Archive for cello

FRUITION-Labor Of Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

fruitionFruition, based in Portland, Oregon, released their latest album, Labor Of Love, in April, 2016. Filled with addictive melodies, insanely good 3 part harmonies, and catchy hooks, the songs are wonderfully inspiring, with infectious musical references to Reggae, and Louisiana Swamp Music.  I heard mandolin, 12 string acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, violin, cello, and some way cool organ. The varied instrumentation is exciting, and allows for some wonderfully creative arrangements. 10 tracks of roots-soul music at its best. Favorite tracks: ‘Labor Of Love‘, ‘Early Morning Wake Up‘, and ‘Death Comes Knocking‘.

You can check it out for yourself on their bandcamp page, and then buy a few copies. Share it with friends & family. Definitely one to consider for I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year, 2016.

 

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JINXBOX-Unmuttered

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

jinxboxAnother Middlebury, Vermont band has released an album. “Unmuttered“, by Jinxbox, was released in December 2015, and contains 10 tracks of incredible alternative electro-rock. The songs are well written and arranged, and filled with some great guitar, cool bass lines, and I swear I heard cello and ukulele! The changes and transitions are exceptional, and deliver a progressive rock element. The melodies are beautifully seductive, enhanced by wonderful vocals, and musical themes that vary from something almost medieval, to a raucous vibe in the style of Depeche Mode or OMD. The synthesizers are well balanced, but the piano is what stands out. A wonderful album, that can be played for hours and hours. Check this out! Favorite tracks: ‘In A Jar‘, ‘Me Time‘, ‘Hidden‘. You can listen & purchase Jinxbox here.

 

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FRACTAL REVERB-Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

FR3I discovered Fractal Reverb in the spring of 2014, after listening to their ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘ release. Recently, this trio from Lodi, Italy released a 15 track, 2 CD album entitled ‘Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind‘.

The album is filled with songs that deliver wonderful melodies, great guitar, cool effects, and dynamite sounds of strings. There are changes in time signatures that blow my mind, and I swear I heard cello!! The off beat drumming is reminiscent of Bill Bruford, and the use of effects such as feedback, echo and fuzz conjure up a psychedelic vibe. The songs are wonderfully crafted and arranged, with music that FR2transitions in and out of various movements, and lyrics that are both  introspective and socially relevant. The vocal tracks are dynamite, with incredibly sweet harmonies. Some of the tracks appeared on the 2014 release, but I had no problem listening to them on this album. I was particularly impressed with ‘Song Of Something‘, with its off beat drumming, wonderful harmonic guitar, and great changes. ‘Hidden Places‘ excited with its multiple movements, and way cool effects, while ‘Song Of Everything‘ offered a dynamite instrumental melody, and a very cool bass line. My favorite track, ‘20th January 2013‘  is simply a beautiful piece of music, while being incredibly powerful at the same time. The sound of strings is an added bonus.

 

 

Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind is an incredible journey. Progressive Psychedelic Rock, a sort of FR1fusion of Yes, King Crimson, and Rush. The sound is wonderfully full, and complex, incorporating different orchestral themes within each track. A progressive free for all that is perfectly executed, and often unexpected. The album drives forward, taking you places that you never imagined existed. A brilliant piece of work! This is the kind of album you put on and just let it play, allowing the music to envelop you, and hold you within it. An epic sound. An epic album. Certainly one of the most incredible collections of music I have heard in a long time, and definitely on the shortlist for the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year 2015!! Check it out for yourself, and then purchase at least 1.  http://fractalreverb.bandcamp.com/

 

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MUTANT BIRD-Sugar Voodoo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

mutant bird2Multi instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Johnny Rock, an American now hanging out in London, recently released an EP as Mutant Bird. The 5 track ‘Sugar Voodoo‘ incorporates several genres, merging them into a sound thatcan only be called Psychedelic Rock Hop.

The album opens with ‘Muzzle Dust‘, a wonderfully rhythmic track with amazing guitar, some way cool effects, and a dynamite vocal track. ‘Shoot Up“, offers beautiful acoustic guitar, sweet keyboards, and interesting changes. I am almost certain I heard a cello on this track!! The cool riff on ‘Sugar Voodoo‘ acts as the perfect counterbalance to the primitive beat, and I dig the backing vocals. The horn sounds and hand clapping enhance the wonderful Middle Eastern vibe of ‘The Return‘, and ‘Space Junk‘ rocks with its way cool effects and great rhythm tracks.  Favorite track: ‘Shoot Up’.

 

 

mutant birdSugar Voodoo delivers a powerfully full sound, which embraces and infects my senses. The effects are tasteful, never overpowering the myriad of insanely incredible things going on in each track. The music is exciting, with an original sound that reminds me of what creativity is about. A wonderful time. You can check the EP out here, and then I suggest you purchase it, and show your friends something amazing that you have uncovered.

 

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THE 286

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

the2861Another U.K. band, introduced to me by former The Toniks drummer Colin Marshall, The 286 released a self-titled EP in April, 2014. I confess. I missed it then. The 4 tracks resound with shades of ELO, and George Harrison. “Miracle On 286th Street“, an instrumental track, offers cool piano and bass, with some wonderful tremolo guitar. “Little Louisa” delivers a nice vocal track within a 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll vibe. There are 2 versions of “Let The Rain Fall Down“, a shorter radio edit, and the extended play. The track is amazingly infectious. The bittersweet melody fuels the wonderful vocals. There are incredible changes, a cool bridge, and a great hook. An incredibly beautiful song.

the2863This ep delivers. A wonderful fusion of classical themes and pop melodies. The arrangements are exciting. Orchestral-pop is back. The 286 are simply a lot of fun. I am looking forward to the next release. Check them out for yourselves at https://the286.bandcamp.com/ and LIKE them on facebook…https://www.facebook.com/the286?fref=ts

 

 

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THE CREEKSIDE STRAYS-Blacklisted

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

It has been long time since The Creekside Strays released an album. Almost 2 years. After listening to their January, 2015 release, ‘Blacklisted‘, it was worth the wait. Which ever one of the Strays came up with the idea to release an album with an acoustic side, I am eternally grateful. Brilliant idea.

cs6The ‘A’ side is the electric side . The cool jazz-funk beat of “Ms. Hunter” is overshadowed only by the wonderful melody. The blues-rock “Hey, Grave Digger“, has an amazing fuzz bass line, and a little Stevie Ray Vaughan  thing going on. “Guilty Parties” delivers way cool vocals, and some double tracking. The changes in “Live This Down” rock, and “Begin To Heal” offers a dynamite melody. “Sucker Boy Blues” gives up great blues riffs, and exciting changes.

 

cs22The acoustic ‘B’ side surprised and impressed me. I heard strings, and a cello in “Blacklisted Interlude“, and maracas and possibly bongos in “Wet Palms“. The wonderful change of key in “Took A While“, and the cool effects in “Let Him Go“, amazing. “Once Again” offers sweet harmonies, and a great riff and solo in an incredibly beautiful song. “Recycled Man” gives us some of the best female vocals I have heard in a long, long time, while”Unfold” has a way cool 1980’s folk-pop-rock, sort of Sugar Ray feel. Stand out track.

 

 

cs2I am trying to figure out why The Creekside Strays are not a household name. They should be!! Blacklisted is an eclectic collection of incredible songs, with blues, jazz, funk, pop, rock, and folk elements. And they just keep getting better. This album demonstrates their maturity as songwriters, arrangers, and producers, and highlights the sophisticated simplicity of their songs. A dynamite album, and a wonderful time. A definite early contender for the I Can’t Believe My Earz 2015 Indie Album Of The Year. I suggested you grab yourself a copy, or 2. You should also check earlier The Creekside Strays releases.

Check out The Creekside Strays here: http://www.thecreeksidestrays.com/home

and here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Creekside-Strays/107927665959639

 

 

 

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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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