Archive for November, 2014

OLD RULES-Blurred

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Another Ottawa band, Old Rules released their 6 track EP, ‘Blurred‘ in May 2014.

oldrulesThe songs are wonderful, with great melodies and dynamite harmonies. The riffs and solos are incredible, and the drumming is very cool. There are exciting effects,  I particularly like the reverb, and double track vocals, and brilliant changes. Pay particular attention to “Sprawl“, a dynamite rock track with a sweet guitar intro, and a wonderful bridge, and “Candles“, with some interesting guitar, great power chords, and unexpected vocals. Old Rules offer an insanely unique album, with melodic guitars. and wonderfully surprising changes. ‘Blurred’ carries a sense of urgency, and a feeling of angst. Call it ‘angst rock’. You can check it out here: http://oldrules.bandcamp.com/album/blurred

 

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NEVERFRIEND-Evolve

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

neverfriend1I had the pleasure of previewing ‘Evolve‘, the new album from Neverfriend, an Ottawa, Canada based band. Scheduled for for release in mid December, 2014, this disc simply kicks ass.

The album opens with “Coming For Me“, a dynamite rock song with wonderful changes, and cool guitar. “Hard To Breathe“, with its great melody, and strong vocal track, turns out to be a wonderful ‘punk’ ballad. The nice changes and effects give the straight ahead rock track “Don’t Want To Love You” , another dimension. The vocals, and wicked guitar solo are added bonuses. “Take A Stand” has cool effects, nice drum fills, and some sweet riffs. The chorus rocks with  harmonies, and the change in tempo, well, its a pleasant surprise. The hard rock feel of  “Pissed Off & Running” delivers a great bridge, cool changes, and a beautiful chorus. I like the production values in this track. “Tell Someone Who Cares” carries an almost metal vibe, yet offers a way cool melody, and sweet chorus. The vocals are terrific, and I dig the harmonies. There are more amazing neverfriend3changes in “Everything That’s Wrong For Me“, as it roars through powerful instrumentation, and a cool melody. There are 2 standout tracks. “Dear Daddy“, with its broody, melancholia, offers a wonderful riff, and sweet harmonies. The song utilizes vocals and guitars only, and the vocals simply rock. This delicately complex track is still playing in my head. And then there is “Don’t Worry“. With its unforgettable pop melody, way cool chorus and harmonies, great changes, and sweet guitar solo, this song reminds of what the GoGos would sound like playing punk. An incredible track.

 

 

neverfriend2Neverfriend delivers a raw, energetic, yet sophisticated album. Combining elements of pop, punk, and hard rock, the songs never seem to disappoint. Pop melodies with punk/rock instrumentation. Way cool. I like the sound. I like the songs. I like the band.  Get ready for the release, and get yourself at least 1.

 

 

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THE EVERYWHERES-Habitualism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Habitualism‘, the 8 track album by Halifax, Nova Scotia’s The Everywheres, was released in May, 2014. Somewhat unfortunate that I did not discover it until October!

the everywheres3The opening track, “Through Flowers“, offers some great 1960’s vocal effects. The melody & the bridge are way cool, and the guitar solo wades waist deep into surf-pop. Great first track. “End Of Time” has a great 60’s vibe, created by guitar & vocals, with dynamite reverb, cool vocal tracking, and a sweet melody. The riff and solo are wonderful. The way cool blues solo in “Courtyard Blues” highlights the great riff, amazing changes, and dynamite melody. Way cool! “Organ” has a great psych-pop feel, with cool drums, great vocals, and dynamite keys. The title track, “Habitualism“, has a somewhat faster tempo, and delivers sweet drumming, wonderful changes, and a great solo and riff. I dig everywheres2the vocal track. The melody of “California Reeling” brings the great solo, changes, and cool bridge together. There are 2 tracks that are standouts.  “Egyptian Drag” offers some of the coolest vocals I have heard, above a wonderful melody. The bass line can only be described as great, and the solo, very cool. There are great changes, and I swear I hear a flute. The song has a dynamite 1960’s psychedelic energy. The way cool psych-pop riffs and reverb of “Sacred Cow” make this dreamy 60s track come alive. There are great changes, and more great keys, with an almost John Lennon thing going on in the melody & vocals. Very cool!!

the everywheres1Pop. Psych-pop. 60s pop. Psychedelic. Dream pop. They all work. The Everywheres have delivered an album that captures the essence of the psychedelic 60s. At times I hear shades of The Mamas & The Papas doing dream pop. The vocals are wonderfully elegant, and the effects dead on. The songs are exceptionally written, filled with exciting and esoteric arrangements, creating a wonderful feeling, and a wonderful time. I could listen to this over and over again. Check ‘Habitualism’ out, and then treat yourself and download a few copies at a “name your price” offer, or purchase hard copies on cassette. Way cool!!

 

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RYAN FITZ-Thoughts And Reason

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

rf1It was quite a pleasant surprise to listen to ‘Thoughts & Reason‘,  by Ryan Fitz. I know him as the guitarist/vocalist of the Ottawa area band City Limits. This 4 track ep is quite a departure from the alternative punk sound of his band.

The November 2014 release is filled with wonderfully melodic guitar, often with electric riffs over the more subtle acoustic. There are great vocals, singing heartfelt lyrics, and nice harmonies. The vocal effects are nicely done, and the changes are dynamite. A sort of singer-songwriter side to Ryan Fitz, with personal songs that touch on universal themes, simply played, with guitar and vocals. Nothing else. This guy can write songs. A wonderful change, perfectly executed. I am liking this Ryan Fitz. http://ryanfitz.bandcamp.com/album/thoughts-and-reason-ep

 

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HARBOUR-Grade School Summer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

harbour3During one of my sojourns into music cyber space, I encountered Harbour, a Toronto band who released their 6 track album, ‘Grade School Summer‘, on November 4, 2014.

The album offers wonderfully exciting drumming, and some way cool guitar riffs and solos. The songs are insanely good, Harbour1with pop melodies, and dynamite harmonies. The changes and vocals rock. The instrumentation and arrangements are simple and sweet. These guys know how to write, and how to play. A great pop album, with the urgency of punk, that will keep your attention from beginning to end. Very cool.  A refreshingly energetic and fun release, that at times, reminds me of The Northern Pikes. I like this. I like this a lot! Pay particular attention to “So Long”  and “Grade School Summer“. Definitely one for the collection & the car. You can stream and purchase Grade School Summer here:  http://harbourontario.bandcamp.com/   You can catch Harbour live on Nov 22/14, at Toronto’s Velvet Underground at a CD Release party. In the meantime, check out the official video for “Grade School Summer”.

 

 

 

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SOCIAL STRIFE-With Friends Like These…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

ss2Well, it is no secret that I like  Social Strife. Not just the music, but the band members as well. In the time I have known them, I have had the honor of calling Sean Farro and Terry Doucette, The Bedlam Brothers, friends. This Toronto quartet released “With Friends Like These…” in September 2014. And now, after a long, hard look, and listen of the album, I am ready to provide a review.

If you like kick in the face rock, this album delivers. Fueled by power chords, driving guitar solos, and ss1heavy drums, ‘With Friends Like These…’  jumps out, bites you in the ass, and doesn’t let go. I still have the teeth marks! This band incorporates several influences in its music. There are pop , punk, and reggae themes, and of course hard rock. Through it all, there are incredibly sweet melody lines, and harmonies, that are never overpowered by the instrumentation. The album pounds away at your social consciousness, opening up your mind for the message that Social Strife  delivers. If  not clear to you,  don’t sweat it; the band thoughtfully included lyrics with the hard copy CD.

There are a few standout tracks.The reggae influence of “MDMA”, merged with the power rock strife65transitions create a unique sound for this band. The cool melody and tempo changes enhance the angst in the vocals. “Aliens And Freaks“, one of the more melodic songs on the album allows Farro’s voice to stand out. The song incorporates strings and I swear I heard pizzicato violins! Steady drums, quieter guitar and great changes, make this a wonderful thing. The album opens with “Denied“, a raucous tune that kick starts the STRIFE with great guitar riffs, a sweet solo, cool changes, and dynamite harmonies and vocal effects. “Wish I Could Be” is melodic as hell. A sweet track with a way cool melody, nice effects, and great harmonies and changes. The riffs and licks are wonderful, giving way to a dynamite solo. The strife27classic punk vibe of “You Were Nothing“, gives the album another dimension. With amazing guitar, a dynamite melody, and a chorus that kills, this song rocks! There is another track on ‘With Friends Like These…”, a hidden song, if you will. Track 12. “Chasing” is found only on the hard copy CD.  My favorite track on the album, this song has it all. A great melody, solid drumming, some amazing guitar, and a dynamite hook. The bridge kicks ass, and the effects are brilliant. I hear elements of Van Halen, but Social Strife make it their own. “I’ve got my own demons, and I don’t need yours along for the ride” epitomizes the STRIFE message. Insanely good song. Do I hear a hit single?

ss‘With Friends Like These…’ is one hell of a ride. Social Strife have made good on their attempt to  bring the strife back to rock and roll. The songs. written by Farro-Doucette, are disturbingly insightful. Executed to perfection. the message reminds me of what rock ‘n’ roll is all about: if you dont like the way things are, do something about it…because you can. A solid debut album and well worth a listen or two.  The time has come for you to get Striffed! You’re going to want this.  You’re going to need this.  Get it now at: http://www.socialstriferock.com/

 

 

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SHAGWAGON-The Backbone Of The Night

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

shagwagon2Orillia, Ontario’s Jack Finlayson & Jacob Thompson are Shagwagon. The band’s debut album, a 6 track EP entitled ‘The Backbone Of The Night‘ was released in July, 2014.

The album opens with “Some Nites“, with way cool production effects, and some dynamite reverb, reminiscent of 1960’s psychedelic rock. The electronic strings are nice, and coupled with the sweet vocals, make this one serene track. ‘The Way That You Move” has a way cool bass line, and what I hear as an electric piano solo, The track has a great chorus with a solid hook, and a wonderful bridge. The cool 1960s vibe is enhanced by some unexpected hand clapping. The nice effects, and slick changes & transitions, make “Morphine” a great track. “Napoleon” offers a wonderfully cool melody, some cool guitar and bass over synthesized effects that slides into a burst of guitar and vocals. The vocal effects are very cool. There are 2 highlight tracks for me. “You’re So Sexy“, delivers cool piano, great shagwagon3vocals, and wonderful changes. The moody, melancholy melody morphs into a dynamite bridge, and then out again. Great effect.The transition into the guitar solo is wonderful, and the incorporation of several different movements into one song is damn cool. Great song. And then, “Thinking About You“, with its great keyboards, cool changes and transitions, and cool vocals, make this my favorite track on the album.The song has an electronic feel, and includes a wonderful solo, and very cool The Beach Boys harmonies. A great mood inducing track that ends with those brilliant harmonies. Killer track.

shagwagon1Shagwagon delivers a terrific album, blending elements of psych-rock, pop, and electro-pop, to deliver an exceptionally unique sound. The songs are well written, with themes that are simple, and innocent. Songs about peace, and love. There are great melodies, and the ability to create mood, and atmosphere is dynamite. The simplicity of it is wonderfully complex. Eccentric, esoteric, and edgy. I am liking this. You need to have at least 1 of these.

http://shagwagon.bandcamp.com/album/the-backbone-of-the-night

 

 

 

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