Archive for acoustic guitar

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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YOUNG BENJAMINS-Less Argue

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Once every now and again, I hear a band that truly impresses me with their music. Out of Saskatoon,  Young Benjamins have not only impressed, but have excited and elated as well. As the follow up to their 2012 Ep, Bones, their album Less Argue was recently released on Dollartone Records. Recorded at Avenue Recording Studios in Saskatoon and mixed in Athens, Ga by John Keane, of R.E.M. fame, this blend of folk, alternative rock, pop and blues results in an exceptionally well crafted album.

yb1The Colonial Pt.1” incorporates tribal drumming, crisp, clean, subtle guitar riffs, and some very eclectic vocals by Vaero Poulin. “Out There (In The Wild)” is an up tempo song, with a country-blues sentiment. The strong vocals by Neusha Mofazzali are wonderfully set outside the instrumentation. The violin creates and maintains the mood for this song. “Jasper, AB” contains military drumming, great transitions, a catchy hook and violin, used to settle the heavy rhythm section. In “Move, Move“, the violin again plays a major role by creating not just feelings, but layers and texture within the song.”Young Argument” with its heavy drumming allows the vocals to be centre stage, while “Less Argue” , has great harmonies and melody lines that are framed by violin and keyboards. “Green Eyes“, at less than one minute long, is a wonderfully simple folk song with acoustic guitar, a catchy melody and strong harmonies. The vocal styling of “Oh Marie“, puts the emphasis on the melody, lyric and voice. The song has great drum rolls and  melancholic violin. Something here makes me think of Great Big Sea. Could this be the the new Canadiana? “The Solace“,  an instrumental, is melodic and soothing with its incredible violin. What a beautiful piece of music! The best track on the album, “Common Thief“, opens with classic rock drums that are quickly quieted by the violin. There are great drum shots and wonderfully played guitar scales integrated into the song. This is as much rock as these guys will muster. The echo effect on the female vocal halfway through the song creates an almost angelic sensation. There are several changes in tempo and time signature and a great ending. “The Colonial Pt 2” brings closure to the album. It plays as a more up tempo adjunct to “The Colonial Pt. 1”, as if the message is complete. It is a happier tune, perhaps providing closure for the band as well. Have I been listening to a concept album?yb

Young Benjamins have a unique style and a unique approach to songwriting. They have the ability to use music to create mood and conjure images. . There is a middle-eastern influence throughout that integrates so well. These guys are incredibly talented. They can write and play, and they have a great feel for their music. One of the most uniquely creative bands I have heard! If you’ve ever wondered why Burton Cummings was ‘Runnin’ Back To Saskatoon”, the answer could very well be to hear bands like Young Benjamins.”Less Argue” is full of life and it is fun!  This is clearly the band’s album, the album that they wanted to make. Add this to your must have list.

To hear Young Benjamins, click on this link:

http://exclaim.ca/MusicVideo/ClickHear/young_benjamins-less_argue_album_stream

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