Archive for powerful

Bruce Tunkel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

I started off with the intention of writing a review of Bruce Tunkel‘s latest release. Another New Jersey musician, I thought. I was sent several cds, and after listening to them, over and over again, I have discovered that Bruce Tunkel is not just another New Jersey musician.

The most recent release, 2017’s ‘Bittersweet‘, is a poignant look into the artist, filled with songs that deal with emotional upheaval, love, hope, and depression. There are wonderful melodies, accompanied by beautiful piano and powerfully soulful vocal tracks. The simplicity of using only piano and vocals, adds to the mood of the album, and touches the listener. The songs are well written, and to be honest, I really didn’t miss any additional instrumentation. The exception, “So Many Ways“, uses acoustic guitar and mandolin to exact the same emotions I felt in the other tracks. A brilliant release, one which you should get your hands on. You can check it out here.

We’ll Make It Up As We Go‘, a double cd released in 2015, is insanely good. A very different sound than that on ‘Bittersweet’, this album is filled with melodic Jersey rock songs, with influences as diverse as power-pop, country and blues infused throughout. I heard very cool guitar, organ, strings, and powerful vocals. The arrangements are dynamite, and I was unable to find a track I didn’t like. At times there is a familiarity to the album, and I can hear bits of Bon Jovi drifting in, only to become part of something bigger in the track. Wonderfully done. I only wish I had been aware of this album in 2015. Favorite tracks: ‘Losing Kind‘, ‘Drive Me Sane‘, ‘Dream Big‘,  and ‘Birthday Girl‘.Check it out here.

There was project I was able to listen to, the 2017 release of The Susan Rumors debut album. A pop-rock-blues album that would be a dynamite addition to any collection. You can check out The Susan Rumors here: https://thesusanrumors.bandcamp.com/.

After my weekend spinning Bruce Tunkel cds, I have realized just what a talented artist he is. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, songwriter, and arranger, able to pull several genres and fuse them into one cohesive album. Wonderful stuff.

LORRAINE SEGATO-Invincible Decency

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

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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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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BONGO BOY TV-Indie Music From Around The World Episode 1031

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

bbtv1031

 

Another episode of Bongo Boy TV’s Indie Music From Around The World is here. Another great collection of videos that rock.

Radio Drive, featuring Kevin Gullickson are back for another week with ‘A Taste Of Heaven‘.  This band from The United States song combines a strong melody, sweet riffs and a 1980’s feel. Add to that some great visuals, and you have one dynamite video. http://www.radio-drive.com/ A German entry, Hella Donna, featuring None Like Joshua (NLJ), the American rapper, offer ‘Gimme Lights, Camera, Action‘. An interesting fusion of elctro-pop and hip hop  showcases this woman’s great voice, and some wonderful video techniques. http://www.helladonna.com/  An English entry, ‘Hard Heart‘ from Sharp Practise, is a wonderful blues song, with a video appropriately shot in black & white. There are way cool special effects, nice transitions, and some cool keyboards. http://www.sharppractise.com/  Another American entry, Rob Rise On Belief, gives us ‘The Chosen One‘, is an amazingly interesting video. There is acoustic guitar, and dynamite vocals, that kicks into a way cool rock tune, with great guitar and wonderful harmonies. An incredibly powerful song. http://www.robriseonbelief.com/   Also from the United States, Saydah with ‘Bound2Break‘, shows how to make a great music video. Amazing vocals, great piano, and some very cool synthesized horns, filmed in black & white. The minimal instrumentation keeps the focus on this woman’s voice, as it should be. http://www.saydahzufilms.com/  Chand K Nova, delivers ‘Solar Bliss‘ all the way from England. This is a way cool animated video, set amid an instrumental that showcases amazing guitar. All in all, way cool.http://www.reverbnation.com/chandknova

Added to this episode, you lucky viewers, is a sample of Jana Peri’s “Ballerina Of The Bowery“, featuring clips of Jana, Gar Francis, and Kurt Reil, and a drop in spot by Bruce Ferguson of The Easy Outs. What else can I say. The show rocks. 

 

 

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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

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