Archive for ireland

THE MINNOWS-The Sound Of Things To Come

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

I have always been a fan of The Minnows. It began when they were still Tiberius Minnows. I have, however never been more excited by an upcoming release as I am with the current project of these Belfast rockers.

minnows55I recently had the pleasure, and the honor, of advance streaming of several tracks destined for the as yet untitled new album, set for release sometime in 2016. My comments on the material. as I reported back to the band, were simply “brilliant”, and ” devastatingly beautiful”. I am pretty certain that I also referred to one of the tracks as “I wish I had written that one”.

The Minnows have embarked on a journey into sounds that differ significantly from their previous releases. They have embraced ‘Americana‘, and have taken to it like, well, a fish to water. The tracks are filled with exceptionally beautiful melodies, enhanced by 1960’s California harmonies. There are  “twangy” guitars, and some of the most beautifully, bittersweet harmonica I have heard.  This is real heart & soul music. Wonderfully written, and executed. Brilliant indeed! It is insanely wonderful. I am not sure why The Minnows are not world famous, but this just may be the album that gives them the notoriety they deserve.

 

 

As good as the songs are, the accompanying videos for ‘Oh Man‘, and ‘What was I Supposed To Do?‘, have left me breathless, and reduced me to tears. You really need to see these. And when the album is finally released, get yourself a bunch. Play it often. Impress your friends and neighbors. Treat yourself. Feed your heart, and your soul.

 

 

To keep up with all that’s going on with the Minnows, head over to Facebook, and LIKE their page.

 

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2016-WE’RE SO EXCITED!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

Here are a few good reasons that we are excited by 2016. There are new releases due from some of our favorite Indie bands, this year.

 

minnows55Stalwarts of the Belfast scene, The Minnows are set to release a long awaited, and long overdue album. If the track, ‘Oh Man‘,  is any indication of the road the band is on, this will be EPIC!

 

youngbenjamins55Saskatoon, Canada’s, Young Benjamins, last released an album in 2013. 3 years later, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this.

http://youngbenjamins.com/album/340928/beware-of-me?autostart=true

 

lostboys55The darlings of Southhampton, U.K., The Lost Boys are set for a 2016 release. Check out ‘China In The Sink‘, and you’ll be as excited as we are for this one.

 

 

 

thecorsets55We have heard, that Toronto, Canada’s, The Corsets are working on a release. The new track, ‘Drivin’ Away‘, has us sitting here with our fingers crossed.

 

 

 

 

jp55Toronto‘s Cameron House regulars, Jane’s Party, have an album set for release in the spring.  Its been about 3 years since their last release, and after hearing ‘Coming On Strong‘, well, we hope its an early spring.

 

 

 

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KISS MY ACID-Individuality

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

kmaAnother kick ass Dublin, Ireland band, Kiss My Acid, released their debut ep, Individuality, in September, 2015.  The 5 tracks are wonderfully powerful, with cool melodies, and dynamite changes. Exciting bass lines, and dynamite vocals enhance the blistering power chords. There are some cool vocal effects, and the drumming never lets up. There are no frills here. No bells and no whistles. Just cool songs filled with angst & anger. Hard driving, this is pure raw energy. Pure power punk! Favorite track: ‘Revolution’, with its cool vocals, nice changes & transitions, and an in your face vibe, could be a new punk anthem! Check it out here, and then buy yourself a copy. You won’t be sorry!

 

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VAGABONDS & THIEVES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

 

v&t1There is some incredible indie music coming out of Ireland. Recently, I discovered Vagabonds & Thieves, who put together a 4 track demo in May, 2015. At first I didn’t know what to make of this Kildare band, but, after several listens, it all made sense.

I heard great beats, wonderful melodies, sweet harmonies, and some way cool changes.  There are great riffs, a wonderfully choppy rhythm on ‘Devil’s Beat‘, and a killer bass line on ‘Uncle Sam‘. I heard some nice harmonics, exceptional vocal arrangements, and an insane blues vibe on “Off To La‘. And the up tempo roots meets pop feel to ‘Stay With Me“, just rocks. This is foot stomping, thigh slapping music,  unique, and distinctly Irish. Incorporating the bouzouki is a wonderful touch. The sound is entertaining and exciting, and it will keep you moving, however hard you try not to. This is wonderfully melodic, Irish folk-pop.  Check it out and get yourself a free download of ‘Uncle Sam‘. And keep your earz open-an album will be out in March 2016. Get one for yourself and get one for your friends as well. Really. Vagabonds & Thieves are that good.

 

 

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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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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!

 

hs5

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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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-March 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Spring brings rebirth, and 3 incredible albums that are must haves. Check them out, and jump start the season..

photoTHE MINNOWSLive At The Belfast Barge

Another non-Canadian entry, but just too good not to include here. Aside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums but I have to add 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. This Irish band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I keep listening, immersing myself 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.

Check out The Minnows:  http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Minnows/131768390195614, and get this album.

xprime3XPRIME-The Album

Xprime should be big. 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. This 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“. Check out Xprime’s music, videos, upcoming gigs and where to get this album:  http://http://www.xprime.ca/

alyeus1ALYEUSForty Days At Sea

Alyeus, a London, Ontario band delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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