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2014 INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

With a significant number of quality Indie releases this year, narrowing a list down to 10 albums, worthy of I Can’t Believe My Earz‘  2014 Indie Album Of The Year, was no easy task. There are some honorable mentions: Neverfriend-‘Evolve‘, The Everywheres-‘Habitualism‘, Harbour-‘Grade School Summer‘ & Social Strife-‘With Friends Like These…’.  We listened to them all, and here is our pick for the top 10 Indie Albums of 2014.

 

#10     DRUCKFARBEN————–‘Second Sound’

druck I am not certain why Druckfarben has been a mystery. These Toronto based musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work.   ‘Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. If you like Progressive-Rock, Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

 

#9     THE RED RAILS———-A Living Fiction

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer ‘A Living Fiction‘, a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  The Ottawa band has a sound that reminds me of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening.

 

 

 

#8     THE SATISFACTORS——–‘The Satisfactors’

the satisThe Satisfactors self titled debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing. They are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to hear from  Jersey’s Fantastic 4! The bass lines, and  guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to the drumming.  This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

#7     SOUTH OF BLOOR——‘The Street’

south of bloorThis Toronto band has re-generated my lust for pop with the release of ‘The Street‘. The songs are exquisite 2-3 minute masterpieces. Their ability to write wonderful bridges and changes has me almost awe struck. The vocals are spectacular. The melodies, wonderful. This album delivers 5 terrific pop songs with alternative rock influences. And it works. A wonderful album. A fun time.

 

 

 

#6     TOXIC MELONS———‘Bus Therapy’

tm ‘Bus Therapy‘ is my kind of therapy. This album by Northern England’s Toxic Melons is inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

 

 

#5     THE MINNOWS———‘Live At The Belfast Barge’

the minnowsAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums, but I have to add this Irish band’s ‘Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. The band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I have spent the better part of the year immersed in The Minnows and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

 

 

#4     THE CORSETS———–‘Are You Lonely, Are You Scared’

the corsets

Are You Lonely, Are You Scared is a wonderful adventure. Toronto’s The Corsets manage to harness their individual talents into a harmonic whole that is indeed the sum of its parts. Each is easily identifiable, yet needs the other parts to be heard. The energy level is wonderfully exciting, and the songs well, incredibly creative. Add this to your collection. It is that good.

 

 

 

#3     XPRIME——–‘The Album’

xprimeXprime should be big. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, they write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. ‘The Album‘ is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70′s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

 

 

#2     THE AFTER HOURS——-‘Shaken, Not Stirred’

the after hoursI really like Los Angeles’ The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960′s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. ‘Shaken, Not Stirred captures the essence of 60′s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album.

 

And, finally, the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2014…

 

#1     THE HOT SPROCKETS——‘Brother Nature’

hsBrother Nature‘ by Ireland’s The Hot Sprockets. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album over and over, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.

 

And there you have it. 10 exceptional albums. The I Can’t Believe My Earz picks for 2014. Give them a listen. Purchase them. Support Indie Music, and Indie bands.

 

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OTTAWA-Capital Rocks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I was quite surprised to find that there was more going on in Canada‘s capital city than just Senators padding their expense account, and all of the other goings on at Harper’s Bizarre.  The city on the Rideau has spawned some wonderful Indie music during 2014. Here are some of our favorites from Ottawa, Ontario.

 

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  A sort of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. A Living Fiction is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening.

 

 

superlativeno2Numero Deux is a wonderful treat. It is a change from ‘Chester‘: It is grittier, edgier, and it has bite. There is a wonderfully full sound, with layers of instrumentation that blend together in magical, musical mayhem. And once again, the album cover is way cool. Give this a few listens, as it gets better every time. And purchase a copy. An exceptionally thrilling adventure by The Superlative.

 

 

rf1Thoughts & Reason 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.

 

 

neverfriend2Neverfriend delivers a raw, energetic, yet sophisticated album. Combining elements of pop, punk, and hard rock, the songs never seem to disappoint. Evolve is filled with 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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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-May 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

To kickstart your summer, here are 2 great albums from exceptionally talented Canadian bands, both hailing from Ottawa…Nice to hear something good coming out of the Nation’s Capital…

 

The Red Rails-‘A Living Fiction

 

theredrailsno2The Red Rails’ A Living Fiction, offer a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  A sort of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening. A serious contender for Canadian Indie Album Of The Year.

Check out the 1st single off ‘A Living Fiction’:  https://soundcloud.com/theredrails/on-the-line

 

 

 

The Superlative-‘Numero Deux

superlativeno2Numero Deux is a wonderful treat. It is a change from their first release, ‘Chester‘: It is grittier, edgier, and it has bite. There is a wonderfully full sound, with layers of instrumentation that blend together in magical, musical mayhem. And once again, the album cover is way cool. Give this a few listens, as it gets better every time. And purchase a copy. An exceptionally thrilling adventure.

http://thesuperlativeband.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

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THE RED RAILS-A Living Fiction

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Something is happening in Ottawa, besides the usual graft and deceit propagated by politicians and bureaucrats. The local music scene in Canada‘s capital just keep delivering music from some wonderfully talented bands.

theredrailsno3A Living Fiction“, the new album by Ottawa’s The Red Rails, is scheduled for release on Wolf Stomp Records in July, 2014. I have previewed the 10 track album, and was not disappointed. The album rocks from start to finish, beginning and ending with way cool reverb on “Prisoner” and “Fill My Hands“. I found wonderful ‘fuzz’  in “On The Line“, and a 1970’s melodic rock feel while listening to “In A Whisper“. There are great effects, and a western style guitar/tex-mex sentiment to “One In The Attack“, and beautiful acoustic guitar in “The Ocean“. “Lions” offers a way cool mini drum solo, and I dig the  funk bass line, and way cool guitar found in “Beast“. I heard great changes and transitions throughout, but I particularly enjoyed the changes in tempo and time signature evident in “Save Her Soul“.

 

 

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  A sort of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening. A serious contender for Canadian Indie Album Of The Year.

Check out the 1st single off ‘A Living Fiction’:  https://soundcloud.com/theredrails/on-the-line

 

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