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FRACTAL REVERB-Quattro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

It’s been 3 years since the release of ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘, and frankly, it was well worth the wait. Fractal Reverb‘s new release, ‘Quattro‘ showcases the Italian band’s coming of age. The 4 tracks are filled with exciting riffs, powerful drums, and insanely good bass lines. The band has added a 2nd guitarist, giving the album a wonderfully full sound. The songs are exquisitely arranged, with beautiful melodies and flawless changes, emphasizing the maturation of the band’s talents as musicians & songwriters. The vocals are entirely in Italian, and while I do not understand the words, their feeling is driven home by Carolina Locateli‘s emotionally charged voice. Progressive Grunge-Rock at its best. A wonderful listen. Quattro is set for release September 22/17, and in the meantime, check out the band’s website and Facebook page for any notices, and sneak previews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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STUPIDITY-Move

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

stupidity3Sometime in the mid to late 1970s, I spent 2 or 3 months in Sweden. All I knew about this vastly blonde country: Abba, Volvo, and Ikea. My image of Sweden changed with my discovery of Stupidity. This garage rock band from Stockholm, formed in 2005 out of the ashes of  Eager Beaver, and The Cool Jerks.  Taking their name from the classic Solomon Burke song, they released their latest album, Move in 2011. Where the hell was I when this came out?

The fact is, I have found it, and this is an amazing album. A sort of neo-punk/garage sound going on here. The album contains great melodies, wonderful changes and transitions, and some very cool harmonies. The vocals are perfectly suited, the bass lines are dynamite, and the guitar riffs and solos, well, just plain rock. The inclusion of harmonica and organ put this album over the top.

stupidity1There are 3 standout tracks. “Linda’s Eyes“, with a great solo, cool drumming and spectacular chorus, is a must listen to. Over and over again. The changes are nice and the hook still plays in my head. The great guitar effects of “Reflections” are insanely cool. The song has a great pop melody, and I hear horns and choppy strings. The vocal track and the heavy drums give this a Lou Reed feel. Amazing track. The guitar into to “You“, the organ, the way cool riff and effects, help provide a 1960’s feel to the music and melody. Another stellar song.

stupidity2Stupidity have mastered the marriage of punk, rock, and pop. This album serves up incredible songs with interesting instumentation. 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.

To check out Move:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stupidity3

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BETRAYERS-Let The Good Times Die

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

betrayers2betrayers3I seem to be drawn to the weird. The different.The unique and original. Its okay. I like it. Particularly when it comes to music. It’s the excitement of finding something that defies genre; something new; something truly entertaining. And, as luck would have it, hiding deep in the underground of Edmonton, Alberta, I found the weirdly wonderful Betrayers, a fuzzed up, punk out, psych, 60’s garage band.

Their earlier EPs,  December 2012’s, Treat Me Mean, and the February 2013, The Betrayers, foreshadowed the sound of things to come.  Fair warning for December 2013’s full album, Let The Good Times Die.

betrayers4The album is filled with great guitar riffs, that often lie just below the bass and drums.I hear tambourine and a way cool organ. It doesn’t get more 1960s than that. There are choppy piano riffs and a drone that permeates the band’s sound making me think of Love And Rockets and the 1980s. I particularly enjoyed “Do You Smoke?”, with its dark, eerie mood and fuzz guitar solo, and “Little Girl (You’ve Got Some Growing Up To Do)“, a Ramone’s punk song with pop influence, cool harmonies and great drumming. My favorite track, “Song For Sue“, has an almost surf-pop melody that is counter balanced by the instrumentation. It has great changes and a cool bridge.

betrayers1Musical influences are varied. There are hints of The Clash, Be Bop Deluxe, and the opening of “”Born To Cry” had me thinking of The Four Seasons.  “Call Me When You’re Blue“, off of the Treat Me Mean EP, has that 60s, girl group feel. There are shades of The Beach Boys. But this is a fuzzed up, psyched-out rock band. I checked in with Travis Sargent, the band’s slightly eccentric front man, who confirmed that the band has 2 drummers. Yes, there are 2 drum kits! In the studio, and live. This is way cool.

betrayers5The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seem to want to  go somewhere, but the vocals and the melody take it somewhere else. There is tremelo everywhere. This is not music for the masses. Betrayers create a unique world with their music, perhaps a world on a yet to be discovered planet. Let The Good Times Die is not for the focused. I refer to this as the ADHD sound: Its all over the place. Yet, it makes sense. And it works. It is different. It is weird. It is amazingly cool. A great album. A great listen. A wonderful experience.  Can’t wait for thee guys to make it to Toronto.

You can listen here:  http://thebetrayers.bandcamp.com/

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THE TONIKS-“Jealousy” World Premiere.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

toniks3Being the first music writer to receive an advance copy of The Toniks‘ new single, “Jealousy“, was enough to make my day. And then I listened to it. And I listened again. Amazed and impressed, with their permission, I forwarded the track to my friend, Todd Miller of Radio That Doesn’t Suck, host station of the Indie Music Show, New Music Mondays (sponsored by I Can’t Believe My Earz and co-hosted by Bobby Gottesman and Todd Miller), and he agreed to begin playing it as of today.  So, I Can’t Believe My Earz and Radio That Doesn’t Suck, did it first.

toniks2Jealousy rocks. Mark Tonik and Jez Parish continue to write songs with unforgettable melodies and wonderful harmonies. The killer hook, the heavy guitar riff and the almost hypnotizing keyboards work. The drumming impresses. Colin Marshall continues to impress me with his ability to make the complex seem simple. I love his “less is more: style”. The lyric continues in The Tonik fashion of meaningful human existence. The production excels. Nothing missing here. Pure power pop, at its best. It amazes me that these guy just keep getting better! Could just be the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles.

148To hear it, you have to listen in to Radio That Doesn’t Suck on December 16/13 for the world premiere…just before noon, 6pm and 10pm, eastern standard time. If you miss it, don’t worry. Just keep listening. It will be played regularly. Check it out. It will blow you away.

And thanks to Mark, Jez, Tom, Jessica, Colin and Graham, the man behind the scenes, for having the trust and faith to allow me to be the first. As always, it is a pleasure to call you all friends.

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THE RED RAILS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

rr2I found The Red Rails lurking in the shadows of my internet travels. shortly after the Ottawa, On.  power trio released their self titled,6 track debut EP. After learning they are influenced by Them Crooked Vultures, Jack White, Death From Above 1979, Bright Light Social Hour, and The Beatles, yes, The Beatles, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was an exceptional blend of Pop, Rock, Blues, and Funk.

rr4El Dorado” has a great melody, and a great 70’s rock feel. There are wonderful changes and very cool guitar played over great drumming and a funky bass line. The guitar riffs and fuzz bass sound make “Hustlin’ Queen“, while “Night Owl” gives up a great blues guitar solo, amazing vocals and a great bass line. The harmonies are nicely placed, and the key change made my day. “Soft Face” has very heavy bass and a great rock riff. The vocals here are outstanding. The great blues guitar solo of “Why” just adds to the in your face vocals and shear power of this song. There is a little bit of The Black Crows in here. My favorite track,  “Chapter 9“, opens the album with amazing vocals, great bass and drums, a wonderful chorus and some very cool guitar effects.

rr3These guys know how to rock. Kim Vincent (guitar, vocals), Chris Slaney (bass, backing vocals), and Steve Brogno (drums)  play noting but great music. Power-rock/blues at its best. Every song elicits shade of Cream. It is evident in the Jack Bruce vocals and bass line, the bluesy riffs,  and the Ginger Baker drumming. The songs are wonderfully written and executed to perfection. Just when you think you’ve got the song figured out, there is a change, a transition, something you don’t expect. And it fits. Power rock cool. Definitely on the short list for best album of 2013.

You can download The Red Rails FOR FREE, right here:  http://www.theredrails.com/

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WATERSHED HOUR: Bang With The Van Gogh

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

wh2Watershed Hour is an incredibly unique band. I recently listened to their 2013 EP, Bang with The Van Gogh, and found that 4 of the 6 tracks used bass, drums, and vocals exclusively! This duo, hailing from Whitby, On , have discovered a sound that really requires nothing more than bass and drums.

The first track, “That’s My Bass Solo?!“, has great opening effects, thundering drums,and an incredible bass line, and I love the vocal. “Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Doctor. Doctor Who?“, brings a powerful rhythm section accompanied by great guitar riffs as an added bonus. The definitive bass line of “Morgan Freeman“. The 60’s fuzz bass sound of “Can’t Be Bothered To Come Up With A Title“, The insanely wonderful vocals of “I Married A Narcissist. Myself“. My favorite track, “Pre-Verse“, includes Laura Klinduch‘s killer drums, some cool effects, and solid guitar riffs, played by singer and bassist Natalie Stardust.

whThis is garage rock. Alternative-punk with a twist. There are elements of metal. It is the kick in your face music that reeks of anti-establishment and social angst. It is powerful. It is honest.  It is simplistically wonderful. It is fun.There were times, when listening to the album, that I didn’t notice the absence of guitar. When I heard those riffs, they were well placed and added texture to the music. These girls have talent and they have a plan: To make music the way they want to make it. I give them a great deal of credit for stepping out of the herd and choosing a different path. The EP delivers a unique sound, from a somewhat off centre band who know exactly what they are doing. No guitars? Not a problem, Just Bang With The Van Gogh. Definitely worth a listen.

Listen to Watershed Hour here: http://watershedhour.bandcamp.com/

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