Archive for bandcamp

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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CLARA ENGEL-Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

The 5 track album, Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss, released by Clara Engel in April 2016, has captivated and fascinated me. The Toronto cesinger/songwriter/musician has delivered an exciting, and yes, eccentric, collection of songs that I have not been able to stop listening to. There are hauntingly beautiful melodies, enhanced by a minimalist approach, that is  both soothing and exciting, and serene, yet intoxicating. The simplistic complexity of the avant-garde folk-blues, creates powerful emotions and images. There are wonderfully cool instruments being played; bowed baritone guitar, auto harp, vibes, theremin, as well as  violin, saxophone, and xylophone. The vocals tracks are exceptional, while the sound is uniquely original, fusing Delta Blues, Folk, and Alternative. There is so much going on in here, that it requires numerous listens to integrate the essence of what has been created. I could listen to this all day. Could very well contend for I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2016. Highly recommended that you check out this, and all of Clara Engel’s other releases out on her bandcamp 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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SONDAG

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

sondagI usually do not review hard rock or metal,  leaving that for my friend, Joshmetal Figueroa, who is, however, on hiatus, currently travelling the cosmos. So I will endeavour to share with you fans of hard rock, and metal,  a band you need to check out. With a 3 track ep released in February, 2016, Italian rockers, Sondag, released a pretty impressive product, filled with cool melodies, nice changes, and a solid rhythm section. There are sweet riffs, and a wonderfully full sound. A solid Ep to help you get your rock on! You need to give this a spin, Check it out on their bandcamp page, and, if you like it, you can download it for free!

 

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THE COUNTERACTS-Meet The Counteracts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the counteracts3In 1964, I was listening to Meet The Beatles. 52 years later, I have been listening to The Counteracts ep, “Meet The Counteracts“. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The tribute to The Beatles is evident not only in the release’s title, but the cover design, as well. The duo from Kent, UK, have their heart and soul in Brit pop. A cursory listen to the album will confirm this, however I recommend paying close attention, and give it several listens.There are wonderful pop melodies, cool hooks, nice harmonies, and some dynamite keyboards. I am particularly fond of the piano. The vocal arrangements are sweet, and I dig the hand clapping on ‘The Postbus‘. There is a way cool dreamy vibe and Lennonesque feel (particularly in the bridge)  to ‘You Never Listen‘, and ‘Everyone Gets The Chance (To Love)’, has a wonderful The Kinks thing going on. And, as if the album cover was not enough, the homage to The Beatles version of Twist & Shout at the end of ‘I’ve Got A Crush On You‘, is inspired. I like this band. I like this album. A wonderfully uplifting and fun time, filled with quirky Brit. pop. Check it out for yourself on their bandcamp page, and pay what you can for your very own download….

 

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THE SLEEPOVERS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the sleepoversI’m not certain why it took me so long to discover The Sleepovers, but the recent release of this Toronto band’s final installment of their 3 color ep series, caught my attention. So much so that I went back and listened to the other 2.

The songs are insanely good, filled with wonderful pop melodies and harmonies. There are way cool keys, some slick guitar, and a solid rhythm section. The vocals are dynamite, and there are added bonuses of hand clapping, and cool effects.The changes are great, and the bridges, exceptional. There are influences of 1980’s New Wave, Punk, and Power Pop. There are hints of funk, R & B, and electro-pop. It all works here. The elements of several genres incredibly fused with pop. It is complex simplicity. And they seem to be having a whack of fun doing it! After listening several times, I am a fan. .  Our favorite tracks across the 3 EPs: pink-“Friends Without Benefits“; blue-“Bomb“;  yellow-“Death By Misadventure“.  You need to check this band out for yourself. Really!! You can listen to the entire trilogy-2014’s pink EP, the blue EP of 2015, and the January 2016 yellow EP, and purchase them all, on Bandcamp.

 

sleepovers pink

sleepovers yellosleepovers blue

 

 

 

 

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NADINE SHAH- Fast Food

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

I wish that I had discovered Nadine Shah sooner. The London, England singer/songwriter released her 10 track album, Fast Food, in April 2015, and it is simply amazing!

ns2The songs contain wonderful melodies, great changes & transitions, and a wonderfully heavy rhythm section. I heard the sound of horns, acoustic guitar, organ, and piano. There are cool effects, great harmonies, and some way cool guitar throughout. There is a great Parisian Cabaret vibe to ‘Fast Food‘, and a wonderful mid-east sensibility to ‘Matador‘. The album offers changes & transitions that seem effortless. The vocals are insanely good, darkly emotional, smoky & sultry. The instrumentation is wonderfully simple within a song that is complex, and the production is exceptional. Favorite tracks include ‘Divided‘, a beautiful song with a dynamite melody sung over acoustic guitar and tom; ‘Big Hands‘, with way cool keys, and a melody that delivers Nadine Shah’s devastatingly wonderful voice; and ‘Stealing Cars‘, with its unforgettable riff, is as addictive as any song I have heard!

 

 

ns1Nadine Shah has a style all of her own. Unforgettable and unmistakable! Beautiful & sublime. The songs are wonderfully written, and have been driving some to move uncontrollably. I dig this album. It is wonderfully eclectic. It is alternative. Alternative cool. Alternative wonderful. You can pick it up for the ‘name your price’ fee on Bandcamp. Pay what you can. Get it today!

 

 

 

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SURF KITTIES

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

skDuring one of my trips to music streaming sites, I came across Surf Kitties, a Calgary, Alberta band that released a self titled album in March 2013. As their name suggests, this trio is way into surf music.

The 7 track album is an instrumental journey back to the days of Frankie & Annette movies, and The Ventures.The songs are 2-3 minutes in duration, and are filled with way cool guitar riffs, dynamite bass lines, solid drumming, and tremolo. The band may be a little rough around the edges, but I am just so liking the Surf Kitties. The album is available as ‘pay any price’ on Bandcamp. Definitely worth checking out.

http://surfkitties.bandcamp.com/album/surf-kitties

 

 

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WHISKER KISS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

wk1Somewhere in Western Canada, between Edmonton and Vancouver, there lives Whisker Kiss. In my travels through the internet, I stumbled upon their 2010 self titled EP. I could find nothing more recent. After listening, I was quite disappointed that I could find nothing else from this band.

The album is filled with wonderfully written songs, fueled by beautiful melodies, and harmonies. There are great changes, and a simplicity that draws you in. There are chimes, or xylophone, and concertina, or it is all synthetic.  Either way it really doesn’t matter. It sounds great. I heard way cool guitar riffs, and amazing vocals.I heard acoustic guitar, and some great arrangements. I particularly liked “House“, with its amazing bridge, and wonderful transitions, that transforms this acoustic folk track into a powerful pop song.

 

 

The album rises above instrumentation, and puts the focus on the songs. With a style that is reminiscent of Paul Simon, the themes focus on man’s relationship with his environment. Talented and topical! This is one of those albums that could be overlooked, and possibly forgotten. A musical masterpiece lost amid the noise. Check it out for yourself. Head to Bandcamp and buy at least 1 for yourself. I suggest you get another 1 for someone you care about. It is that good.

Check it out here:   http://whiskerkiss.bandcamp.com/

 

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