Archive for garage

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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THE BLANK TAPES-Geodesic Dome Piece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

blanktapes1California’s The Blank Tapes released ‘Geodesic Dome Piece‘ in January 2015 with 12 tracks of 1960’s pop that sounds like it stepped out of another dimension. Sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders meet The Twilight Zone! The sound is infectious.  From the opening chords of “Way Too Stoned“, with its ethereal,  dream like vibe, I was taken away by 60’s pop melodies, great harmonies, cool effects, and insanely exciting riffs (check out “For Breakfast” and “Buff“). There are wonderful changes, particularly in “Brown Chicken Brown Cow“, and way cool mandolin on “To Your Dome Piece“. The album is filled with surprises, including wonderful guitar and saxophone solos on “Slippin’ Slide“, and a jangly surf-pop vibe to “Oh My Muzak“. Favorite track “Do You Wanna Get High“, with its dynamite pop chorus, an amazing change in key, and lyrics that include ‘do you wanna get high, just like Chucky and me, cause we’re likely to be all the time’.

 

 

 

bt1I could listen to this for days on end, and have spent the better part of 2 weeks digesting the entire The Blanks Tape catalog. The songs make me feel like I did in 1969. The album is wonderfully arranged and produced. The vocals are wonderful, and the lyrics, sardonic and witty. There is an acoustic demo version of “Do You Wanna Get High” as a bonus, and “To Your Dome Piece” is worth a few listens just for the lyrical phrasing.. This is one of those must have albums. The kind that you have to have in your collection, just because it was done. Bizarro-garage-psychedelic-stoner-surf-pop at its best.

 

Check out The Blank Tapes catalog at http://theblanktapes.bandcamp.com/ and visit and LIKE their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blanktapes

 

 

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2014 INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

With a significant number of quality Indie releases this year, narrowing a list down to 10 albums, worthy of I Can’t Believe My Earz‘  2014 Indie Album Of The Year, was no easy task. There are some honorable mentions: Neverfriend-‘Evolve‘, The Everywheres-‘Habitualism‘, Harbour-‘Grade School Summer‘ & Social Strife-‘With Friends Like These…’.  We listened to them all, and here is our pick for the top 10 Indie Albums of 2014.

 

#10     DRUCKFARBEN————–‘Second Sound’

druck I am not certain why Druckfarben has been a mystery. These Toronto based musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work.   ‘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. If you like Progressive-Rock, Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

 

#9     THE RED RAILS———-A Living Fiction

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer ‘A Living Fiction‘, a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  The Ottawa band has a sound that reminds me of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This 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.

 

 

 

#8     THE SATISFACTORS——–‘The Satisfactors’

the satisThe Satisfactors self titled debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing. They are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to hear from  Jersey’s Fantastic 4! The bass lines, and  guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to the drumming.  This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

#7     SOUTH OF BLOOR——‘The Street’

south of bloorThis Toronto band has re-generated my lust for pop with the release of ‘The Street‘. The songs are exquisite 2-3 minute masterpieces. Their ability to write wonderful bridges and changes has me almost awe struck. The vocals are spectacular. The melodies, wonderful. This album delivers 5 terrific pop songs with alternative rock influences. And it works. A wonderful album. A fun time.

 

 

 

#6     TOXIC MELONS———‘Bus Therapy’

tm ‘Bus Therapy‘ is my kind of therapy. This album by Northern England’s Toxic Melons is 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.

 

 

#5     THE MINNOWS———‘Live At The Belfast Barge’

the minnowsAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums, but I have to add this Irish band’s ‘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 better part of the year 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.

 

 

#4     THE CORSETS———–‘Are You Lonely, Are You Scared’

the corsets

Are You Lonely, Are You Scared is a wonderful adventure. Toronto’s 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.

 

 

 

#3     XPRIME——–‘The Album’

xprimeXprime should be big. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, they write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. ‘The Album‘ is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70′s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

 

 

#2     THE AFTER HOURS——-‘Shaken, Not Stirred’

the after hoursI really like Los Angeles’ The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960′s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. ‘Shaken, Not Stirred captures the essence of 60′s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album.

 

And, finally, the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2014…

 

#1     THE HOT SPROCKETS——‘Brother Nature’

hsBrother Nature‘ by Ireland’s The Hot Sprockets. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album over and over, 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.

 

And there you have it. 10 exceptional albums. The I Can’t Believe My Earz picks for 2014. Give them a listen. Purchase them. Support Indie Music, and Indie bands.

 

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CRAB BUBBLES-“Fool For Your Love”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I was fortunate to receive an advance listen to the new single by Crab Bubbles. Written by Gar Francis, “Fool For Your Love” is scheduled for a November 2014 release on New Jersey Indie label, Bongo Boy Records.

unnamedThe song has a wonderful 1960’s feel, a sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders thing going on, with its dynamite pop melody, and way cool psychedelic effects. There are great riffs, a terrific guitar solo, and a fabulous bridge. Dale Lee Richards‘ vocals are  incredibly powerful, as they sail along with some very cool harmonies. Dynamite song. Definitely one to sing along with. I could go on and on, but I think you should just go check it out for yourselves. And then come November, get yourself a copy or 2. A 1960’s classic merged with 1980’s garage.I don’t believe it gets much better than this!!  I hope there is a Crab Bubbles album!

 

 

 

 

 

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THE SATISFACTORS-The Satisfactors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Well, its finally here. Referred to as New Jersey‘s 1st SUPERGROUP, Bongo Boy Records recording artist, The Satifactors released their long awaited debut album on October 9, 2014. John Lennon’s birthday. Not a coincidence. The rock heritage of this New Jersey band staggers the mind. You can check out Bruce Ferguson, Kurt Reil, Gar Francis, & Kenny Aaronson here while I finish the review.

satis01The 12 track, self titled album opens with “She Got Charm“, a great punk/garage song with a dynamite melody, wonderful harmonies, and a way cool hook. The acapella harmonies as the song ends are simply impeccable. “I Love Girls” delivers a wonderful bass line, and a way cool riff. The solo and the chorus standout. The up tempo “You’re So Crazy“, has great changes, cool guitar and sweet harmonies. The track exudes energy and emotion. The organ in “Hey Mama” is a dynamite bonus amid the great guitar, and a cool vocal track. A wonderful song with a blues edge. “Sweet Sunshine” rocks with power chords, and wonderful harmonies. I dig the chorus, and the piano rings with old school rock ‘n’ roll. The ultimate punk tune, “Johnny Commando“, grabs you right from the outset. There are so many things to be said about this track, it is easier just to listen to it. Then, listen again. Hey Ho, Johnny Commando!  The rhythm section shines in “Hit Me, Hit Me, Hit Me” , a straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll track with satis05a way cool 1950’s vibe. I dig the intro to “Gimme My Rock ‘n’ Roll“, and the wonderful way it morphs into a 1980’s New York City rock song. The harmonies and guitar are wonderful. “Girl Just Wants To Dance” offers a dynamite bass line, and a great vocal track. The changes, and harmonies are wonderful, and the guitar effects give this song a sweet 1960’s feel. The organ is almost magical, highlighted by killer guitar, “My Baby Got It” delivers perfect harmonies, and great changes. There is wonderful acoustic guitar, and some way cool psych effects thrown in for good measure. “Had It With You” is pure, high octane rock ‘n’ roll. A wonderful song. My favorite track on the album, “Take Your Troubles Away“, still plays in my head, and occupies a prominent position on all of my playlists. A spectacular garage-pop-surf song. Sort of Beach Boy punk! The drumming is perfectly wonderful, The guitar solo kills, and the keyboards, sweet. The instrumentation, in its subtlety, allows the melody, harmonies, and dynamite vocal track to be the focus. It works! A beautifully seductive song.

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So, there you have it. The Satisfactors debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing.Written by Bruce Ferguson & Gar Francis, they are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. satis02Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to see him fronting Jersey’s Fantastic 4! Kenny’s bass lines, and Gar’s guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to Kurt’s drumming. The album, produced by Kurt Reil & Gar Francis. leaves me feeling that each song is an adventure in musical improvisation, filled with something wonderfully unexpected. This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

 

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Listen & purchase The Satisfactors:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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GAR FRANCIS-The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I am not sure if there is anything Gar Francis cannot do. The Guru Of Garage has swung his guitar into The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same. Released in 2010 to the European market only, the 12 track album of Americana has finally hit North American shores and has been released by New Jersey’s Bongo Boy Records.

gf3The opening track, “Midnight In Rome“, delivers a great melody, with wonderful changes. The guitar picking is cool as hell, while the keys smolder under a hot vocal track. “How Its Supposed To Be” has an insanely powerful chorus but it takes nothing away from the licks and riff, and the dynamite organ. The Latin feel of “Palaces”  is wonderfully created by bongos, acoustic guitar, strings and organ. The effects on the harmonies are brilliant, and I dig the ‘Mexicali” themed guitar solo! “Down At The Ocean Gate” offers a great acoustic guitar solo, and way cool harmonies amid multi-tracked guitars. I like the mandolin and bongos on “Bank Of The River“, the way cool reverb of the almost rockabilly “Ole Tom’s River“, and the wonderfully Dylanesque feel to “Another Cowboy Rides” , with its great organ, guitar solo, cool riffs, and a dynamite vocal track.

 

 

The jug band vibe of “She’s Still Blue” proves once and for all that Gar Francis can write and play anything! The washboard and concertina are amazing, and the melody, so sweet. Gar’s vocals are spectacular on “Raise A Hand“, and the song’s socio-political gf4message resonates, at least,with me. The melody and harmonies highlight some way cool changes and incredibly melodic instrumentation. “The Sun Will Never Go Down” offers cool changes, a great chorus, a wonderful bass run, and beautiful choral style harmonies. I like this track. The acoustic guitar solo in “Adeline” shines amid the mandolin and bongos. The song is beautifully simple yet manages a great bridge, a dynamite chorus, and a wonderful ending. And, that leaves “Oh Annie“, my favorite track on the album. The wonderful chorus, dynamite guitar, including a way cool riff, an amazing melody, and some great organ, make this the standout track. A wonderful song with a way cool blues-rock-folk-country thing going on, that is reminiscent of Levon Helm and The Band. “Oh Annie, someone’s got to settle you down“. Indeed.

gf54This album demonstrates just how talented Gar Francis is. As a song writer; as a producer; as a musician, and a performer. I hear rockabilly, jug band, Latin, roots, blues, folk, and rock. I listened to bongos, banjo, mandolin, and organ. I heard a washboard, a concertina, and I think an upright bass. There are vocal and guitar effects. But most importantly, there are 12 incredible tracks that will hold you from beginning to end. I have been a Gar Francis fan for years, and this album has me wondering, why isn’t everybody? Get it as soon as you can. Then, put on your cowboy boots, grab your honey and have a blast. The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same is a must have album. Get yours here:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com/Albums.html.  You can stream some of Gar’s other music here:  

 

 

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GREEN MONKEY RECORDS-Underground Seattle Rock

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

There is a network of great music minds that I admiringly refer to as The 3 Wise Men Of The Pacific Northwest. Frank Gutch, Jr., Tom Dyer, and Howie Wahlen, Sr. have introduced me to more great music coming out of this region of The United States that I could ever write about. Green Monkey Records, as underground as my 3 sources, continues to amaze and entertain me with music indigenous to this area. I have yet to be introduced to one that I did not like! Really! There are a few, however, that are standouts for me.

gary minklerGary Minkler’s promo notes describe his music as garage rock, or underground. I listened to Little Trailer Ruby, and  suspect that Minkler’s music is best described as Minkler Music. The song writing follows no formula. It is unconventional, and unique. It is Gary Minkler. With a voice somewhere between Tom Waitts and Van Morrison, Minkler tells amazing stories within great melodies, sweet harmonies, and dynamite arrangements. There are wonderful changes and transitions, way cool organ, nice guitar riffs, and horns. Completely original, Minkler has created a wonderful collection of songs. Particular attention should be paid to “Red Hot Face“, “Where I Am“, and “Somewhere Between The Come & Go“. Definitely one for the collection.

Check out Gary Minkler’s Little Trailer Ruby:http://http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/little-trailer-ruby

 

the queen annesThe Queen Annes released Something Quick in 1986. Thanks to Green Monkey Records, it has been remastered and released with a Space Needle full of bonus tracks. Recorded before the grunge movement, this album captures a raw, underground, power-pop sound. There are great melodies, wonderfully interesting harmonies, and great guitar riffs and solos. The songs are amazing, with way cool changes and transitions, lasting 2-4 minutes on average. There are elements of rock, psych-rock, punk, and 1960’s pop. The arrangements are simply perfection. The sound goes beyond guitar driven, entering the realm of guitar overdrive. Something Quick has the feel of a live recording, completed in one take. I was impressed with the drumming-a sort of Keith Moon meets Bill Bruford style. A standout track, “You Will Cry”, has a dynamite psych-rock feel, with wonderful effects on the harmonies and guitars. There is also an amazing cover of Little Richard‘s “Lucille“. This album is a free for all. A wonderful time. I have listened to it 3 times, and it gets better with each listen. Get your hands on a copy before it vanishes. It is that good. Wish I knew about this 30 years ago.

Spend some time with The Queen Annes: http://http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/something-quick

thegpOriginally released in 1988, November, by The Green Pajamas, is a collection of 19 tracks recorded live. The album contains amazing songs, with cool riffs, great melodies and harmonies, and interesting changes/transitions. There are clear influences to 1960’s Psych-Rock, both American, and British. The guitar orientated sound brings with it some dynamite organ and fuzz guitar. Somewhere in this collection of songs I heard shades Bowie, and The Greatful Dead, among others. Very cool. Songs of noteable mention include “What In The World“, with its great vocal track, “Just Like Seeing God“, and “Green Pajamas“. This album is non stop 1960’s pop on hallucinogens.We’ll call it Psych-Pop.

Check out The Green Pajamas:  http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/november
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