Archive for 2013

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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THE SOLE PURSUIT

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

solepursuit2It seems that there are times when you just can’t catch everything. A great band often slips by whilst searching for great Indie Music. The Sole Pursuit, from right here in Toronto, are a band that I missed. It was my good fortune to have links to their albums forwarded to me, and so, I can breathe easy. Better late than never.

I started by listening to 4 track EP, ‘Ocean Floor’, released in May, 2014. “The Approaching Wavesolepursuit1offered great riffs, cool changes, and a dynamite bridge. I enjoyed the guitar solo, and the double guitar sound. and adored the harmonies. The sweet melody of “Ocean Floor” is accentuated by some way cool guitar effects, and a wonderful vocal track. The acoustic “Light Overhead” delivers incredible harmonies throughout a beautiful melody. A powerful song. The last track, a way cool cover of Springsteen‘s “Dancing In The Dark“, blew me away. They nailed it! The kick ass harmonies help make this a wonderfully original cover. These guys punched it up, and delivered a driving, heavier version, that is the best best cover of this song you will ever hear!

 

 

Moving on, I listened to the 7 track ‘Opposing Force’, released in 2013.  The opening track, “Unabashedly Unafraid”  begins with a wonderful military drum roll. The vocals and harmonies are great, and the melody is catchy as hell. And check out those piercing guitars! “Sedan” offers some cool solepursuit3effects, a great melody, and dynamite changes. The drumming rocks, the acoustic intro is sweet, and I really like the simple guitar solo. There is an almost Zydeco feel to “Tunnel Metaphysics“, and it works. The acoustic guitar & mandolin serve as a wonderful backdrop to an amazing melody, and I know I heard piano. “The Second Renaissance” has some amazing effects, which demonstrates the band’s willingness to play with sounds. This is so cool! The melody, and changes are amazing, and I really enjoyed the sound of strings. The funkified “It Waves” delivers amazing keys, and a dynamite bass line, wrapped up with sweet vocals, great changes, nice harmonies, and tambourine. There are 2 stand out tracks. “I Devised A Plan” has a wonderfully sweet melody, carried by acoustic guitar and mandolin. Paired with electronics and strings, the sound is simply beautiful. An Amazing track! My favorite track on the album is “A Post Modern Blue“. Cool drumming, a wonderful guitar solo, and great effects highlight this track. The harmonies are sweet, and the double guitar sound, rocks. An incredibly beautiful composition and arrangement.

 

 

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The Sole Pursuit deliver the goods with a wonderfully original and creative take on power-pop. There are shades of progressive rock, noticeable in the intricate changes that  fuse several musical themes together. The result is incredibly melodic and moving music. The songs are musical journeys, taking me places I did not expect to go, and then bringing me back to where I started. Like being on a road trip. They are well crafted, filled with honesty and depth. Listen carefully to the lyrics. Very clever. Very cool! I am a fan, patiently waiting for a 2015 release.

You can check out The Sole Pursuit here: http://thesolepursuit.bandcamp.com/album/ocean-floor

https://www.facebook.com/thesolepursuit

 

 

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PECULIAR DISCO MOVES-The Domino Effect (And More)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

pdm3There’s something going on in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Something wonderfully strange and unusual. Its in the music. Peculiar Disco Moves, with the release of their 2013 Ep. The Domino Effect. confirms this for me.

The 3 track recording opens with “Chris“. with a great melody, and wonderful harmonies. The changes and transitions are exceptional, and the “cheeky” synthesizer adds just a hint of psych rock. I enjoy the underlying guitar, the great vocals, which have a sort of Ray Davies thing going on, and the awesome carnival theme at the song’s end. “Automatic Choice” delivers amazing piano, some way cool vocals, great harmonies, and amazing changes and transitions. There are great tempo changes, a sweet riff, pdm2and a killer bridge, all within an exceptionally unique track that owns a perfect melody. The final song, “What Did You Do Today“, offers a great bass line, within an upbeat melody. The piano and guitar are exceptional, the harmonies, beautifully sung, and the chorus is dangerously catchy.

I also listened to 2 singles. 2013’s “Joining Fee“, delivers the same wonderful harmonies, piano and changes, but surprises with some perfectly placed effects. “Lost For Words“, the most recent release, grabbed me with its off beat drumming. The way cool melody, guitar and synthesizer are dynamite, while the piano, and harmonies simply rock.

 

 

pdm1Peculiar Disco Moves have pulled me out of a cold and bleak Canadian Winter. Just in time for spring, this album has rejuvenated and reinvigorated my musical being. They are completely and utterly original, following none of the standard formulas. The music is clearly their own. Their originality borders on strangeness, but I am very cool with that. Both the music and the lyric contain that prototypical British irreverent humor found in other bands such as XTC, and Toxic Melons. The songs are incredibly well crafted, stylistic while free flowing, as if born out of themselves. The melodies are pure pop. The harmonies are straight out of the 1960’s, somewhere between The Beach Boys and The Rascals. One of my go to bands. I am impressed. I am a fan.

You can check out and purchase their music:   http://peculiardiscomoves.bandcamp.com/

 

 

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THE LOST BOYS-Answers On A Postcard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

lostboys1The second album from Southampton, England’s The Lost Boys , has thrilled me with yet more U.K. pop. Answers On A Postcard, the follow up to 2011’s Not Arf It’s…The Lost Boys, delivers 5 incredible pop songs.

The album opens with “Broken Story 1“, an interesting ballad, with a wonderful melody and great harmonies. The vocals are dropped behind the instrumentation that includes acoustic guitar. The changes and transitions are nice, and the vocal track stands out. “I Fall For Everyone” has a way cool surf music hook, an amazing bridge, and a dynamite guitar solo. The wonderful drumming, the sweet riff, and the exceptional chorus, make this a terrific power pop song. The cool melody, and great hook of “Moving Pictures“, pull the incredible bridge, amazing changes and transitions, and the wonderful instrumentation together. A dynamite 60’s pop song with modern elements. “The Karaoke Age“, returns us to power pop, and offers some incredible screaming guitars, a wonderful melody, with exceptional harmonies, great changes, and some very cool riffs and mini solos. My favorite track, “From Love To Hate“, lostboys2has several different songs within it. It plays like a concept song, with distinct musical movements. The changes and transitions are effortless and perfect. The harmonies and melody are indescribably good. I hear acoustic guitar, bells, cool lead riffs and great keyboards, and an unbelievable bridge. Brilliant!!

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The album is dynamite. Fueled by the song writing of Daniel Ash (not to be confused with the Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets fame), The Lost Boys have created an Indie-Mod-Pop sound that is eccentric, eclectic and esoteric. The guitar is subtle, yet always evident. The effects are cool. Daniel Ash’s vocals, which drive the songs, are reminiscent of Ray Davies, with distinct, working class English sensibilities. There is an Andy lostboys3Partridge influence to the transitions, with different musical themes  incorporated into 1 song. This guy is not afraid to put any element he wants into his music. The melodies are infectious and the hooks, unforgettable. On opening for Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council), Weller called Daniel Ash “a great little song writer”. I don’t know how big or tall Daniel Ash is, but he is, indeed, a great song writer Like something out of Bowie‘s Absolute Beginners, this mod-popster could very well be the pop genius of a new generation.

Check out The Lost Boys for yourself: https://soundcloud.com/thelostboys-1

 

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ALYEUS-Forty Days At Sea

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

alyeus3I have always been a fan of progressive rock. Most of my 20s were spent listening to Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Flash. My interest in the resurgence of progressive rock bands currently releasing material in Canada, is piqued every time I discover a new one. Alyeus (pronounced Ah-lie-us), another London, On band, released their 12 track debut album, Forty Days At Sea, in September, 2013. As part of a 3 album project, the first release is actually the middle piece of the opus. Only a prog-rock band could make sense in that. Citing Pink Floyd, Dream Theatre, and Black Sabbath among their influences, these guys have a unique take on the genre.

The ambient, atmospheric rock that filled arenas in the 1970s, wafts through this album on waves of hard rock. Forty Days At Sea is filled with wonderful changes and transitions. There are beautiful harmonies, particularly the operatic sounds on “VII“. The guitars are amazing, playing hard alyeus2rock riffs over progressive instrumentation. The riff in “Triton’s Horn” is reminiscent of Steve Howe, while the power chords convey the energy of this band. There are cool effects, and some amazing bass on “The Chambers” and “The Keeper“. The vocals are cool, laying somewhere between Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson, and the drumming is spectacular throughout.  The music is incredibly melodic, with wonderful themes woven in. There are way cool tempo and time signature changes.The use of instrumentals throughout the album, serves to set the mood for the next theme. Pay particular attention to “Dreaming In Waves“, and “Elysium“, which evokes shades of Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans. The coolest song on the album, “Forty Days At Sea“, is a great song in any genre.

alyeus1Alyeus delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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THE SUPERLATIVE-Chester

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tsup2The Superlative released their 6 track debut album, Chester, in March 2013. I was pretty upset that I didn’t find out about it until December, 2013. Influenced by the likes of The Who, The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Allman Brothers, and I Mother Earth, among others, had me interested. This 5 piece band from Ottawa, On., delivers a sound I can best describe as rockgae.

tsup1Inner Muse” has great fuzz guitar over a reggae beat. There are great changes and a wonderful guitar solo that lies just under the power rock vocal track. In “Anthem Of A Degenerate” we are treated to nice transitions from reggae to rock and back again, a great melody and very cool guitar riffs and solo. The wonderfully creative vocals at the end of “Dancing In My Mind“, take nothing away from the great guitar solo, nice change in tempo and a way cool blues riff. I really like  “Hot Summer Dub“, with its sweet melody,  and cool changes. There are some interesting psych rock guitar effects here that make me think of Tommy James & The Shondells. tsup3 “Dark Nights (Don’t Look So Pretty)” nails it. A great pop melody and harmonies, with  wonderful  guitar work underneath, amazing transitions, and a kick ass ending. Yep. Nails it! There is a way cool bass line in” The Beast Within“, as well as, a great vocal track and a dynamite riff.

These guys are definitely talented. They rock, and they rock hard. The songs contain a reggae beat, layered with a pop melody, rock guitar, and hints of blues and psych rock. The album is dynamite, providing a guitar driven sound with a wonderful rhythm section. And if that is not enough, the album artwork is very cool. Definitely 1 for the collection and a band to keep your eyes on.

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REDAMBERGREEN-No City

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

rag2Following the release of their 2012 EP, Through All The Days, the London, Ontario band, Redambergreen seems to have reinvented themselves. With the addition of new vocalist Sara Preston, the 2013 No City EP sees the band move to a heavier, gutsier sound.

ragThe opening track, “Storms And Rain demonstrates heavier rock influences with a great riff, a wonderful instrumental bridge and a dynamite vocal track.”Poison delivers nice harmonies, wonderful transitions, within a full sound and a slower tempo. The title track has a great intro, an exciting guitar riff, terrific transitions, and a way cool tempo change. The drumming highlights “The Night We Won The War, which offers great hooks and riffs, a beautifully subtle guitar solo, great harmonies and amazing changes and transitions. “Good Intentions, my favorite track, delivers a wonderful melody and great harmonies in a power pop-rock song. The changes are wonderful, the effects dynamite.

I had written about Through All The Days, and remarked that I had expected more. Well, here it is. There are definite elements of heavier rock, which the band embraces. The riffs are driving, yet subtle. The drumming is powerful.   The songs are well written and masterfully played. There is a fullness to the sound that I like. The production is dead on. Redambergreen nails it with this effort, providing a blend of power-pop, alternative rock, and hard rock. No City is a wonderful album from talented musicians, who found their sound. and it’s incredibly good.

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