Archive for drums

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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Radio That Doesn’t Suck. all The Time.

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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THE NURSERY-Carnival Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

nursery3One of the most intriguing and interesting albums i have heard in a long time, Carnival Nature by Toronto band The Nursery, contain 6 tracks of musical mastery. Released in June, 2013, The Nursery dance to the beat of a very different drummer.

Lysurgically Yours” opens the album with wonderful piano work, and a magical, carnival feel.  The harmonies, hypnotic vocals, theremin and guitar riff create a wonderfully esoteric feel. The steady drumming of “It’s A Sin“, coupled with the over the top guitar, synthesizer and theremin create a very different atmosphere while providing a catchy melody that makes me think of court jesters. “Lucy” delivers a strangely cool melody amid a western tempo countrified guitars and great transitions. The synth opening of “Domino“, accented by drum rolls, delivers a great melody in an unconventional song. It is just plain weird, but I do like weird. “The Wild Heart” contains an REM style acoustic guitar opening, with a very eerie vocal track that creates a wonderfully dreamy sensation. The psych-rock guitar solo compounds the ethereal sensations.” I Was I Was Someone Else” comes with acoustic guitar picking, horns, a sophisticated melody and spectacular vocals. A wonderful song.

nursery2

Alex Pulec

nursery1For the first time I was unable to find an identifiable favorite track. The music defies genre. The Nursery have incorporated several styles and arrived at a sound that can best be described as acid/rock/soul/synth-folk/pop. Let’s be honest. Its just plain weird! Eccentric. Bizarre.  But it is simply incredible. Alex Pulec’s voice, akin to Robert Smith of The Cure, in its tone and phrasing, is perfectly suited to sing these  songs. In fact, I don’t think anyone else could do them justice. I have listened to Carnival Nature several times, and enjoy it more with each listen. The songs are  unconventionally spectacular. The arrangements are weirdly wonderful and I’m having the time of my life listening. This is a band I want to interview.  This is an album you won’t want to miss.

Check The Nursery out for yourself here:      http://thenursery.bandcamp.com/album/carnival-nature

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SOCIAL STRIFE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

ss1Toronto’s Social Strife has just released their self titled 5 track EP.  Born out of their discouragement with typical radio fare, singer Sean Farro and guitarist Terry Doucette formed Social Strife to bring relevant social issues back to music.

The album opens with ‘You Were Nothing“, a classic punk-rock tune with guitar solos that rock, powerful drumming, and a great Ramones feeling. “Reign, with power chords and the customary guitar solo is a good hard rock song with great transitions and changes. The reggae influence of “MDMA”, merged with the power rock transitions create a unique sound for this band. The cool melody and tempo changes enhance the angst in the vocals. “Social Strife” is another hard rock-punk number. My favorite track, “Aliens And Freaks“, is more melodic than the others allowing Farro’s voice to stand out. The song incorporates strings and I swear I heard pizzicato violins! Steady drums, quieter guitar and great rock transitions make this a wonderful song.

ss2Social Strife have made good on their vow to bring the strife back to rock and roll. Lyrics entrenched in socio-political commentary and classic punk melodies combined with power chords and heavy drums, has created what can only be described as punk and roll. The songs are well crafted and the music is powerful. A solid debut effort and well worth a listen or two.

To listen to Social Strife, click the link:   http://www.reverbnation.com/socialstrife

You can see Social Strife live at Lee’s Palace in Toronto,on August 31, 2013

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MY WORLD GOES POP

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

My venture into popular music began with an uncle, 10 years my senior, who was entrenched in the girl groups of the early 1960s. The first songs I remember listening to were the delightfully unsophisticated  “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels, ” He’s A Rebel” by The Crystals and The Chiffons’He’s So Fine“.   I spent numerous hours ingesting  the harmonies and the melody lines of these and other pop classics.

The Ronettes

The Ronettes

And just when I thought I had heard all there was to hear, I discovered The Ronettes. They were amazing. Insanely different. Veronica Bennett, her sister Estelle and her cousin Nedra Talley created a sound so different than anything I had heard before. It was Ronnie’s (Veronica) voice that drew me in. It was Phil Spector‘s production and the now infamous Wall Of Sound that kept me there. ‘Baby I Love You” and “Be My Baby”  kept me listening over and over again. I got my own 45 of “Be My Baby”. I played it and played it. I drummed along with it on pots and pans. I knew every nuance of the song. musically and vocally. I adored Ronnie’s voice and her vocal inflections. I  still do. The power of her voice  blows me away. And so began my epic adventure with rock and roll.

I heard The Beatles many times on the radio before I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was then that I knew I wanted to be, no, needed to be a musician. I wanted to make music. I wanted to be a Beatle.  A plot was hatched to dispose of Ringo. Why not? I was quite proficient on the pots and pans, and how much different could the drums be? I wanted to be a drummer. I asked for drums for my birthday, and I got a guitar. What the hell. I learned to play and began writing songs.

I dove in to the British Invasion, headfirst. I spent years harboring vinyl from across the ocean. Listening to The Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, whose harmonies were some of the most complex I had heard, and The Kinks, who wrote incredible pop songs and played them like a rock band,  allowed me to intercept the North American bands who were now emulating the British sound. And so, Tommy James and The Shondells, The Grass Roots,  and The Lovin’ Spoonful were added to my ever growing list of must have vinyl. The Beach Boys were added when I heard Pet Sounds. “God Only Knows” is a remarkable song . The harmonies are deep and full. Changes in tempo and time signature reflect Brian Wilson‘s genius. I was set. I was in pop paradise. In 1966-67, as The Beatles experimented with psychedelica, I did as well,  finding  gems in  Blues Image, Spirit, and a host of other insanely talented bands.

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

On my 13th birthday, I received my own drum kit. I had fallen ass backwards into Progressive Rock and was living and breathing Yes; amazing musicians, with the ability to incorporate so many different melodies, time signatures and themes into one perfectly crafted work. Yes led me to King Crimson, Flash and inevitably to Pink Floyd, who made the complex seem simple and the simple sound complete. . How cool was that?  I started a band, but I just couldn’t shake my passion for pop. My fondness for Pagliaro, 5 Man Electrical Band, and Badfinger, created the sound and direction of my musical psyche. New Wave delivered Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, and The Pretenders. One of my all time favorite bands,The Pretenders were pure pop. Unforgettable melody lines, great hooks, amazingly simple yet catchy riffs permeated each song. And Chrissy Hynde looked so cool holding a guitar.

Gotta Have Pop

Gotta Have Pop

To satisfy my passion, I have always looked for new artists playing pop. Over the years I have found The Pursuit Of Happiness, The Bob Segarini Band, and Sloan. Segarini is pop genius. His ability to hear the music long before it is ever played sets him out as one of the truly great pop song writers. Once referred to as the Canadian Nick Lowe, Segarini’s Gotta Have Pop  is a classic . I have, more recently found some amazing talent out there in bands named The Creekside Strays, The Micronite Filters, The Research Turtles,  Toxic Melons and The Toniks. There are so many more that I have yet to discover. I can hardly wait! Recently a friend of mine who travels The Oregon Trail looking for new music introduced me to No Small Children. I have just started my auditory stalking of this band so any verdict at this time would be premature. He rarely steers me wrong. I will go on record as saying that they have something, and I suspect it is highly contagious as I can’t seem to stop listening. My fondness for all music lies in  melodies and harmonies. It began with the girl vocal groups and is as strong today as it ever was.

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