Archive for ballad

NEVERFRIEND-Evolve

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

neverfriend1I had the pleasure of previewing ‘Evolve‘, the new album from Neverfriend, an Ottawa, Canada based band. Scheduled for for release in mid December, 2014, this disc simply kicks ass.

The album opens with “Coming For Me“, a dynamite rock song with wonderful changes, and cool guitar. “Hard To Breathe“, with its great melody, and strong vocal track, turns out to be a wonderful ‘punk’ ballad. The nice changes and effects give the straight ahead rock track “Don’t Want To Love You” , another dimension. The vocals, and wicked guitar solo are added bonuses. “Take A Stand” has cool effects, nice drum fills, and some sweet riffs. The chorus rocks with  harmonies, and the change in tempo, well, its a pleasant surprise. The hard rock feel of  “Pissed Off & Running” delivers a great bridge, cool changes, and a beautiful chorus. I like the production values in this track. “Tell Someone Who Cares” carries an almost metal vibe, yet offers a way cool melody, and sweet chorus. The vocals are terrific, and I dig the harmonies. There are more amazing neverfriend3changes in “Everything That’s Wrong For Me“, as it roars through powerful instrumentation, and a cool melody. There are 2 standout tracks. “Dear Daddy“, with its broody, melancholia, offers a wonderful riff, and sweet harmonies. The song utilizes vocals and guitars only, and the vocals simply rock. This delicately complex track is still playing in my head. And then there is “Don’t Worry“. With its unforgettable pop melody, way cool chorus and harmonies, great changes, and sweet guitar solo, this song reminds of what the GoGos would sound like playing punk. An incredible track.

 

 

neverfriend2Neverfriend delivers a raw, energetic, yet sophisticated album. Combining elements of pop, punk, and hard rock, the songs never seem to disappoint. 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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http://www.neverfriend.com/

 

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THE MINNOWS-Live At The Belfast Barge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

minnows1There are Irish bands I like, and Irish bands I really like. I like U2, The Pogues, and The Cranberries. I really like Them, Thin Lizzy,  The Boomtown Rats, and The Minnows. Originally called Tiberius Minnows, which I like to believe is in homage to the captain of the USS Enterprise, James Tiberius Kirk, this band released several singles and EPs from the late 80s and into 2007. In 2008, now called The Minnows, they released their full length album, Leonard Cohen’s Happy Compared To Me.. It was a great surprise and thrill to find Live At The Belfast Barge. This 10 track album contains songs both old and new.

The album opens with “Roonkin“, filled with great guitar, a wonderful bass line and cool vocals. The effects add another dimension to this pop-rock song, with stellar vocals that be-cry “Oh no, I forgot my guitar. I don’t know how I got this far“. The melody and harmonies are dynamite and the changes rock. One of those songs I wish was 3 minutes longer. The previously unreleased “What Was I Supposed To Do” contains incredible horns and strings sounds and opens with bongo playing. An amazing melody, powerful vocals and a way cool guitar riff, make this one of my favorite ballads of all time.”The Steepest Hill” has great harmonies, and nice electronic effects. The transitions and changes add to the melancholy feel that underlies this track. With cello and bells, “Baby Blue” displays unique instrumentation within a great melody. The way cool guitar solo doesn’t hurt. minnows2September 25” opens with acoustic guitar, and demonstrates amazing song construction. The melody and changes are great, and there is another very cool guitar solo. The Leonard Cohen vocal style of “Why Don’t You Phone Me Anymore“, adds to the great strings effect and wonderful bridge. The melody rocks, and the reference to Sinatra‘s  “My Way“, perfectly suits the male chorus ending. The pop song with an 80’s feel, “Another Rainy Day“, offers a sweet melody, nice harmonies, and wonderful changes and transitions. The harmonized vocals are exceptional.  “Free Man Freeman“, a folky song, has a great melody. The harmonies again, dynamite and the guitar riff, sweet. The synthesizer and great “chain gang” vocalization as the song ends, kill. “Sailing On” has cool synthesizer effects, a sweet melody, and great changes and transitions. The vocals and harmonies are wonderful, and the guitar riff rocks. Add an outstanding chorus and  wonderful strings at the end, and you have a great rock song. Not often does a 20 year old song still kick ass, unless you’re The Beatles. However, “Time Flies” is still an incredible pop song with a rock edge. The amazing melody drifts over great synthesizer. The wonderful harmonies, great bridge, and dynamite hook, nail it. This should  have been an anthem for that generation of disenfranchised youth, or at least, an Irish Football fight song.

photoAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums but I have to add 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 past week 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.

Check out The Minnows:  http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Minnows/131768390195614, and get this album. You have until March 15/2014 to go to the band’s facebook page, click LIKE and download the album for FREE.

 

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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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MESSES AND MIRACLES-The Captain Surely Drowns

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

M&M1On the heels of their 2012 debut Ep, A Place To Hang Our Heads, London, Ontario band Messes & Miracles released the 5 track EP The Captain Surely Drowns in August of this year.

This Folk-Rock band has matured since the release of their debut EP. Their acoustic rock sound, influenced by folk music is evident in the melody of “All We Are“,which features choral harmonies, and great transitions. The simple yet melodic guitar riff, makes this song. The title track, with its great changes and strong harmonies, serves as a wonderful lead in to the rockier “Dead Eyes” which uses power chords within a softer, acoustic theme. The vocals, coming in short bursts, are interesting and unique. “Daggers has the signature harmonies, a nice riff, and a fun melody. I like the piano used here and the changes in tempo are an added bonus. My favorite track on the album, “Angry World”, is an incredibly well crafted song. The ballad has a beautiful melody, framed by lush harmonies and a soft and easy guitar riff, making this song warm and infectious.

M&MMesses And Miracles are  a remarkable band.  They have a unique sound, and write songs that tell stories.  The album is filled with light songs that have heavy themes. It is beautifully  simple, subtle with complex textures. There is not much missing here, except perhaps another 5 or 6 tracks to listen to. This EP has been put into my regular listening rotation.

To listen to Messes And Miracles, click here:  http://messesmiracles.bandcamp.com/

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REDAMBERGREEN-Through All The Days

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

I am not sure what is going on in London, Ontario, but the proliferation of talented,  young bands springing up in this city is staggering. Redambergreen another party-town band with a penchant for pop-rock music, released their EP, “Through All The Days” in 2012.

rag1The title track has slick guitar work and some very cool drum rolls and shots. With running guitar riffs and tempo changes, this up beat tune has a great melody with an alternative rock edge. “With You”  has a new wave flavor with its choppy guitar, and the opening blast of power chords is surprisingly fitting. The dual guitars on “Lost“,  coupled with a continuous riff,  give this song an almost ethereal feel. “Puppy Wars” is a harder hitting tune that captures the 1980s New Wave sound with exciting guitar work playing over wonderfully precise drumming. Although a rockier song, “Reach” continues to deliver a similar sound. The highlight, the acoustic version of “With You“, has clean and crisp vocals, a beautifully constructed melody and incredible, light harmonies. The simplicity of the arrangement makes this a great pop ballad.  By far the best track on the album.

Prior to listening to this EP, I heard the band’s song “Cobwebs And Cardigans“, released in 2013. This rock song opens with a flurry of power chords and drum rolls, and captures the listener with a vocal melody that lags just slightly behind the music. The vocals are true to the mood and the music. There is an instrumental bridge with an amazing tempo and time change at about 3 minutes, that has a great guitar riff with heavy drums and then, shifts back to the chorus. This song caught my attention.

rag2Through All The Days” is a collection of pop/rock songs that will have you dancing to the catchy melodies. The style is reminiscent of  the  pop-wave band Modern English. I was, however a little disappointed with it.  It sounds under produced.  A good first effort, but I expected more from these five seasoned players. These guys have talent and they have great potential. They write good songs and are exciting to see live.  I anticipate good things from this band moving forward, and I will be listening.

To hear Redambergreen, follow the link below:

http://www.redambergreenband.bandcamp.com/

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