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BONGO BOY RECORDS-The Singles

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

There seems to be a whack of incredibly cool music coming out of New Jersey, and Bongo Boy Records seem to have their hand on most of it. Aside from the 2013  Mark Lindsay release, Life Out Loud, and the Gar Francis EP, Shine On, this Indie label out of Belvidere, New Jersey has a truck load of singles that they are about to release on a “Singles” album. Being quite fond of Bongo Boy Monique and Garage Guru Gar-the coolest musician to come out of Jersey since Frank Sinatra– I agreed to listen and wax poetic about this soon to be released compilation.

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Jana Peri, the New York City rocker with power pop and punk influences, delivers a knock out tune with “Ballerina Of The Bowery“. Written by Gar Francis, the song has a great surf-pop groove, great harmonies and a wonderful bridge and chorus. The choppy guitar  rocks and the riff, subtly great. Terrific opening track on any album.

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I didn’t know who The Easy Outs were, but  the New Jersey rock-punk-garage band’s “Come On, Come On” is up there on my list of coolest songs I have heard lately. The track has a great 1960s feel, delivered through wonderful keys and an amazing melody. There are great horns, beautiful transitions, and a dynamite bass line. I can hear Gar Francis all over this song. The riff, clean and crisp, and the solo, as always, class, not flash. Consider this a hit.

 

gr2The wonderfully multi talented Genya Ravan contributes a Gar Francis song, “I Won’t Cry Anymore” with a powerful voice and a delivery that made me shiver.  This rock-blues tune reminds me of something that should be on Janis Joplin album, and hands out great choral harmonies in the bridge and a wonderfully R & B harmonized “whoo hoo hoo”. This woman can sing.  Powerful and pleasurable.

 

 

rk3I don’t know where he finds the time, but Rockids is another Gar Francis project. Originally formed in 1973 by Gar and Wayne Olivieri, this garage band recorded Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody” in 2012. I love this song. I dig Rockids cover of it. The guitar layered underneath, the amazing Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and the great hook, deliver an incredible track. Might as well stand when you listen, ’cause it will get you dancing.

kcBorn Dainty“, a country-rock song, was written and produced by, you guessed it, Gar Francis. Recorded by New Jersey’s Kelly Caruso, daughter of The Doughboys bass player, Mike Caruso, this track offers some amazing banjo, cool drumming, and a great chorus. The transitions are wonderful and the guitar riff, great. Kelly delivers a wonderful vocal track. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song covered by Kelly Clarkson.

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The Swinging Iggies,  with one of the coolest band names around, offer up “Lady Gaga“. This New Jersey garage-rock band is another one of Gar Francis’ projects. The song,  humorous and up tempo, has a dynamite power start. There are great transitions and I dig the guitar riff. Great song. Still, what a wonderful name for a band.

gfrocketOne of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard, Gar Francis’ “Rocket” touches me. This heartfelt tribute to American soldiers, raises powerful emotions as an acoustic number. The vocals are something out of Bowie’s Hunky Dory, and this is not the first time I have made a Bowie reference about Gar. The beautifully played strings set the tone and mood amid the haunting melody. Wonderful lyric like, “rest my faith against my gun”, drive home the message. I like Gar Francis unplugged.

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New Jersey singer, songwriter Gigi, contributes one way cool tune. “Put Your Freakin’ Hands Up” a  pop-dance track, in the Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe” style,  has a great guitar intro and some amazing double tracked vocals. The melody, pure pop and the guitar riff in the bridge/chorus, wonderfully cool. The minimized instrumentation during the verses highlights the vocals that come with some great effects. Wonderful song with an incredible hook.

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Plainfield Slim, Gar Francis’ alter ego, offers 2 blues tunes. “Dirty Girl” has wonderful southern blues-rock guitar and sweet, double time drumming. The slide guitar rocks within a cool vocal track and nice harmonies. I swear I hear a train in there. “Let Go My Hand“, delivers a wonderful blues riff and a great rock beat. I love the guitar solo and the muted effect to the entire track. Jersey blues are way cool.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudMy choice for coolest song of the year, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)” by Mark Lindsay is a definite bonus. What can I say about this song that I haven’t said in my review of the Life Out Loud album? Way cool 60s organ, great harmonies, exciting guitar, wonderful changes, and I really dig the “less is more” drumming style. The vocals rock, the melody, dynamite and well, this is my favorite Mark Lindsay song since “Kicks“. Coolest song of the year for sure.

Well, there you have it. The Bongo Boy Records singles compilation. The genres are varied, with something to please everyone.  11 tracks destined to amaze and entertain. This album will rock you, and  it will surprise you. An amazingly eclectic collection of songs by incredibly talented artists. I would liked to have seen Gar Francis’ “Back In 1985”  included on this record.  Check it out for yourself and see what’s really going on in New Jersey. Its not just Snooki and The Sopranos. A must have for every collection.

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Check out all of Bongo Boy Records artists:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-September 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

Now that the kids have gone back to school, you may find yourself with more time to sit back and listen to something you haven’t heard before. Here is I Can’t Believe My Earz best bets for September, 2013.

sh2The Swillbilly Heroes

This Oshawa, On band released The Lamentable  Tragedy Of The… this summer on the upstart Get Bent Records. The band’s debut album contains 9 tracks that are influenced by country, rock, pop, southern rock and blues music. The album is filled with great song, layered with sounds and strong melodies. This is a killer album. Great music. Great fun.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/swillbilly-heroes-the-lamentable-tragedy-of-the/

M&MMesses & Miracles

The Captain Surely Drowns, is the latest release by London, On band, Messes & Miracles. A folk-rock band at heart, these guys write amazing songs that evoke images and tell wonderful stories. Their acoustic rock sound is refreshingly appealing  and I have been listening to this album on a daily basis. One for the collection.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/messes-and-miracles-the-captain-surely-drowns/

1divOne Divided

Long overdue, but not overlooked, One Divided, the Oshawa On trio, released the 5 song EP, Good Reasons in 2013. With a sound influenced by Green Day, Sloan, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I should have known I would get a raw, in your face power-pop/punk sound. The energy is electrifying. The songs melodic. Great effort and a whack of fun.

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

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

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