Archive for harmony

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/

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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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OLD RULES-Blurred

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Another Ottawa band, Old Rules released their 6 track EP, ‘Blurred‘ in May 2014.

oldrulesThe songs are wonderful, with great melodies and dynamite harmonies. The riffs and solos are incredible, and the drumming is very cool. There are exciting effects,  I particularly like the reverb, and double track vocals, and brilliant changes. Pay particular attention to “Sprawl“, a dynamite rock track with a sweet guitar intro, and a wonderful bridge, and “Candles“, with some interesting guitar, great power chords, and unexpected vocals. Old Rules offer an insanely unique album, with melodic guitars. and wonderfully surprising changes. ‘Blurred’ carries a sense of urgency, and a feeling of angst. Call it ‘angst rock’. You can check it out here: http://oldrules.bandcamp.com/album/blurred

 

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NEVERFRIEND-Evolve

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

neverfriend1I had the pleasure of previewing ‘Evolve‘, the new album from Neverfriend, an Ottawa, Canada based band. Scheduled for for release in mid December, 2014, this disc simply kicks ass.

The album opens with “Coming For Me“, a dynamite rock song with wonderful changes, and cool guitar. “Hard To Breathe“, with its great melody, and strong vocal track, turns out to be a wonderful ‘punk’ ballad. The nice changes and effects give the straight ahead rock track “Don’t Want To Love You” , another dimension. The vocals, and wicked guitar solo are added bonuses. “Take A Stand” has cool effects, nice drum fills, and some sweet riffs. The chorus rocks with  harmonies, and the change in tempo, well, its a pleasant surprise. The hard rock feel of  “Pissed Off & Running” delivers a great bridge, cool changes, and a beautiful chorus. I like the production values in this track. “Tell Someone Who Cares” carries an almost metal vibe, yet offers a way cool melody, and sweet chorus. The vocals are terrific, and I dig the harmonies. There are more amazing neverfriend3changes in “Everything That’s Wrong For Me“, as it roars through powerful instrumentation, and a cool melody. There are 2 standout tracks. “Dear Daddy“, with its broody, melancholia, offers a wonderful riff, and sweet harmonies. The song utilizes vocals and guitars only, and the vocals simply rock. This delicately complex track is still playing in my head. And then there is “Don’t Worry“. With its unforgettable pop melody, way cool chorus and harmonies, great changes, and sweet guitar solo, this song reminds of what the GoGos would sound like playing punk. An incredible track.

 

 

neverfriend2Neverfriend delivers a raw, energetic, yet sophisticated album. Combining elements of pop, punk, and hard rock, the songs never seem to disappoint. Pop melodies with punk/rock instrumentation. Way cool. I like the sound. I like the songs. I like the band.  Get ready for the release, and get yourself at least 1.

 

 

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http://www.neverfriend.com/

 

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HARBOUR-Grade School Summer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

harbour3During one of my sojourns into music cyber space, I encountered Harbour, a Toronto band who released their 6 track album, ‘Grade School Summer‘, on November 4, 2014.

The album offers wonderfully exciting drumming, and some way cool guitar riffs and solos. The songs are insanely good, Harbour1with pop melodies, and dynamite harmonies. The changes and vocals rock. The instrumentation and arrangements are simple and sweet. These guys know how to write, and how to play. A great pop album, with the urgency of punk, that will keep your attention from beginning to end. Very cool.  A refreshingly energetic and fun release, that at times, reminds me of The Northern Pikes. I like this. I like this a lot! Pay particular attention to “So Long”  and “Grade School Summer“. Definitely one for the collection & the car. You can stream and purchase Grade School Summer here:  http://harbourontario.bandcamp.com/   You can catch Harbour live on Nov 22/14, at Toronto’s Velvet Underground at a CD Release party. In the meantime, check out the official video for “Grade School Summer”.

 

 

 

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THE HOT SPROCKETS-Brother Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

hs6I have been following The Hot Sprockets since their 2011 release of ‘Honey Skippin. I was fortunate enough to catch this Dublin, Ireland band at Canada Indie Week, part of a North American Tour to promote the June, 2014 release of their latest album, ‘Brother Nature‘.

The album opens with “Quarter Roam“, with its powerful vocals, great changes, and choral harmonies. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars is wonderfully melodic, and I think I heard some slide guitar in this track. The melody rocks, the effects are cool, and I dig the drumming. The early rock and roll influences on “Boogie Woogie“, are almost Rockabilly. This song delivers a high energy tempo, with dynamite and unexpected changes, some dynamite harmonica, and a great vocal track. “Shake Me Off” brings great harmonies, cool changes, and wonderful hs3instrumentation. The country-blues sound of “Comin’ On‘ offers some sweet guitar picking, a dynamite bass line, and a great melody. A wonderfully lively track. “Lay Me Down“, a beautifully sweet song, with acoustic guitar, nice harmonies, wonderful vocals, and, as an added bonus, some way cool banjo. The western style of “El Torro“, an instrumental, comes across like a cowboy tune, a great song to listen to on a cattle drive! It brings wonderful guitar, and great harmonica. The powerfully “Show Me The Weight” gives up dynamite guitar and great harmonies.  “Women & Chile”  delivers some R & B vibes, incorporating great guitar effects, wonderful drumming, a cool melody, and perfectly placed harmonica. One great track! The melody of “Someday” joins the acoustic guitar picking to create a simply serene track. “Soul Brother” just plain rocks. A wonderful tempo brings this blues-rock track to life. There are great guitar riffs and a way cool solo, wonderful harmonies, dynamite changes and insanely good vocal effects. The bluesy, acid hs2rock sentiment of “Heavy On My Mind“,  reminds me of Steppenwolf. With a cool guitar riff that drives the great melody, and incredible drumming, what else could I ask for? Well, The Hot Sprockets thought that flute would be a good idea. They were right. Amazing! The incredibly wonderful “Homeslice” offers a great melody, coupled with sweet harmonies, over what sounds like strings and a mandolin. My favorite track on the album, “The Worried Kind“, brings a great melody delivered by a wicked vocal track. The changes and harmonies are wonderful, and I hear strings! The song has a John Lennon thing going on, both in melody and vocals, and I like it. A beautifully written and performed song!

 

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Well, there you have it. Brother Nature. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album for the 4th time, 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.  A definite must have for your collection, and a definite contender for I Can’t Believe My Earz’  Album Of The Year. Don’t just take my word for it, listen here: http://thehotsprockets.bandcamp.com/album/brother-nature

 

 

 

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