Archive for january

THE BLANK TAPES-Geodesic Dome Piece

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blanktapes1California’s The Blank Tapes released ‘Geodesic Dome Piece‘ in January 2015 with 12 tracks of 1960’s pop that sounds like it stepped out of another dimension. Sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders meet The Twilight Zone! The sound is infectious.  From the opening chords of “Way Too Stoned“, with its ethereal,  dream like vibe, I was taken away by 60’s pop melodies, great harmonies, cool effects, and insanely exciting riffs (check out “For Breakfast” and “Buff“). There are wonderful changes, particularly in “Brown Chicken Brown Cow“, and way cool mandolin on “To Your Dome Piece“. The album is filled with surprises, including wonderful guitar and saxophone solos on “Slippin’ Slide“, and a jangly surf-pop vibe to “Oh My Muzak“. Favorite track “Do You Wanna Get High“, with its dynamite pop chorus, an amazing change in key, and lyrics that include ‘do you wanna get high, just like Chucky and me, cause we’re likely to be all the time’.

 

 

 

bt1I could listen to this for days on end, and have spent the better part of 2 weeks digesting the entire The Blanks Tape catalog. The songs make me feel like I did in 1969. The album is wonderfully arranged and produced. The vocals are wonderful, and the lyrics, sardonic and witty. There is an acoustic demo version of “Do You Wanna Get High” as a bonus, and “To Your Dome Piece” is worth a few listens just for the lyrical phrasing.. This is one of those must have albums. The kind that you have to have in your collection, just because it was done. Bizarro-garage-psychedelic-stoner-surf-pop at its best.

 

Check out The Blank Tapes catalog at http://theblanktapes.bandcamp.com/ and visit and LIKE their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blanktapes

 

 

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LORRAINE SEGATO-Invincible Decency

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I started listening to Lorraine Segato way back in the days of Mama Quilla ll, a Toronto rock band playing the local club scene. I kept listening when she formed The Parachute Club. It was wonderfully exciting for me to have an opportunity to listen to her latest solo project, ‘Invincible Decency’ prior to its January 2015 release.

ls3The album opens with “Only Human“, which gives us a great melody, a wonderful riff, and some way cool organ. “We Give The Night Away“, has wonderful harmonies, and what sounds like electronica. I like the reggae feel of “Hole In The Wall“, with its great vocal track, sweet harmonies, and a great bridge. There is a way cool offbeat groove to “All Went Wrong (At The Right Time)“, with a cool, bluesy vocal track, and organ. The changes are dynamite, and I know I heard a tambourine! I had to look up the translation to “Tengo Le Tasche Vuote“, which apparently means keep empty pockets. The song is sung in Italian, which I find molto bello, and I like the electric piano. The wonderful beat delivers a great Mediterranean groove. The social commentary of “Invincible Decency“, ls4wonderfully Lorraine Segato, has beautiful Latin sensibilities.”Who You Are (Be What You Be)” delivers an incredibly powerful message over a great funk feel. “I’m Coming Back” offers more great organ, a dynamite melody, and sweetly simple guitar. “Times Like This“, one of the most beautifully touching songs I have ever heard, pays tribute to Billy Bryans, Segato’s friend and partner, who passed away. It delivers an emotional kick in the stomach, with a wonderfully sweet melody. The harmonies and guitar effects are incredibly cool. My favorite track on the album, “Living On The Outside“, offers way cool saxophone, some slick jazz piano, and a dynamite melody. The piano solo rocks, and the placing of reggae vocals over the jazz instrumentation,well, its brilliantly done. The track delivers a way cool jazz groove for the beatnik in all of us!

ls1Well, I didn’t really know what to expect from Invincible Decency, considering its Lorraine’s first release since 1998. I had asked her about the time between albums, and she said that she only makes a record when she feels she has something to say. Perhaps that’s what makes this release so enjoyable. I like what she has to say. I enjoy how she says it. Its been 16 years, but Lorraine Segato hasn’t lost the passion. Or the groove. And this album is all about the groove.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.lorrainesegato.com/

 

 

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-January 2014

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Well, it’s already February and time for our top album picks of January.

BETRAYERSLet The Good Times Die

betrayers1This  fuzzed up, punked out, psych,60s garage band from Edmonton, Alberta band blew me away with their third release. The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seems 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. 

JON MULLANEShine

jm2This native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, rocks. It rocks Halifax and Jersey. Jon Mullane writes amazing songs with exceptional melodies. He has that cool, gravelly voice, and subtle approach to instrumentation. His passion for 1960’s pop and 1970’s garage create a near perfect hybrid  of garage-pop. And he looks the part. White t shirt, jeans, and a bit of a snarl that reminds me of early Springsteen. But Mullane is his own force to be reckoned with.  Three singles have already been lifted from the album“New American Girl”, “Body Rock”, and “Any Other Way”. A great writer, a great musician, a great album. One of the coolest albums I have had the good fortune to have listened to. Definitely one for your collection and your car.

REDAMBERGREENNo City

The LondonOntario band, Redambergreen seems to have reinvented themselves. With the addition of new vocalist Sara Preston, the 2013 No City EP sees the band move to a heavier, gutsier sound.I had written ragabout their prior EP, and remarked that I had expected more. Well, here it is. There are definite elements of heavier rock, which the band embraces. The riffs are driving, yet subtle. The drumming is powerful.   The songs are well written and masterfully played. There is a fullness to the sound that I like. The production is dead on. Redambergreen nails it with this effort, providing a blend of power-pop, alternative rock, and hard rock. A wonderful album from talented musicians, who found their sound. Incredibly good.

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