Archive for album

THE COUNTERFACTUALS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

counterfactuals2What do you get when 4 College Professors from Northfield, Minnesota decide to start a band? You get The Counterfactuals, whose recent, 9 track, self titled release is cause for celebration!

The album is filled with cool riffs, and wonderful vocal tracks. There is saxophone, clarinet, piano, organ, synthesizer, and some very aggressive drums and bass. The effects are exquisitely subtle, and I dig the delay. The songs are wonderful, offering memorable melodies, nice changes, and way cool arrangements, as they speak of being human, delving into issues of ageing, love, and regret. The sound is full, and has the wonderful ‘live off the floor’ feel. Favorite tracks: “Fading From Bright“; “Might As Well Join In“; “Every Turn You Take Is Right

counterfactuals1The Counterfactuals have the knack of defying genre. There is so much going on in here, every listen reveals something new and wonderful.  You should listen often, and listen loud. It’s a party for your ears, and a party for your spirit. Call it Alternative, or perhaps Experiential Rock. You can stream the entire album on the band’s Bandcamp page, and then go buy a few copies. It’s that good!! Join the celebration.

 

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YOUNG BENJAMINS-Losing Our Shadows

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

YB56It has been 3 years since the release of Young Benjamins‘ “Less Argue” ( read the review here), and the Saskatoon band seems to have found a more sophisticated, and more conceptual sound on their new release. “Losing Our Shadows” available in June 2016, delivers a much fuller sound, highlighted by the melodic interplay of vocals and guitar, and an exciting experimental vibe.

YB55There are great riffs, some very cool fuzz bass, strings, and wonderful piano and organ.  The songs are exceptionally good, with wonderful changes, and memorable melodies. There are elements from various styles, including 1980’s New Wave, Psychedelia, Rock, and Electronic. And it all works. And through it all, Young Benjamins manage to keep their folk roots evident. I suspect that if Paul Simon did alternative rock, it would sound a bit like Losing Our Shadows. There is an incredible array of things going on in here, and it will take multiple listens to catch them all. It will be well worth it. So, listen closely with ears and mind wide open! Favorite tracks: ‘Pawn’, ‘No Love’, ‘All Gone Home’.

 

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SIDEWATCHER-Otra Vez

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

sidewatcherDetroit based pop-garage-punk band, Sidewatcher, has come up with a novel idea for the release of their new album, Otra Vez. The 14 track project will be released as 7 color coded singles. The 1st 2 singles are out, released in January and February, 2016 respectively, and I like what I hear.

Keys To Your Heart‘, and ‘I Really Like You‘ appear on Otra Vez l. While Otra Vez ll, contains the songs ‘ Hey You‘, and ‘Have Love Will Travel‘. There are wonderful melodies, cool changes, and sweet vocals. I heard dynamite piano and organ, and nice riffs. The songs are pop, with a punk edge and elements of surf, garage, and psych rock. The sound is excitingly addictive. A very cool band with a very cool sound. Looking forward to the next single release! You can check SideWatcher out for yourself on their bandcamp page. 

 

 

 

 

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HAZEN SAGE -Thrive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

hazen2I have been listening to Hazen Sage‘s new release for over 1 week. The Vancouver Island singer/songwriter released Thrive in March, 2016, and I am digging this 11 track album. The songs deliver wonderful melodies, with inspired lyrics. There are way cool surprises, tremelo, organ, and piano, and influences of rock, reggae, aboriginal, western, and psych rock are evident throughout. There are cool riffs, and infectious hooks, accompanied by great changes, and dynamite vocals. Favorite tracks: ‘Dead ‘n Gone‘( with shades of Buffalo Springfield), ‘Undying‘, and ‘Tea For Two‘.

Thrive is quite addictive, really, filled with thought provoking, mind bending hazeninsanely good songs, written and performed with passion and devotion. The arrangements & production are spot on, and I like the “fullness’ of the sound. There are wonderful things going on in here. There is never a dull moment! Give Thrive a listen, or perhaps several, and then buy a bunch of copies. A wonderfully exciting album, you should play for the whole neighborhood. Destined to be on the short list for I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s Album Of The Year for 2016.

 

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THE MINNOWS-The Sound Of Things To Come

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

I have always been a fan of The Minnows. It began when they were still Tiberius Minnows. I have, however never been more excited by an upcoming release as I am with the current project of these Belfast rockers.

minnows55I recently had the pleasure, and the honor, of advance streaming of several tracks destined for the as yet untitled new album, set for release sometime in 2016. My comments on the material. as I reported back to the band, were simply “brilliant”, and ” devastatingly beautiful”. I am pretty certain that I also referred to one of the tracks as “I wish I had written that one”.

The Minnows have embarked on a journey into sounds that differ significantly from their previous releases. They have embraced ‘Americana‘, and have taken to it like, well, a fish to water. The tracks are filled with exceptionally beautiful melodies, enhanced by 1960’s California harmonies. There are  “twangy” guitars, and some of the most beautifully, bittersweet harmonica I have heard.  This is real heart & soul music. Wonderfully written, and executed. Brilliant indeed! It is insanely wonderful. I am not sure why The Minnows are not world famous, but this just may be the album that gives them the notoriety they deserve.

 

 

As good as the songs are, the accompanying videos for ‘Oh Man‘, and ‘What was I Supposed To Do?‘, have left me breathless, and reduced me to tears. You really need to see these. And when the album is finally released, get yourself a bunch. Play it often. Impress your friends and neighbors. Treat yourself. Feed your heart, and your soul.

 

 

To keep up with all that’s going on with the Minnows, head over to Facebook, and LIKE their page.

 

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THE TRACKS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the tracks

Another talented band from London, Ontario, The Tracks, released a 7 track album in January, 2016. Filled with wonderful melodies, wrapped in a killer rock-blues-folk vibe,  the songs offer nice changes, some way cool guitar riffs and solos,  and insanely good vocal tracks. This Sydney Maguire can sing! There are some sweet harmonies and backing vocals, and influences from Country Rock (check out “Whiskey & Smokes“),  and Arena Rock (listen to “The Story“). Not a bad song on the album. The Tracks are now on my list of bands that I have to see live. You can stream and purchase the self-titled album on bandcamp. Pay attention to this band.

 

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WATERSHED HOUR-From Your Best Friend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

WH4The recently released album by Watershed Hour, the Peterborough, Ontario alternative band, contains 6 uniquely original tracks. Filled with elements of garage, punk, and rock, From Your Best Friend offers cool melodies, nice changes and transition, and some wonderful riffs. The angst ridden songs deliver driving rhythms, pounding guitars, and wild drumming, highlighted with sweet guitar and bass solos, cool effects and dynamite vocals. There is a wonderfully dark and disturbing vibe that will pull you in. A punked up garage sound, with each track a musical free for all, a sort of well constructed jam. Favorite tracks include ‘Kristi Is My Drinking Buddy‘ , and ‘The Lone Paraders‘. Check them out on their bandcamp page, and then buy yourself a digital download, or cassette. Go on, take a walk on the wild and eerie side.

 

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