good piece of music should be. Go listen to Mosaic now. Listen a few more times. Buy it. You will want to listen again, and again. Mosaic is that good.

You can listen to Mosaic:  http://jannklose.com/audio/mosaic/

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THE TONIKS-“Jealousy” World Premiere.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

toniks3Being the first music writer to receive an advance copy of The Toniks‘ new single, “Jealousy“, was enough to make my day. And then I listened to it. And I listened again. Amazed and impressed, with their permission, I forwarded the track to my friend, Todd Miller of Radio That Doesn’t Suck, host station of the Indie Music Show, New Music Mondays (sponsored by I Can’t Believe My Earz and co-hosted by Bobby Gottesman and Todd Miller), and he agreed to begin playing it as of today.  So, I Can’t Believe My Earz and Radio That Doesn’t Suck, did it first.

toniks2Jealousy rocks. Mark Tonik and Jez Parish continue to write songs with unforgettable melodies and wonderful harmonies. The killer hook, the heavy guitar riff and the almost hypnotizing keyboards work. The drumming impresses. Colin Marshall continues to impress me with his ability to make the complex seem simple. I love his “less is more: style”. The lyric continues in The Tonik fashion of meaningful human existence. The production excels. Nothing missing here. Pure power pop, at its best. It amazes me that these guy just keep getting better! Could just be the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles.

148To hear it, you have to listen in to Radio That Doesn’t Suck on December 16/13 for the world premiere…just before noon, 6pm and 10pm, eastern standard time. If you miss it, don’t worry. Just keep listening. It will be played regularly. Check it out. It will blow you away.

And thanks to Mark, Jez, Tom, Jessica, Colin and Graham, the man behind the scenes, for having the trust and faith to allow me to be the first. As always, it is a pleasure to call you all friends.

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https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/the-toniks-rise-and-shine/

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Radio That Doesn’t Suck. all The Time.

I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EARZ-INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

newlogoAnd so, as 2013 draws to a close, we at I Can’t Believe My Earz have been weighing in on our Indie Album Of The Year.  We have listened to hundreds and hundreds of albums, written about 50 or 60 of our favorites, and created a short list of potential Album Of The Year winners. We would like to thank and congratulate all of the artists that we had the good fortune to listen to this past year. We enjoyed all of your music, and are proud to be involved in the Canadian Indie Music scene.

j&f1Jenny And The FelinesDon’t Look Back-Not Canadian, but the music is so amazingly good, I don’t care. This band rocks. This band rolls. Jenny And The Felines does it all. Don’t Look Back is a wondrous compilation of memorable tunes with catchy hooks and melodies. They have created a unique blend of 1960’s and 1970’s music with an alternative edge. Simple music. Great songs. Nothing forced and nothing overwhelming. Don’t Look Back is a way cool 60’s feel good journey.

nursery1The NurseryCarnival Nature-The Nursery have incorporated several styles and arrived at a sound that can best be described as acid/rock/soul/synth-folk/pop. Let’s be honest. Its just plain weird! Eccentric. But it is simply incredible. The songs are  unconventionally spectacular. The arrangements are weirdly wonderful and I’m having the time of my life listening. This is an album you won’t want to miss.

cs1The Creekside StraysThe Creekside Strays-This London, Ontario band released a classy and fun album  of exceptional songs. The Strays have a unique sound, a blend of rock, soul and pop which could best be described as Stray Rock. The self titled EP contains five wonderfully crafted songs that you will not be able to stop singing. Unforgivable not to have this gem in your collection.

pig1The PygmiesInside Your Mind-The Pygmies have nailed it. The sound is captivating and the songs are brilliantly written.  I enjoy the 2 1/2 minute tunes, which are written in a pop style-short and simple, and give me the sense that these were recorded live in one take. These guys are adept at dropping garage melodies into 1960’s pop, and 60’s pop melodies into garage music. They have a distinct knack for vocal melodies and harmonies, and a great sense of humor.

yb2Young BenjaminsLess Argue-These Saskatoon natives write amazingly well crafted songs and execute them to perfection. Incorporating pop rock, blues and middle eastern influences, Less Argue delivers. Strong vocals, great melodies and tremendous musical insight allows this young band to make the kind of album they want to make. Esoteric, eclectic and entertaining..  Ten tracks take you places you never knew you could get to. A must for every collection.  

The task then turned to selecting the Indie Album Of The Year from the 6 semi-finalists. It was not easy. There was yelling and screaming, some name calling, drinking, and, on one occasion, fisticuffs. After several days and nights of deliberation, postulation and  trepidation, here is the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year for 2013:

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THE TONIKS-RISE & SHINE–Rise And Shine is Pop perfection. Not a bad track on the album. It will make you dance. It will make you sing. Best of all, it will make you happy. The song writing is exquisite, with simple lyrics about life and love and human interactions that take one to a more innocent and simple place.  These guys are amazingly talented. The music is insanely great The album is a wonderful timeNot just the top Indie album of 2013, but one of the most incredible albums we have heard. Exceptional song writing, brilliant melodies, wonderful harmonies and a way cool 1960’s British feel make this our Indie Album of The Year for 2013. Check it out for yourself. Congratulations to Mark, Jez, Tom, Jessica, and Colin.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/the-toniks-rise-and-shine/

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GAR FRANCIS-Shine On

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

gf1Over a year after its release, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the Gar Francis EP, Shine On forwarded to me by New Jersey indie label, Bongo Boy Records. With reckless abandon, and much anticipation, I sat back, strapped myself in, and turned up the volume.

The title track, “Shine On“, both rhythmic and haunting, contains elements of psychadelica and Jersey garage rock. Gar’s vocals, somewhere between Tom Waits and Bowie, are perfectly gritty and raw. The guitar riff is way cool, the lead solo is wonderfully 1960’s, and the hook, unforgettable. “1985“, a prototypical Asbury Park anthem, delivers more outstanding vocals and a way cool harmonica part. The melody rocks, and I swear I hear some Joe Strummer woven into the fabric of the music. There is perfectly placed guitar picking, and the song has a great 60s garage rock feel to it. With some of the coolest lyric I have heard in a very long time, “Was I off somewhere, or just too high? Did I miss the signs, hiding there in your eyes? Back in 1985?”, this song kills.  The rhythm and blues tune, “Blue Cadillac“, shines with a sound that at times reminds me of Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes. A wonderful track, complete with twangy guitars. The great guitar riff and harmonies of “Tragedy” drives this incredible song through the  wonderful Beatlesque chorus. The album closes with “I’m Still Alive“, a great rock song with a punk edge.

gf2Shine On never lets up. It rocks from start to finish, grabbing you by the throat with the very first note, and never letting go. The songs are exceptional.  Each one superbly crafted, and played with passion and grit. And why not? It’s what Gar does!  To nail the sound, Gar recruited the rhythm section of The Doughboys for this album.  How cool is that?

The work is filled with 1960’s references, smoothly blended into East Coast garage rock. There is cool, and there is Gar Francis cool. Shine On is Gar Francis, being Gar Francis. And that is cool. Way cool. Gar Francis cool.

You can check out Shine On and all of Gar’s music at: http://www.garfrancis.com/ or:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com/

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-November 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

THE PYGMIESInside Your Mind

pig1The Pygmies have nailed it. The sound is captivating and the songs are brilliantly written.  I enjoy the 2 1/2 minute tunes, which are written in a pop style-short and simple, and give me the sense that these were recorded live in one take. These guys are adept at dropping garage melodies into 1960’s pop, and 60’s pop melodies into garage music. They have a distinct knack for vocal melodies and harmonies, and a great sense of humor. I only wish that this was a double album. The Pygmies have developed a style that gives me The Zombies and The Kinks with a kiss of The Flaming Lips, and they have made it work. Definitely a must have album.

http://thepygmies.bandcamp.com/

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/the-pygmies-inside-your-mind/

JENNY AND THE FELINESDon’t Look Back

 j&f1Not Canadian, but the music is so amazingly good, I don’t care. This band rocks. This band rolls. Jenny And The Felines does it all. Don’t Look Back is a wondrous compilation of memorable tunes with catchy hooks and melodies. They have created a unique blend of 1960’s and 1970’s music with an alternative edge. The songs all fall within the 2-3 minute range, and contain simple, straightforward yet meaningful lyrics. Jenny Cat writes amazing tunes, with insanely good choruses. The guitar solos and riffs are short, precise and intense. This woman can write songs. This woman can sing. This woman can play guitar. Simple music. Great songs. Nothing forced and nothing overwhelming. Don’t Look Back is a way cool 60’s feel good journey. Listen and then listen again. Once is definitely not enough. One of the most exciting albums I have heard in a long, long time. Destined to be on the short list for I Can’t Believe My Earz Album Of The Year.

http://jennyandthefelines7.bandcamp.com/

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/jenny-and-the-felines-dont-look-back/

THE RED RAILS

rr4These guys know how to rock. Kim Vincent (guitar, vocals), Chris Slaney (bass, backing vocals), and Steve Brogno (drums)  play noting but great music. Power-rock/blues at its best. Every song elicits shade of Cream. It is evident in the Jack Bruce vocals and bass line, the bluesy riffs,  and the Ginger Baker drumming. The songs are wonderfully written and executed to perfection. Just when you think you’ve got the song figured out, there is a change, a transition, something you don’t expect. And it fits. Power rock cool. Definitely on the short list for best album of 2013.

http://www.theredrails.com/

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/the-red-rails/

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