Archive for arena rock

TRIO OF MADNESS-Lost Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

Well, it finally happened. After much anticipation, Trio Of Madness, the Somerville, New Jersey band, released Lost Time in March, 2017. Filled with 14 wonderfully looney tunes, the trio delivers a blend of psychedelic, surf, and progressive rock sounds, which merge into what can only be called “alien rock”. The album conjures up memories of my old arena rock days, with shades of King Crimson and Yes peering out from behind the wonderful melodies. There are different musical themes woven into songs by exciting changes and transitions. The album is guitar-centric, yet the rhythm section is a standout. Nick Charles’ solos and riffs deliver wonderful waves of melody, while Mike Wojik and Liz Gonzalez drive the music. There are cool effects, and I am certain I heard a bicycle horn. ‘Roswell‘ delivers a surf vibe which morphs into a sound that can best be described as The B-52s meet King Crimson, while ‘Birthquake‘ offers a psych’d out, funky, beach blanket bingo feel. At times it seems that the album is a free for all jam, but the music is brilliantly executed. This is an entertaining trip which, one can only hope, brings with it a safe return. And while the long term effects of listening to Trio Of Madness are, as of yet unknown, this is an insanely good time. Favorite tracks: ‘Lost Time‘; ‘Spaceships‘; ‘Showering At The Bates Motel‘;  ‘Mutant Song‘, with guest vocals by Geverend Dee. You really need to hear this. Play it loud, and remember to keep your eyes on the skies! You can listen and purchase Lost Time here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-April 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

DruckfarbenSecond Sound

druckfarben3

I am not certain why this Toronto band has been a mystery. These musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work. Standing out is Phil Naro‘s vocals.The style, the sound, the inflection, had me thinking Jon Anderson. 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. Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

StupidityMove

stupidity2Not Canadian, but the Swedish band, Stupidity have mastered the marriage of punk, rock, and pop. This album serves up incredible songs with interesting instrumentation. and a few very cool surprises. This is definitely not Ikea. This album is boundless energy. This is one for the collection. And the car.  Catch them live, whenever you can. As often as you can. Incredible band

 

Peculiar Disco MovesThe Domino Effect

pdm1From North-Eastern U.K., Peculiar 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.

 

The After HoursShaken, Not Stirred

afterhours3I 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. I will be getting 2, as I am certain I will be playing 1 of them into oblivion.

 

 

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DRUCKFARBEN-Second Sound

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

druckfarben3I recently received a copy of the new album Second Sound, by Toronto band Druckfarben, and I have spent the last 3 days repeating the same 2 words: Freakin’ amazing!!

The 8 track album is filled with cool keyboards, great drum shots, and wonderful harmonies. The guitar is dynamite, offering wonderfully subtle riffs, and blistering solos. The melodies are insanely good, fused with beautiful harmonies. The bass lines are intricate and subdued.  The instrumentation, rich and varied. Piano, organ and synthesizer appear throughout. I heard banjo, and mandolin. The arrangements are spectacularly full, and layered with texture.

 

druckfarben1Two tracks merit special mention. “Long Walk Down“, a sweet, melancholy ballad with a Klaatu-esque feel, delivers a wonderful melody with a spectacular vocal track. “Second Sound“, without a doubt, the best progressive rock track I have heard in 40 years, is reminescent of Yes: Somewhere between “Siberian Khatru” and “The Gates Of Delerium“, with shades of Tales From Topographic Oceans. This suite offers incredible keyboards including some interesting piano and organ, and way cool violin, that wanders from classical to rock to western themes. The instrumentation in this track is wonderful. There are cool changes and transitions, and a kick ass guitar solo. There are sweet melodies and terrific harmonies. The song ends with  beautifully arranged acoustic guitar.

 

I am not certain why this band has been a mystery. These musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work. Standing out is Phil Naro’s vocals.The style, the sound, the inflection, had me thinking Jon Anderson. 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. Druckfarben is the real deal.

Check out Second Sound  here:  https://www.facebook.com/druckfarben/app_204974879526524

 

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SWILLBILLY HEROES-The Lamentable Tragedy Of The…

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sh1I don’t know where the guys at Get Bent Records find these bands, but the Swillbilly Heroes have just released their debut album, The Lamentable Tragedy Of The…. This Toronto band refers to their music as Alternative Country/Rock but I hear so much more. The 9 tracks share country influences with rock, southern rock, pop and blues.

sh2The opening track, “Big Red Ford“, has a nice melody with great transitions and an incredible fullness. The slide guitar and guitar solo remain true to country, but this song rocks. “All The Ghosts You Exorcise” has a slower tempo, a great bridge, and a very cool acoustic guitar solo.  The distant harmonies meshed with keys that make me think accordion, give this song a wonderfully airy feel. The echo effect vocals of “Lucky Mind” add to the uniqueness of this track which includes wonderfully placed stops and starts, a beautiful acoustic guitar solo, and bells which provide a perfect backdrop for the melancholy mood. “Swillbilly Heroes” begins softly and then cracks open with slide guitar, cool offbeat drumming, and a nice guitar “twang” throughout. The dual guitars are reminiscent of The Allman Brothers. Lyric like “love me forever, love me to death” add to the dark beauty of the song.  “Bent On Battered Days”  a rock song, with a great bass line has great effects and psych-rock guitar. Love the cool isolation on the drums, amazing guitar solo and a melody that never quits.. The driving rocker, “Tear It Up” comes with  great bass work, guitar effects, spectacular vocal harmonies and a clean, crisp guitar solo. “‘Til You Broke Some Bones” begins with a drum solo. The melody framed by faint harmonies, and the countrified guitar solo emphasizes an amazing sh3transition to the bridge. “Chlorhexidine Dreams“, a moody tune, is played without drums and bass. The acoustic guitar strumming and the electric guitar lead are accompanied only by chimes and the brooding vocals, within a very haunting melody. My favorite track, “Shipwreck” has great effects and a rockin’ guitar solo.  Driven by the rhythm section, quieter at the verses it fills in at the chorus. The incredible melody cradles brilliant lyric such as “you haven’t lived until you’ve tried, you haven’t lived until you’ve died”, all within a song that could very well be an amazing arena rock song. Just need some dry ice and strobe lights. A song I really want to see live. An amazingly beautiful track with a spectacular ending and shades of Blue Rodeo.

gb1The Lamentable Tragedy Of The… is far from tragic. Great songs with amazing melodies that are simple and complex at the same time, layered within sounds that fill the senses.  Franco Care has an amazing voice, deep, dark, and dynamic. The band is tight and incredibly talented. I was surprised at first to see Abel Renton‘s name as guitarist in the credits. He is also the guitarist for The Micronite Filters. But then I remembered that this is, after all, Get Bent Records. And a killer album.  Epic fun.  Epic cool. Epic Music.

You can listen to this album here:    http://swillbillyheroes.bandcamp.com/album/the-lamentable-tragedy-of-the

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