Archive for guitar riffs

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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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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A music scene in Buffalo?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

From out of Buffalo,New York, the home of The Goo Goo Dolls and Rick James, comes something old and new.  Two bands, with vastly different sounds have come to our attention and we believe they are worthy of a few listens.

simplexitySimplexity, a Progressive-Rock/Fusion band, formed in 1980. They play instrumental music that creates wonderful images. The songs are long and contain several different movements in one piece. With great off beat drumming, incredible guitar riffs and a fullness created by keyboards, the sound is reminiscent of King Crimson and Yes. The changes in tempo and time signature are so intriguing, that I didn’t mind that there were no vocals. The tracks that I listened to were from their Event Horizon CD, nearly 10 years old.  Currently working on a new project, Black And White, these guys are amazingly talented musicians.  A great listen and inspiring music.

To listen to Simplexity:http://www.reverbnation.com/blinky

crc&haumsCRC & Haums, a new Buffalo band play what they refer to as Rock/Alternative Americana music. I listened to 3 tracks off a demo and was surprisingly glad I did. The instrumentation is simple, with only Haums’ guitar and electronic drums, keys, steel drums and horns. CRC (C.R. Couche) has a great voice. Intense yet sublime, falling somewhere between Johnny Cash and Jerry Garcia. There are great guitar riffs and solos and interesting melodies. These guys  make the kind of music they are interested in making. Original and very cool. Great songs and fun to listen to.

To listen to CRC & Haums:  https://soundcloud.com/#crc-haums

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THE TONIKS-Rise And Shine

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

It was May 2013, that I first “reviewedThe Toniks. I had stumbled upon this UK band  while traversing the assorted music sites that I regularly search, looking for new music. At the time, they were working on completing their debut album and touring Europe and Canada. I did not get to see them on the Canadian leg of their tour, but I have been following them very closely after making contact with drummer, Colin Marshall.

toniks2And then, two days ago, thanks to Colin, I received my advance copy of the completed album, Rise And Shine. Produced by Graham Dominy and released on the Indie label Smile Records, the album contains ten tracks, six of which I had not heard before.

The title track has been re-mixed. With an almost acapella introduction and the addition of horns and strings, the song has taken on additional layers of pop poetry. The great trademark harmonies, wonderful hook and flawless drumming, had me wondering where the Go Go dancers were. “Won’t Let You Down” , brings subtle keyboards and a great use of harmonics. The catchy melody, augmented by hand clapping,  make this one of the better tunes on the album. The slower tempo of “Figure It Out” maintains an almost ethereal atmosphere when the strings and harmonies are added. The arrangements are wonderfully done as the eternal question “how am I supposed to make you happy, now” is asked. “Weather“, an upbeat number, pokes fun at interpersonal relationships while demonstrating the vocal range of vocalist/bassist, Mark Taylor. A light guitar solo and amazing horns are impeccably placed within the dynamic melody. “Simple Things“, shines with its stand out harmonies and production techniques that appear at unsuspecting moments throughout the tune.  “Never Real“, more of a power pop song, has a grunge feeling but maintains its pop harmonies amid a subtle keyboard influence. The screaming guitar riffs of “Secret’s Safe” create a punk rock song out of a pop melody. toniks3The great drum shots and driving guitars of Jez Parish and Tom Yates give this song the sense of urgency the lyric conveys. “There You Go“, another venture into power pop, uses heavy guitar riffs to drive the melody and counter balance the harmonies.  The 80’s feel of “Scapegoat” allows the band to play with production techniques. With great guitar riffs and a powerful bass line this tune is the darkest song on the album. My favorite track, “Wonderful Then” brings the band back to it classic pop sound. Jessica English‘s subtle keyboards drift throughout the great melody and trademark harmonies. The vocals are standout and the orchestral arrangements are magnificent. The song is a blast. Sort of Squeeze’s Pulling Mussells meets Badfinger’s No Matter What.

Toniks1Rise And Shine is Pop perfection. Not a bad track on the album. It will make you dance. It will make you sing. Best of all, it will make you happy. The song writing is exquisite, with simple lyrics about life and love and human interactions that take one to a more innocent and simple place.  These guys are amazingly talented. The music is insanely great The album is a wonderful time. Slated for a September release, Rise And Shine will be available on itunes and the band’s website.

The Toniks will be in Canada next on September 5, 2013 when they play The Shores of Erie International Wine Festival with The Walkervilles and The Sheepdogs in Amherstburg, On.

To listen to The Toniks, click on the link :http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/fb_share/3345498

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