Archive for melancholy

BLOODY DIAMONDS-“Nightmare”

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

bloodydiamonds2On the heels of their 2012 album “They’ve Got Secrets” and 2013’s 7″ single “Monsters“,  Halifax, Nova Scotia band Bloody Diamonds released their new single “Nightmare” earlier this month. With a funky, Pink Floyd bass line, the song floats within an alternative/melancholy rock vibe. There are way cool drums shots, some great guitar effects, and powerful, bluesy vocals. The melody, both calming and eerily exciting at the same time, perfectly counterbalances the heavy guitar riffs. A wonderful song that has left me wanting to hear more from this band. If you haven’t heard Bloody Diamonds yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You can check out all of their music at http://bloodydiamonds.bandcamp.com/

 

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THE MINNOWS-Live At The Belfast Barge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

minnows1There are Irish bands I like, and Irish bands I really like. I like U2, The Pogues, and The Cranberries. I really like Them, Thin Lizzy,  The Boomtown Rats, and The Minnows. Originally called Tiberius Minnows, which I like to believe is in homage to the captain of the USS Enterprise, James Tiberius Kirk, this band released several singles and EPs from the late 80s and into 2007. In 2008, now called The Minnows, they released their full length album, Leonard Cohen’s Happy Compared To Me.. It was a great surprise and thrill to find Live At The Belfast Barge. This 10 track album contains songs both old and new.

The album opens with “Roonkin“, filled with great guitar, a wonderful bass line and cool vocals. The effects add another dimension to this pop-rock song, with stellar vocals that be-cry “Oh no, I forgot my guitar. I don’t know how I got this far“. The melody and harmonies are dynamite and the changes rock. One of those songs I wish was 3 minutes longer. The previously unreleased “What Was I Supposed To Do” contains incredible horns and strings sounds and opens with bongo playing. An amazing melody, powerful vocals and a way cool guitar riff, make this one of my favorite ballads of all time.”The Steepest Hill” has great harmonies, and nice electronic effects. The transitions and changes add to the melancholy feel that underlies this track. With cello and bells, “Baby Blue” displays unique instrumentation within a great melody. The way cool guitar solo doesn’t hurt. minnows2September 25” opens with acoustic guitar, and demonstrates amazing song construction. The melody and changes are great, and there is another very cool guitar solo. The Leonard Cohen vocal style of “Why Don’t You Phone Me Anymore“, adds to the great strings effect and wonderful bridge. The melody rocks, and the reference to Sinatra‘s  “My Way“, perfectly suits the male chorus ending. The pop song with an 80’s feel, “Another Rainy Day“, offers a sweet melody, nice harmonies, and wonderful changes and transitions. The harmonized vocals are exceptional.  “Free Man Freeman“, a folky song, has a great melody. The harmonies again, dynamite and the guitar riff, sweet. The synthesizer and great “chain gang” vocalization as the song ends, kill. “Sailing On” has cool synthesizer effects, a sweet melody, and great changes and transitions. The vocals and harmonies are wonderful, and the guitar riff rocks. Add an outstanding chorus and  wonderful strings at the end, and you have a great rock song. Not often does a 20 year old song still kick ass, unless you’re The Beatles. However, “Time Flies” is still an incredible pop song with a rock edge. The amazing melody drifts over great synthesizer. The wonderful harmonies, great bridge, and dynamite hook, nail it. This should  have been an anthem for that generation of disenfranchised youth, or at least, an Irish Football fight song.

photoAside 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. The band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I have spent the past week 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.

Check out The Minnows:  http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Minnows/131768390195614, and get this album. You have until March 15/2014 to go to the band’s facebook page, click LIKE and download the album for FREE.

 

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SWILLBILLY HEROES-The Lamentable Tragedy Of The…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

sh1I don’t know where the guys at Get Bent Records find these bands, but the Swillbilly Heroes have just released their debut album, The Lamentable Tragedy Of The…. This Toronto band refers to their music as Alternative Country/Rock but I hear so much more. The 9 tracks share country influences with rock, southern rock, pop and blues.

sh2The opening track, “Big Red Ford“, has a nice melody with great transitions and an incredible fullness. The slide guitar and guitar solo remain true to country, but this song rocks. “All The Ghosts You Exorcise” has a slower tempo, a great bridge, and a very cool acoustic guitar solo.  The distant harmonies meshed with keys that make me think accordion, give this song a wonderfully airy feel. The echo effect vocals of “Lucky Mind” add to the uniqueness of this track which includes wonderfully placed stops and starts, a beautiful acoustic guitar solo, and bells which provide a perfect backdrop for the melancholy mood. “Swillbilly Heroes” begins softly and then cracks open with slide guitar, cool offbeat drumming, and a nice guitar “twang” throughout. The dual guitars are reminiscent of The Allman Brothers. Lyric like “love me forever, love me to death” add to the dark beauty of the song.  “Bent On Battered Days”  a rock song, with a great bass line has great effects and psych-rock guitar. Love the cool isolation on the drums, amazing guitar solo and a melody that never quits.. The driving rocker, “Tear It Up” comes with  great bass work, guitar effects, spectacular vocal harmonies and a clean, crisp guitar solo. “‘Til You Broke Some Bones” begins with a drum solo. The melody framed by faint harmonies, and the countrified guitar solo emphasizes an amazing sh3transition to the bridge. “Chlorhexidine Dreams“, a moody tune, is played without drums and bass. The acoustic guitar strumming and the electric guitar lead are accompanied only by chimes and the brooding vocals, within a very haunting melody. My favorite track, “Shipwreck” has great effects and a rockin’ guitar solo.  Driven by the rhythm section, quieter at the verses it fills in at the chorus. The incredible melody cradles brilliant lyric such as “you haven’t lived until you’ve tried, you haven’t lived until you’ve died”, all within a song that could very well be an amazing arena rock song. Just need some dry ice and strobe lights. A song I really want to see live. An amazingly beautiful track with a spectacular ending and shades of Blue Rodeo.

gb1The Lamentable Tragedy Of The… is far from tragic. Great songs with amazing melodies that are simple and complex at the same time, layered within sounds that fill the senses.  Franco Care has an amazing voice, deep, dark, and dynamic. The band is tight and incredibly talented. I was surprised at first to see Abel Renton‘s name as guitarist in the credits. He is also the guitarist for The Micronite Filters. But then I remembered that this is, after all, Get Bent Records. And a killer album.  Epic fun.  Epic cool. Epic Music.

You can listen to this album here:    http://swillbillyheroes.bandcamp.com/album/the-lamentable-tragedy-of-the

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