Archive for new york city

THE TURNBACK-Are We There Yet?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

New York City area band, The Turnback, released their new album Are We There Yet? with very little fanfare. There should have been a parade!!

turnback2The album opens with ‘Faketown‘,  a wonderfully aggressive track with a cool shuffle feel, and them shifts into a wonderous blend of 1960s pop and 1980s power pop. The sound is addictive! The vocals are dynamite. Just listen to ‘Revolution Girl‘  which has an exceptional  harmonized vocal track, and pay attention to the riff on ‘July‘ and ‘If I Were God‘. The hooks on ‘A Place For Me‘ and ‘First Song Of Summer‘ are outstanding.  It was incredibly difficult to pull a favorite track off of this album, however we have 2: ‘Five Days A Week‘ brings a wonderful melody, a sweet riff, great harmonies, and some cool changes together, and finishes with an incredible Beatlesque ending. And while we are on the subject of The Beatles, Turnback have placed a cover of The Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows‘ on the album. Turns out to be one of the best covers of a Beatle song I have ever heard! The harmonies are to die for, and they even work in the riff from ‘Taxman’ for good measure. Exceptionally well done!

 

 

turnback1Are We There Yet is way cool Power Pop. I seem to be involved in a love affair with this album, It makes me happy, and asks for nothing in return. It has me singing around the house. The songs are exceptional, with great melodies, wonderful harmonies, dynamite bridges & choruses, and unforgettable hooks. The Turnback have delivered an incredibly great album, that I am referring to as Power Pop of the new millennium! The production is wonderful. There is a sweet balance here, with nothing over the top. A contender for The I Can’t Believe My Earz Top Indie Album of 2015!! It is pure power pop perfection!! Check it out here for yourself, and get a dozen or so copies. Give them to your family and friends. Or keep them all for yourself. I would. And if they ever hold a parade for this release, I will be there, front and centre, with a truckload of ticker tape.

 

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SO HIDEOUS-Laurestine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

 

 

by Joshmetal Figueroa

 

I just had the chance to check out an album from the band, So Hideous, entitled, “Laurestine.” So Hideous is a symphonic black metal band from New York City. I will say that these guys are a force of nature. The combination of an orchestra, fast tempo, soaring guitars and vocals that scream to the top of the mountain is so different but works magnificently.

While each track is stellar, “Laurestine” cannot simply be listened to in parts at first. The listener must listen to this album from beginning to end as each song seamlessly weaves into each other. Brandon Cruz, founder of So Hideous stated that the album is about a man who is dying and experiencing a sensory landscape far beyond his scope of comprehension. The listener can certainly feel the impending doom that lingers in each guitar note, pained SH2vocals and thunderous drums but at the same time are blissfully whisked away to a realm of calm via the 30 piece orchestra that was assembled to play on “Laurestine.” It is as if we are in the eye of a hurricane, looking at the chaos ensuing around us but in a circle of peace.

So Hideous takes their craft seriously. It shows in how carefully they structured each song on the 7 track album. They do not seem to be playing music because they had nothing else better to do with their spare time. So Hideous made an album that has tumultuous ferocity but is also just as beautiful as a peaceful morning. While most would see this album blending well with a big budget film, I can see this being used in an anime along the lines of “Attack on Titan.” I sincerely hope to hear more from So Hideous as time goes on. This is the type of band that needs to be heard outside of their genre. They have a huge vision and it needs to be seen and heard.

 

Josh

 

Joshmetal Figueroa, a Metal connoisseur, searches the galaxies, ferreting out the best Metal you may not have heard before. A New Jersey native, he left the button down world to travel through time and space, returning only long enough to share his discoveries.

BONGO BOY TV-Indie Music From Around The World Episode 1032

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Another month, and another whack of way cool music videos in yet another episode of Bongo Boy TV Indie Music From Around The World.

 

 

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The winner of The Bongo Boy Indie Music Video Contest, Texas band Life Is Hard, gives us “Ten Miles ’till Empty“, a cool country song with nice harmonies, and a great slide guitar. The video gives us a pick up truck, a hitchhiker, a gas station,and heartbreak, Pretty slick production. https://www.facebook.com/lifeishardmusic  Funkmaster Milo Z, from New York City, brings us “Do Ya Thang“,a rap/hip hop tune with a twist. This danceable song has some cool guitar and great horns, while the video switches between live band performance and street scenes. Nice. https://www.facebook.com/milozfunk2012  Another Texan, J-Hen delivers a way cool classic hip hop/pop song with “Baby Come On“. There are nice effects, and electronics. The video is filled with quick edits, and some way cool production values. By the way, this guy can sing. Dynamite vocals! https://www.facebook.com/therealjhen  Russia’s Mumiy Troll shows us what electro-pop is all about. in “Swimming With Sharks” . The visuals are great, with amazing production values, bright colors, and quick edits. The effects, while simplistic, are dynamite. This song is cool to listen to, and the video,well, just plain damn fun. https://www.facebook.com/mumiytroll  Gar Francis, the New Jersey garage guru, does a great job with effects in the lyric video for “Man On The Moon“. Wonderful art creating great visuals. The song has a beautiful melody and some way cool Gar guitar. https://www.facebook.com/garfrancis  Bruce Lev, out of Arizona, does a nice job on his song “Catwoman“, although the video is titled “Catwoman Returns!“. The song is filled with great guitar riffs and licks, and a way cool solo played over a great bass line. There are sweet changes, with nice harmonies and a cool melody. The video edits back and forth between the band playing on a river bank, and other images. Nicely done. I like this. https://www.facebook.com/BruceLevMusic  Natalie Jean, also from the United States, provides us with the electro/pop dance track, “Mission“. The vocals have great effects, while the video uses time lapse techniques. Very cool stuff. https://www.facebook.com/NatalieJeanObsession

 

And there is a way cool teaser for The Satisfactors‘ “Gimme My Rock ‘n’ Roll“. The album is coming soon from Bongo Boy Records. Get a copy. Can’t wait for mine.

Anyway, this is stuff you really need to check out. Bongo Boy Tv-Indie Music From Around The World..

 

 

 

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THE SATISFACTORS-Johnny Commando

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

jc1When Bongo Boy Records let me know that they were releasing a single from The Satisfactors as a tribute to Johnny Ramone, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was always a fan of The Ramones. “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Rock & Roll High School” are still active on my playlists. “Johnny Commando“, set for release on March 10/14 is a wonderful ride back to bbNew York City’s 1970’s punk heyday. Bruce Ferguson ( The Easy Outs) delivers kick ass vocals, with inflections and nuances that remind me of Joey Ramone. The guitar is simple, yet driving, with a dynamite riff and solo. The chorus is fabulous, driving me to rock and bop as I listened. The harmonies are perfectly punk, the transitions amazing, and the hook kills. Produced by Kurt Reil (The Gripweeds) and Jersey’s godfather of garage, Gar Francis, what else should I have expected? This song is punk in all its glory. Johnny Ramone would be impressed. Now I am going to have another listen. Get your hands on your own copy as soon as you can. “Hey Ho, Johnny Commando”!

Go get it:   www.cdbaby.com/cd/thesatisfactors

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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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