Archive for harmony

THE WHIFFS-Take A Whiff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

I recently had the opportunity to listen to ‘Take A Whiff‘,  the new release from Kansas City, MO.’s, The Whiffs. The power-pop/rock band showcases their knack for writing wonderful ‘pop’ songs, filled with memorable melodies and nice harmonies, nestled in 2-3 minutes of pop heaven. There are cool guitar riffs and solos, catchy hooks, and nice changes. At times, the album feels like a throwback to an era of fast cars and jukeboxes, yet the sound  is timeless. This is simple, well written music, with a raw edge. And we like it.  A fun time; a 60’s dance party that you’ll want to invite all of your friends to. Definitely worth  getting up to take a whiff. Favorite tracks: “Backseat“, “Out Of Mind“, “I Need You Here“.

Check it out for yourself here, and get yourself a copy.

Jenny & The Felines-‘Don’t Judge Me’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

As a follow up to their 2013 album ‘Don’t Look Back‘, New Jersey’s Jenny & The Felines released the 9 track ‘Don’t Judge Me’ in March, 2017. 4 years in the making, and well worth the wait. Backed by a new clowder of cats, the disc is filled with catchy pop melodies, and is significantly more guitar focused. The songs are wonderfully written, encompassing influences from early 1960’s rock, country-blues, power pop, and rockabilly. There are memorable hooks, sweet harmonies, great changes, and way cool riffs.  The lyrics are brilliantly written, with no subject off limits, and I heard some incredible, yet subtle effects. Dynamite cat-pop! Get yourself invited to this feline fiesta, and pick up a copy. Favorite tracks: ‘Mrs. Pratt‘; ‘Jail Bird Johnny‘.

Check it out here:

 

THE NURSERY-Digital Ashes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the nurseryOne of my favorite Toronto Indie Bands, The Nursery, recently released a 6 track EP, entitled Digital Ashes. I have been a fan  since the 2013 release of Carnival Nature, and they continue to amaze me with wonderful melodies, and socially relevant lyric. These new tracks, at times, seem more electronic, but, these guys make it work. “She Speaks The Wave” delivers a way cool riff, nice keyboards, and a wonderful 1980’s New Wave vibe. “Digital Ashes“, a wonderful electro-pop track showcases the band’s ability to write great melody lines. I dig the cool harmonies of “Ocean’s Of You“, and the dynamite effects on the  instrumental, “Xyloto’s Dream“, are like a trip down weirdly, wonderful lane. “Crystal Beach“, offers cool guitar, nice vocal effects, a dynamite melody, and some sweet keyboards, all with a wonderfully Brit Pop feel. Our Favorite track, “Hexes + Ohs“, has great guitar, and a great feel, with wonderful changes, and a dynamite vocal track, all of which remind me of something XTC. Killer track, and perhaps, a hit single!

An exceptionally fun time created by The Nursery. Wonderful songs, that seem nursery33to have grown darker over the years, but with a blend of pop, wave, and synth pop, that they have made a sound distinctively their own. Still eclectic, and eccentric, Alex Pulic‘s angst ridden vocals pull you in, and hold you there. With a flair for the musically dramatic, this album takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Yes, The Nursery continue to march to the beat of their own drummer, and let’s hope that never changes. Check it out for yourselves. Visit them on facebook. Buy the album. Go see them live.

 

icbme2support_independent_music

 

 

 

 

 

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

 

THE COUNTERACTS-Meet The Counteracts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the counteracts3In 1964, I was listening to Meet The Beatles. 52 years later, I have been listening to The Counteracts ep, “Meet The Counteracts“. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The tribute to The Beatles is evident not only in the release’s title, but the cover design, as well. The duo from Kent, UK, have their heart and soul in Brit pop. A cursory listen to the album will confirm this, however I recommend paying close attention, and give it several listens.There are wonderful pop melodies, cool hooks, nice harmonies, and some dynamite keyboards. I am particularly fond of the piano. The vocal arrangements are sweet, and I dig the hand clapping on ‘The Postbus‘. There is a way cool dreamy vibe and Lennonesque feel (particularly in the bridge)  to ‘You Never Listen‘, and ‘Everyone Gets The Chance (To Love)’, has a wonderful The Kinks thing going on. And, as if the album cover was not enough, the homage to The Beatles version of Twist & Shout at the end of ‘I’ve Got A Crush On You‘, is inspired. I like this band. I like this album. A wonderfully uplifting and fun time, filled with quirky Brit. pop. Check it out for yourself on their bandcamp page, and pay what you can for your very own download….

 

icbme2support_independent_musichttp://https//www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

https://twitter.com/cntblievemyearz

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

 

PROUD TO BE SPONSORED BY:

 

mainman

 

http://mainmanrecords.com/

 

 

MarkaD

 

http://hd2.wfdu.fm/Hosts/Rock%20/mark%20after%20dark/

IVORY HOURS-Morning Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

IH1Its always exciting to find incredible music right in my own backyard.  Ivory Hours, 1 of the wildly talented bands out of London, Ontario are set to release their full length album, ‘Morning Light’, on June 9, 2015.

The songs are insanely good, filled with pop melodies, great harmonies, and wonderful arrangements. The lyrics tell stories, and the choruses are insanely good. Pure pop. With a elements of rock, and blues. The vibe is dynamite. Entertaining & exciting, this Luke Roes can write songs.

 

 

I particularly like “Dreamer“, with its cool vocal track, great changes, and a dynamite chorus. A wonderful opening song. “I Won’t“, delivers a solid pop melody, woven around a great hook. Listen to the keys in “The Priest“. My favorite track, “Like Them“, offers cool changes, and sweet harmonies with a kind of IH3Brit Pop feel. Oh, and check out the guitar. An incredibly wonderful listen! Amazingly pop, with bass and drums providing the perfect backdrop to exceptional melodies. Go out and get 1. Or 2. It is that good. You can stream a few tracks from ‘Morning Light’ at http://ivoryhours.bandcamp.com/, and you can get out and catch one of their record release shows, by checking dates on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IvoryHours?fref=ts .

The album is just plain wonderful, providing way cool pop melodies with exceptional arrangements. Definitely in contention for I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s 2015 Indie Album Of The Year.

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@icntblievemyearz

 

 

CMW 2015-Losing My Head With The JAPANESE TONGUE SISTERS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

cmw2So, I sat down with Sophie Rodgers & Tom Cecins of the Australian band Japanese Tongue Sisters, on a sun soaked patio on Queen St.W. during Canadian Music Week.

We talked about their upcoming EP release which surprisingly was recorded in Portland, Oregon. Quite a long way from Perth, Australia. It seems that JTS was impressed with producer Kris Crummett, who they had met in their former band We Are The Emergency. So, while they were vacationing in the USA, they bounced over to Portland and recorded the album. There was talk of the emergence of the JTS sound, a far cry from the punk-metal music of We Are The Emergency. Tom identified that they were more or less ‘hired guns’ in that band, and in JTS, they are the driving creative force. I asked them about a review by a Perth writer who stated that their music had a chilled vibe. Tom almost instinctively informed me that chilled vibe was Australian for ‘really fucking good’.

jts3The band uses an wide array of instruments, ideas for which arise in the writing process and in the studio. They do however, have plans to introduce a harp into their work. Now I am intrigued! JTS talks about their songs as “dressed up simple songs”, identifying them as being stripped down to basics, with layers added. Sophie adds that the inspiration for the songs come from personal events for her, while Tom is more of a storyteller.

Currently, Tom is listening to Australian singer/songwriter Sia, and Sophie, well, she has been listening to Bruno Mars. And other pop artists. And Hip Hop. Their musical interests are quite varied, with both of them agreeing that the albums they would take on a desert island would be History by Michael Jackson, Takk by Icelandic band Sigur Ros, and Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver.

jts2We talked about the Australian music scene, and I was informed that JTS have moved from Perth to Melbourne. The reason? Primarily because Perth is so very isolated. Sophie identified that many touring acts bypass Perth as it is so far away from the East coast cities. It was added that Perth does have its own thing going on, which is not surprising, I mean Perth is the home of INXS! Tom & Sophie are planning on tackling Melbourne and the East coast Australian scene head on. Playing as many gigs as they can in advance of their EP release, and continuing to evolve as songwriters.

jts1Sitting down and talking with The Japanese Tongue Sisters was definitely a Canadian Music Week highlight for me. They are delightfully laid back, and wonderfully cool people. Their music is brilliantly poignant, a rhythm & blues feel with layers of strings, piano, synthesizer, and guitar, and insanely good harmonies. It is this intricate layering of instruments that creates the signature ambient sound of The Japanese Tongue Sisters. The music is excitingly emotive. This is avant-garde ‘Roo Pop‘ at its best! I am a fan!  I am eagerly waiting for the release of the album, and in the meantime, I will continue to listen to their single “Lose My Head“.

 

 

Check out their facebook page for updates on the album release and where to see them live.    https://www.facebook.com/japanesetonguesisters

 

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz

 

 

OLIVIA & THE CREEPY CRAWLIES-Tongue Tied

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

occ1One year after the debut of their 2014 EP, ‘Charley‘, London, Ontario’s Olivia & The Creepy Crawlies have released the 5 track ‘Tongue Tied‘. While remaining true to the band’s Canadiana/folk sound, this latest album contains more pop sensibilities than I had anticipated. The melodies are wonderfully cool, with harmonies that seem to come out of nowhere, and vocal tracks that generally blew me away. Olivia Borkosky can sing!  The songs contain nice changes, and arrangements that include violin, electric mandolin, glockenspiel, autoharp, harmonica, and of course, ukulele. There is even hand clapping on “Supervillain“. The resulting sound is magical! There is so much going on here, you need to listen several times to get it all.

 

 

occ‘Tongue Tied’ is filled with wonderfully original songs, that demonstrate a unique approach to creating music as evident in the resulting sound. It is entertaining and uplifting, with wonderfully simple, yet cleverly meaningful lyrics. A wonderful album, that will make you smile. Buy it! Listen to it! Love it!

http://oliviaandthecreepycrawlies.bandcamp.com/album/tongue-tied

https://www.facebook.com/oliviaandthecreepycrawlies?fref=ts

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitterhttps://twitter.com/cntblievemyearz

 

 

PUNCHLINE 13-Cut The Rope

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

p13 Punchline 13, has just released “Cut The Rope“, a dynamite album of power packed pop songs with the angst & urgency of punk. Out of Montreal, Canada, they deliver well crafted and executed songs, with way cool changes and transitions. The chorus and bridges contain wonderful hooks, and the guitar riffs and solos rock.  The songs are cool, offering great melodies, and nice harmonies. With pop melodies over punk instrumentation, Punchline 13 deliver a dynamite punk-pop sound with sweet arrangements. There p131are wonderful effects, sounds of a radio tuning in on ‘First Cut‘, ‘Second Cut: Let’s Take A Walk‘, and ‘Final Cut: Stars Are Aligned‘. I swear I heard ukulele, and I am impressed by Sylvain Campeau‘s  vocal tracks. A great album with wonderfully powerful and innovative songs. An incredibly good time. Stand out tracks include ‘Home‘, ‘Set It Up‘, ‘What Will You Do?’, and ‘Into The Dark‘. Definitely an early contender to make the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of the Year 2015 list. Yep, it’s that good!!!

You can check out Punchline 13: http://punchline13.bandcamp.com/

 

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz

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

 

 

 

icbme2https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz

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.

 

icbme2

im1

 

 

 

 

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

https://www.facebook.com/ICantBelieveMyEarz

twitter@cntblievemyearz