Archive for blues rock

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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OTTAWA-Capital Rocks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I was quite surprised to find that there was more going on in Canada‘s capital city than just Senators padding their expense account, and all of the other goings on at Harper’s Bizarre.  The city on the Rideau has spawned some wonderful Indie music during 2014. Here are some of our favorites from Ottawa, Ontario.

 

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  A sort of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. A Living Fiction 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.

 

 

superlativeno2Numero Deux is a wonderful treat. It is a change from ‘Chester‘: It is grittier, edgier, and it has bite. There is a wonderfully full sound, with layers of instrumentation that blend together in magical, musical mayhem. And once again, the album cover is way cool. Give this a few listens, as it gets better every time. And purchase a copy. An exceptionally thrilling adventure by The Superlative.

 

 

rf1Thoughts & Reason is filled with wonderfully melodic guitar, often with electric riffs over the more subtle acoustic. There are great vocals, singing heartfelt lyrics, and nice harmonies. The vocal effects are nicely done, and the changes are dynamite. A sort of singer-songwriter side to Ryan Fitz, with personal songs that touch on universal themes, simply played, with guitar and vocals. Nothing else. This guy can write songs. A wonderful change, perfectly executed. I am liking this Ryan Fitz.

 

 

neverfriend2Neverfriend delivers a raw, energetic, yet sophisticated album. Combining elements of pop, punk, and hard rock, the songs never seem to disappoint. Evolve is filled with 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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THE CORSETS-Are You Lonely, Are You Scared

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

The Corsets released “Are You Lonely, Are You Scared” in July 2014. The album contains 9 tracks of alternative blues-rock that had me wondering why I hadn’t heard of this Toronto band earlier.

corsets2Hit The Ground” opens the album with a great blues riff, and wonderfully haunting vocals. The changes and the effects are way cool. The drums and bass line of “Changing With The Weather“, carry the song. The changes rock, and the bridge is dynamite. I think I heard an organ in there, as well! The funk feel of “You Only Wish”  adds texture to the wonderful melody, and great vocal track. The blues come to town in “I Don’t Need You“,  with its sweet guitar riff and exceptionally cool changes in tempo, that occur effortlessly.  The short, yet sweet “Lady“, offers amazing corsets1drumming, and wonderful changes in tempo and melody line, while “Do What Moves You” offers a cool reggae influence with rock and blues highlights. Very interesting track. “Can I Get A Piece Of You?” with its sweet blues-rock guitar, nice changes and transitions, and great melody, has a cool Cream feel to it. Two tracks are standouts. “My Show“, has a great melody, exceptional drums and bass line, and wonderful changes, all within a aura of melancholia. It ends the album with a single strum of  acoustic guitar. Very fitting, Very Cool. My favorite track, “Take It Easy, Baby“, delivers a great rhythm section, and a way cool riff. The melody is wonderful, and I enjoy the use of distortion here. A dynamite track that just plain rocks.

 

 

 

“Are You Lonely, Are You Scared” is a wonderful adventure. 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.  Check it out and get your copy here: http://the-corsets.bandcamp.com/album/are-you-lonely-are-you-scared

 

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THE HOT SPROCKETS-Brother Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

hs6I have been following The Hot Sprockets since their 2011 release of ‘Honey Skippin. I was fortunate enough to catch this Dublin, Ireland band at Canada Indie Week, part of a North American Tour to promote the June, 2014 release of their latest album, ‘Brother Nature‘.

The album opens with “Quarter Roam“, with its powerful vocals, great changes, and choral harmonies. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars is wonderfully melodic, and I think I heard some slide guitar in this track. The melody rocks, the effects are cool, and I dig the drumming. The early rock and roll influences on “Boogie Woogie“, are almost Rockabilly. This song delivers a high energy tempo, with dynamite and unexpected changes, some dynamite harmonica, and a great vocal track. “Shake Me Off” brings great harmonies, cool changes, and wonderful hs3instrumentation. The country-blues sound of “Comin’ On‘ offers some sweet guitar picking, a dynamite bass line, and a great melody. A wonderfully lively track. “Lay Me Down“, a beautifully sweet song, with acoustic guitar, nice harmonies, wonderful vocals, and, as an added bonus, some way cool banjo. The western style of “El Torro“, an instrumental, comes across like a cowboy tune, a great song to listen to on a cattle drive! It brings wonderful guitar, and great harmonica. The powerfully “Show Me The Weight” gives up dynamite guitar and great harmonies.  “Women & Chile”  delivers some R & B vibes, incorporating great guitar effects, wonderful drumming, a cool melody, and perfectly placed harmonica. One great track! The melody of “Someday” joins the acoustic guitar picking to create a simply serene track. “Soul Brother” just plain rocks. A wonderful tempo brings this blues-rock track to life. There are great guitar riffs and a way cool solo, wonderful harmonies, dynamite changes and insanely good vocal effects. The bluesy, acid hs2rock sentiment of “Heavy On My Mind“,  reminds me of Steppenwolf. With a cool guitar riff that drives the great melody, and incredible drumming, what else could I ask for? Well, The Hot Sprockets thought that flute would be a good idea. They were right. Amazing! The incredibly wonderful “Homeslice” offers a great melody, coupled with sweet harmonies, over what sounds like strings and a mandolin. My favorite track on the album, “The Worried Kind“, brings a great melody delivered by a wicked vocal track. The changes and harmonies are wonderful, and I hear strings! The song has a John Lennon thing going on, both in melody and vocals, and I like it. A beautifully written and performed song!

 

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Well, there you have it. Brother Nature. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album for the 4th time, 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.  A definite must have for your collection, and a definite contender for I Can’t Believe My Earz’  Album Of The Year. Don’t just take my word for it, listen here: http://thehotsprockets.bandcamp.com/album/brother-nature

 

 

 

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BONGO BOY TV-Indie Music From Around The World-Episode 1030

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I felt quite honored when Bongo Boy TV asked me to preview each episode of their Music Videos From Around The World show, and to write a few lines about what I had seen & heard. Rozii Chaos an English entry packs a solid song into a cool, glossy video. “The Beginning Of The End” , a power-pop track with rock instrumentation, has an unforgettable hook. The visuals are dynamite, I mean, there’s not much better than a leather clad woman playing guitar! This is just plain sexy as hell. “Slow It Down“, a U.S.A. entry by The Wild Fruit, is a great rock-blues tune with great vocals and some very cool changes in tempo. The video cuts in and out of footage of the band playing in what appears to be a Louisiana swamp. Americana is captured by the ever present white Camero, and the female drummer may just be sexier than a female guitarist. Way cool. There can’t be a representation of American music without the inclusion of Hip Hop. B Bless ft. The Gipht provide “She’s Looking Good“. With its great vocal effects, and special visual effects, this video is surprisingly entertaining.. Secret Wish, an entry from Belgium offers “Ivory Tower“. A keyboard centered sound helps to create a video filled with young women swaying and dancing to a 1980’s electronic pop song. Wonderful to look at and an interesting listen. A Canadian entry, Blow Flyy,  gives us “My Wings Will Take Me“. The black & white footage presents a wonderful backdrop for the electronic effects of this Hip Hop song. With some visual Film Noire elements, this is fun to watch. Radio Drive, ft. Kevin Gullickson submitted “New Direction“.The fast pace of the video edits is great amid the slower feel of the song, which by the way, has me thinking somewhere between Chris Issak and Chris DeBurgh. The drumming is exceptional, and the lead guitar made this song memorable. Another American entry, Joey Evans‘ “Blue Skies Ahead“, is a cool country-pop song, playing amid quick edits of this singer-guitarist in various guises-cowboy, folk artist & mod rocker, standing in locations befitting his various incarnations. There are way cool transitions into and out of a drum & hand clapping break. The lead guitar work is dynamite, and the bright red Rickenbacker is very cool. Well, There you have it. Check this show out. The songs are good, and the videos are creative & interesting.

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-February 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Having lived through one of the coldest Februarys on record, Here are 3 incredible albums that will keep you smiling and warm your soul.

tsup1THE SUPERLATIVE-Chester

This Ottawa, On band have developed a unique a sound that combines elements from several genres.The songs contain a reggae beat, layered with a pop melody, rock guitar, and hints of blues and psych rock. The album is dynamite, providing a guitar driven sound with a wonderful rhythm section. And if that is not enough, the album artwork is very cool. Definitely 1 for the collection and a band to keep your eyes on.

mf11THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Wizard Blood

11 months after the release of Chasing Ghosts, this Oshawa, On, band released Wizard Blood. With all of the alternative blues-rock stylings I had heard on Ghosts, I assumed that I was in for more of the same on this new release. Sometimes it is nice to be mistaken. This 9 track album on Get Bent Records, produced by the bent brothers, who I suspect are Abel Renton and Dan Reiff, takes the music to places it has not been before. I like The Micronite Filters. This album seems to be a continuation of the themes of their previous release, showcasing the band’s growth and maturation. I really dig it. Each track feels like an experiment in pushing the limits of their sound. While Chasing Ghosts had me experimenting with this band, Wizard Blood has me addicted.

tm11TOXIC MELONS-Bus Therapy

Not Canadian, but it doesn’t matter. Bus Therapy is my kind of therapy. Truly 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.

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THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Wizard Blood

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

11 months after the release of Chasing Ghosts, this Oshawa, On, band released Wizard Blood. With all of the alternative blues-rock stylings I had heard on Ghosts, I assumed that I was in for more of the same on this new release. Sometimes it is nice to be mistaken. This 9 track album on Get Bent Records, produced by the bent brothers, who I suspect are Abel Renton and Dan Reiff, takes the music to places it has not been before.

mf12Keep The Fire Burning Bright“, has a great blues riff and amazing vocals. What a great opening track. It grabs you hard and just won’t let go. The fuzz guitar, and cool harmonica of “Roll On“,  help to create a Mississippi blues tune with a hint of Southern gospel. “Blood On The Flowers” offers a dynamite electric piano solo, great effects, solid drumming, and a very interesting layering of vocals and guitar. The changes and transitions are unexpected and very cool. The haunting vocal track of “Breadcrumbs” enhances the great melody, while the guitar picking and electric piano are wonderful. The rock-blues song “Death Leather Blues” gives us power chords, slide guitar, horns, and an amazing guitar solo. The sound touches on Southern Rock, with its rock beat and blues influences, and I really dig the all-star blues finish. “Whiskey Bottle” is a rock-blues frenzy with psych-rock elements. There are great echo guitar effects, and changes in tempo and time signature. The lyric, “another broken down, bubble gum princess singing out of tune” adds poignancy to the album. Very cool song. The wonderfully melodic instrumentation of “Hellhound On My Trail“, opens up a diverse and complex track. There are great harmonies, beautiful saxophone, and a simple yet powerful solo that, with amazing shades of The Doors, at times. “Po’ Black Maddie” delivers another great blues riff. This song is more mf11up tempo, with nice harmonies. There is a deep south blues coupled with rock elements, that give this a live recording feel.  Despite the somewhat disturbing title, “Blood In My Eyes For You” plays as a rollicking, rocking blues tune that goes on for almost 7 minutes. A sort of Micronite Filters opus! The track has a great rock melody. A well constructed rock song with blues influences. Great drumming, wonderful transitions, and a way cool power rock riff, all combine to make this my favorite track on the album. The electric piano rocks, and the song slows into a dynamite sax solo. A great track with some way cool elements of psych-rock. The song has elements of everything I have listened to over the past 50 years, and it keeps taking me back there. Blood In My Eyes For You should come with a warning: May cause flashbacks.

Ballad Of The Banker’s Son from the Chasing Ghosts album

I like The Micronite Filters. This album seems to be a continuation of the themes of their previous release, showcasing the band’s growth and maturation. I really dig it. Each track feels like an experiment in pushing the limits of their sound. While Chasing Ghosts had me experimenting with this band, Wizard Blood has me addicted.

Check out and purchase all of The Micronite Filters albums.

 

 

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BONGO BOY RECORDS-The Singles

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

There seems to be a whack of incredibly cool music coming out of New Jersey, and Bongo Boy Records seem to have their hand on most of it. Aside from the 2013  Mark Lindsay release, Life Out Loud, and the Gar Francis EP, Shine On, this Indie label out of Belvidere, New Jersey has a truck load of singles that they are about to release on a “Singles” album. Being quite fond of Bongo Boy Monique and Garage Guru Gar-the coolest musician to come out of Jersey since Frank Sinatra– I agreed to listen and wax poetic about this soon to be released compilation.

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Jana Peri, the New York City rocker with power pop and punk influences, delivers a knock out tune with “Ballerina Of The Bowery“. Written by Gar Francis, the song has a great surf-pop groove, great harmonies and a wonderful bridge and chorus. The choppy guitar  rocks and the riff, subtly great. Terrific opening track on any album.

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I didn’t know who The Easy Outs were, but  the New Jersey rock-punk-garage band’s “Come On, Come On” is up there on my list of coolest songs I have heard lately. The track has a great 1960s feel, delivered through wonderful keys and an amazing melody. There are great horns, beautiful transitions, and a dynamite bass line. I can hear Gar Francis all over this song. The riff, clean and crisp, and the solo, as always, class, not flash. Consider this a hit.

 

gr2The wonderfully multi talented Genya Ravan contributes a Gar Francis song, “I Won’t Cry Anymore” with a powerful voice and a delivery that made me shiver.  This rock-blues tune reminds me of something that should be on Janis Joplin album, and hands out great choral harmonies in the bridge and a wonderfully R & B harmonized “whoo hoo hoo”. This woman can sing.  Powerful and pleasurable.

 

 

rk3I don’t know where he finds the time, but Rockids is another Gar Francis project. Originally formed in 1973 by Gar and Wayne Olivieri, this garage band recorded Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody” in 2012. I love this song. I dig Rockids cover of it. The guitar layered underneath, the amazing Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and the great hook, deliver an incredible track. Might as well stand when you listen, ’cause it will get you dancing.

kcBorn Dainty“, a country-rock song, was written and produced by, you guessed it, Gar Francis. Recorded by New Jersey’s Kelly Caruso, daughter of The Doughboys bass player, Mike Caruso, this track offers some amazing banjo, cool drumming, and a great chorus. The transitions are wonderful and the guitar riff, great. Kelly delivers a wonderful vocal track. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song covered by Kelly Clarkson.

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The Swinging Iggies,  with one of the coolest band names around, offer up “Lady Gaga“. This New Jersey garage-rock band is another one of Gar Francis’ projects. The song,  humorous and up tempo, has a dynamite power start. There are great transitions and I dig the guitar riff. Great song. Still, what a wonderful name for a band.

gfrocketOne of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard, Gar Francis’ “Rocket” touches me. This heartfelt tribute to American soldiers, raises powerful emotions as an acoustic number. The vocals are something out of Bowie’s Hunky Dory, and this is not the first time I have made a Bowie reference about Gar. The beautifully played strings set the tone and mood amid the haunting melody. Wonderful lyric like, “rest my faith against my gun”, drive home the message. I like Gar Francis unplugged.

gigi

New Jersey singer, songwriter Gigi, contributes one way cool tune. “Put Your Freakin’ Hands Up” a  pop-dance track, in the Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe” style,  has a great guitar intro and some amazing double tracked vocals. The melody, pure pop and the guitar riff in the bridge/chorus, wonderfully cool. The minimized instrumentation during the verses highlights the vocals that come with some great effects. Wonderful song with an incredible hook.

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Plainfield Slim, Gar Francis’ alter ego, offers 2 blues tunes. “Dirty Girl” has wonderful southern blues-rock guitar and sweet, double time drumming. The slide guitar rocks within a cool vocal track and nice harmonies. I swear I hear a train in there. “Let Go My Hand“, delivers a wonderful blues riff and a great rock beat. I love the guitar solo and the muted effect to the entire track. Jersey blues are way cool.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudMy choice for coolest song of the year, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)” by Mark Lindsay is a definite bonus. What can I say about this song that I haven’t said in my review of the Life Out Loud album? Way cool 60s organ, great harmonies, exciting guitar, wonderful changes, and I really dig the “less is more” drumming style. The vocals rock, the melody, dynamite and well, this is my favorite Mark Lindsay song since “Kicks“. Coolest song of the year for sure.

Well, there you have it. The Bongo Boy Records singles compilation. The genres are varied, with something to please everyone.  11 tracks destined to amaze and entertain. This album will rock you, and  it will surprise you. An amazingly eclectic collection of songs by incredibly talented artists. I would liked to have seen Gar Francis’ “Back In 1985”  included on this record.  Check it out for yourself and see what’s really going on in New Jersey. Its not just Snooki and The Sopranos. A must have for every collection.

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-June 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

As we approach the end of June, with summer upon us, the time for driving with the top down and the stereo cranked has arrived. Whether sitting by the pool, hanging out at the beach or driving around, nothing make summer like music. We, at I Can’t Believe My Earz have compiled our list of the best Canadian Independent Albums for you. Here are the  Must Have Indie Albums for the month of June, 2013. And remember, please support independent musicians. Buy the music, if you like it.

INNERSPACE

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This Quebec band delivered the goods with the release of “The Village“. A concept album chronicling the growth of child to man, the music is rich with synthesizer, guitar and classical music themes. With shades of King Crimson, Yes and Pink Floyd,  this work is a must have for all Progressive Rock fans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hhRHd4rPJoY#t=0s

THE MICRONITE FILTERS

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The blues-rock played by this Oshawa, Ontario band, is raw, gritty, powerful and soulful. “Chasing Ghosts” is filled with great songs and great musical moments.  This is not your granddaddy’s blues! One for the collection.

http://themicronitefilters.bandcamp.com/

THE CREEKSIDE STRAYS

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This London, Ontario band released a classy and fun album  of exceptional songs. The Strays have a unique sound, a blend of rock, soul and pop which could best be described as Stray Rock. The self titled EP contains five wonderfully crafted songs that you will not be able to stop singing. Unforgivable not to have this gem in your collection.

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

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THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Chasing Ghosts

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

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There are blues bands, and then there are The Micronite Filters. As a follow up to their 2012 Ep,” The Wrong Side Of The Tracks“, this Oshawa, Ontario band went to the Mississippi hills to record their album. Produced by the legendary Jimbo Mathus and released on the independent label, Get Bent Records, “Chasing Ghosts” contains 10 tracks that redefine blues music.

The Ballad Of The Banker’s Son” has stand out vocals, slide guitar and an unforgettable bridge immersed in rock overtones . “Here She Comes Runnin’“, a Mississippi blues song if ever there was one, has herky-jerky instrumentation during the verse and then settles in the chorous. The band’s ability to play with time signatures is distinctly evident in this song. The title track, “Chasing Ghosts“, incorporates horns with guitar underlays. The saxophone is perfectly placed within the battalion style drumming.  The  bluesy vocals and eloquent melody line of “Ladies Man Blues” are accompanied only by harmonica, trombone and bass drum, and it sounds amazing.  In “Rambler’s Lament“, the rock melody is contrasted by blues guitar with echo effects and feedback. “Train Robbers”, another rock song, swirls amid blues music with a melody line that reminds me of T-Rex’s 20th Century Boy a great guitar solo and beautifully incorporated saxophone. The live recording feel of “When The Lonesome Whistle Blows” creates the perfect backdrop for the twangy steel guitar which emulates the vocal melody line. ” Hit The Hammer On The Nail“, gives us rock chords and blues rhythms, an amazing female vocal line, piano riffs and spectacular drum runs. “Walking Dead Man” has beautiful bell tones playing in the background. The drums are used to accentuate the vocal phrasing, while the fullness of the production creates a very powerful track. My vote for best song on the mf1album: “The Exile And The Canary“, a remarkable rock/blues/psychedelic journey into the Mississippi hills. The electric organ and drums make me think of The Doors until the song changes tempo and direction. The screaming guitars with rock riffs, the echo effect and the haunting vocals made me realize that this isn’t just any ordinary album.

The Micronite Filters are not just another blues band.  The music is raw, gritty, powerful, soulful and infectious. The songs are masterfully crafted. “Chasing Ghosts” is an exceptional album, which should be a contender for Indie Album Of The Year.

To listen to The Micronite Filters, follow the link below:

http://themicronitefilters.bandcamp.com/

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