Archive for alternative rock

THE STANDSTILLS: Pushing Electric

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

standstillsThe concept is simple! Write great songs, play like you mean it, and a two man band can sound, well, like a band, With the release of their new album “Pushing Electric“,  Oshawa, Ontario’s The Standstills have done just that. Johnny Fox (guitar, vocals) and Renee Couture (drums) have created a sound that they refer to as “The White Stripes getting body slammed by Queens Of The Stone Age”. This is not your ordinary duo. This is not The Carpenters. This is The Standstills. With two other albums to their credit, “The Standstills” (2009) and “The Human Element” (2011), their alternative/rock/blues  sound has led them to the edge of greatness.

standstills3The Standstills have managed to create the illusion of a full, four piece band. The drums play the entire rhythm section so demonstrably that the bass is not missed. The vocals are strong and Johnny Fox has great range. The album, produced by the band, contains good, solid production values which bring out the best the band has to offer. The drumming of Renee Couture is over the top. This girl can drum. Influenced by The Tea Party, Incubus and Queens Of The Stone Age, she is probably the best female drummer in Canada. The album contains eleven tracks of strong, hard hitting rock songs with infectious melodies and heavy riff hooks. The title track is a  driving rock tune that sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Good God Damn” , one of the two videos taken from this album contains biting guitars and the band’s great sense of harmony. “Junkie” is a wonderfully poignant tune with the best lyric of the album. “Done” could be a Cult song with its eerily pounding guitars and prominent drums. The whimsical “Jesus“, with its Middle-East influence is reminiscent, at times, of Fleetwood Mac. The last track, “Gone” is the best track on the album with its melodic guitar, powerful drums and strong vocals.

There is not a bad song on “Pushing Electric“. Each makes you wonder “How do they do this with only two instruments?”. It doesn’t matter. It rocks!  Add this to your must have list.

To listen to The Standstills:

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

The Creekside Strays Have Found A Home.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

In a time when most music seems generic and derivative, the London, Ontario band The Creekside Strays have carved out a niche for themselves. This trio has compiled a significant catalogue of music in a short time, and have just released their third EP, simply titled The Creekside Strays. This Indie band has been slugging it out in the bar scene honing their craft and developing their songwriting for the past three years. The result is a product that showcases both their songs and musicianship. A blend of alternative rock, soul and pop has given The Strays a unique sound and a large, local following.

strays

I hear the influences of The Beatles, Steely Dan, Dave Matthews and the alternative rock of Seattle.  I am immediately taken by the subtle instrumentation; there is no overbearing guitar here and no pounding rhythm section. I ask myself who do they sound like and the answer is nobody. I tap my feet to every song. The production is simple yet profoundly well suited. Like Becker and Fagen, the song writing is exquisite-narratives that float across unpretentious melodies. From the opening track “Shit Outta Luck” to the soft 50s soul of “Keep Your Hands In The Car”, this EP is a journey through time, taking one back to the days when music was just plain fun.

Who says there is no good music to listen to anymore? As one who was fortunate enough to have grown up with the music of the 60s, I can tell you that The Creekside Strays are proof positive that music is alive and well and living in Canada.

To hear The Creekside Strays:

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2LraVwM0wB0

 

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/