Archive for reggae

HAZEN SAGE -Thrive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

hazen2I have been listening to Hazen Sage‘s new release for over 1 week. The Vancouver Island singer/songwriter released Thrive in March, 2016, and I am digging this 11 track album. The songs deliver wonderful melodies, with inspired lyrics. There are way cool surprises, tremelo, organ, and piano, and influences of rock, reggae, aboriginal, western, and psych rock are evident throughout. There are cool riffs, and infectious hooks, accompanied by great changes, and dynamite vocals. Favorite tracks: ‘Dead ‘n Gone‘( with shades of Buffalo Springfield), ‘Undying‘, and ‘Tea For Two‘.

Thrive is quite addictive, really, filled with thought provoking, mind bending hazeninsanely good songs, written and performed with passion and devotion. The arrangements & production are spot on, and I like the “fullness’ of the sound. There are wonderful things going on in here. There is never a dull moment! Give Thrive a listen, or perhaps several, and then buy a bunch of copies. A wonderfully exciting album, you should play for the whole neighborhood. Destined to be on the short list for I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s Album Of The Year for 2016.

 

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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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SOCIAL STRIFE-With Friends Like These…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

ss2Well, it is no secret that I like  Social Strife. Not just the music, but the band members as well. In the time I have known them, I have had the honor of calling Sean Farro and Terry Doucette, The Bedlam Brothers, friends. This Toronto quartet released “With Friends Like These…” in September 2014. And now, after a long, hard look, and listen of the album, I am ready to provide a review.

If you like kick in the face rock, this album delivers. Fueled by power chords, driving guitar solos, and ss1heavy drums, ‘With Friends Like These…’  jumps out, bites you in the ass, and doesn’t let go. I still have the teeth marks! This band incorporates several influences in its music. There are pop , punk, and reggae themes, and of course hard rock. Through it all, there are incredibly sweet melody lines, and harmonies, that are never overpowered by the instrumentation. The album pounds away at your social consciousness, opening up your mind for the message that Social Strife  delivers. If  not clear to you,  don’t sweat it; the band thoughtfully included lyrics with the hard copy CD.

There are a few standout tracks.The reggae influence of “MDMA”, merged with the power rock strife65transitions create a unique sound for this band. The cool melody and tempo changes enhance the angst in the vocals. “Aliens And Freaks“, one of the more melodic songs on the album allows Farro’s voice to stand out. The song incorporates strings and I swear I heard pizzicato violins! Steady drums, quieter guitar and great changes, make this a wonderful thing. The album opens with “Denied“, a raucous tune that kick starts the STRIFE with great guitar riffs, a sweet solo, cool changes, and dynamite harmonies and vocal effects. “Wish I Could Be” is melodic as hell. A sweet track with a way cool melody, nice effects, and great harmonies and changes. The riffs and licks are wonderful, giving way to a dynamite solo. The strife27classic punk vibe of “You Were Nothing“, gives the album another dimension. With amazing guitar, a dynamite melody, and a chorus that kills, this song rocks! There is another track on ‘With Friends Like These…”, a hidden song, if you will. Track 12. “Chasing” is found only on the hard copy CD.  My favorite track on the album, this song has it all. A great melody, solid drumming, some amazing guitar, and a dynamite hook. The bridge kicks ass, and the effects are brilliant. I hear elements of Van Halen, but Social Strife make it their own. “I’ve got my own demons, and I don’t need yours along for the ride” epitomizes the STRIFE message. Insanely good song. Do I hear a hit single?

ss‘With Friends Like These…’ is one hell of a ride. Social Strife have made good on their attempt to  bring the strife back to rock and roll. The songs. written by Farro-Doucette, are disturbingly insightful. Executed to perfection. the message reminds me of what rock ‘n’ roll is all about: if you dont like the way things are, do something about it…because you can. A solid debut album and well worth a listen or two.  The time has come for you to get Striffed! You’re going to want this.  You’re going to need this.  Get it now at: http://www.socialstriferock.com/

 

 

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THE CORSETS-Are You Lonely, Are You Scared

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

The Corsets released “Are You Lonely, Are You Scared” in July 2014. The album contains 9 tracks of alternative blues-rock that had me wondering why I hadn’t heard of this Toronto band earlier.

corsets2Hit The Ground” opens the album with a great blues riff, and wonderfully haunting vocals. The changes and the effects are way cool. The drums and bass line of “Changing With The Weather“, carry the song. The changes rock, and the bridge is dynamite. I think I heard an organ in there, as well! The funk feel of “You Only Wish”  adds texture to the wonderful melody, and great vocal track. The blues come to town in “I Don’t Need You“,  with its sweet guitar riff and exceptionally cool changes in tempo, that occur effortlessly.  The short, yet sweet “Lady“, offers amazing corsets1drumming, and wonderful changes in tempo and melody line, while “Do What Moves You” offers a cool reggae influence with rock and blues highlights. Very interesting track. “Can I Get A Piece Of You?” with its sweet blues-rock guitar, nice changes and transitions, and great melody, has a cool Cream feel to it. Two tracks are standouts. “My Show“, has a great melody, exceptional drums and bass line, and wonderful changes, all within a aura of melancholia. It ends the album with a single strum of  acoustic guitar. Very fitting, Very Cool. My favorite track, “Take It Easy, Baby“, delivers a great rhythm section, and a way cool riff. The melody is wonderful, and I enjoy the use of distortion here. A dynamite track that just plain rocks.

 

 

 

“Are You Lonely, Are You Scared” is a wonderful adventure. 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.  Check it out and get your copy here: http://the-corsets.bandcamp.com/album/are-you-lonely-are-you-scared

 

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LUCKY WIDMORE-Howling At The Moon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

DSC_9210-1As follow up to their 2012 EP, Long Time Coming, the London, Ontario band, Lucky Widmore, recently released Howling At The Moon. The 6 track album embraces several genres and themes, but remains true to the band’s pop/reggae origins.

Entertainment” has a cool guitar riff and effects, with nice drum rolls, a rockier chorus, and smooth changes. The bass line of “Alex” supports the melody perfectly. The wonderful harmonies in the chorus serve as a counterbalance for the reggae bridge, and the dynamite ending. “You And Me Tonight” offers funk guitar around a way cool pop melody. The harmonies illustrate the pop sentiments floating through some unique instrumentation, and the guitar lw4solo, well, perfectly simple. I particularly like the way the song ends. Pure pop. I hear an island flavor in “Good Day To Die“, highlighted by nice vocal tracks, good changes and a sweet melody. “Give It Up“, plays as a reggae song with rock guitar. The solo rocks, and there are these wonderful riffs throughout the chorus, laying just under the vocal track. Very cool. The Title track, “Howling At The Moon” is the most interesting song on the album. Infused with terrific psych-rock effects and reverb guitar, this song gives up a great chorus, and some nice changes. I particularly enjoyed the ending.

lw2Lucky Widmore continues to write good songs. They have developed a knack for writing amazingly good choruses. The songs continue to show a reggae influence, but the pop sentiments are becoming more and more evident. They write 3 minute tunes with pop melodies, cool arrangements, and wonderfully simple instrumentation. As a result, I was able to listen to more of the song as a whole, and less of any particular element. A good album, and a cool listen. Lucky Widmore is definitely on the right track.

Check it out. Listen and download: http://www.reverbnation.com/luckywidmore/album/75010-howling-at-the-moon

 

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THE DISGUISES

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

One of the coolest bands I have had the pleasure of listening to, The Disguises, have kept me waiting for a new album long enough. I am determined to write about this Kitchener, Ontario band even if it means going back to a debut album from 2009. The self titled release contains 13 tracks of pop perversion.

disguises1Hot Air Balloon” has a wonderfully, playful jazz theme overlayed with a pop melody. The vocals, keyboard, and changes are great. The cool pop harmonies highlight “The Brush Off“, and “Gossipy Chicks” is filled with amazing organ and some way cool psych-rock elements. “Blues On A Rainy Day” has a dynamite piano and guitar that can, at times, get lost in the amazing melody and harmonies, and I am certain I hear mandolin in the acoustic,almost jug band sound of “Jacob Eldermyer’s Bleeding Heart“. The showtune/jazz sensibilities of “Pick ‘N’ Reed” are fun, while “Four disguises2Letters For You” , offer Beach Boys like harmonies in a Spanish theme. I would really like to hear this with Spanish vocals! “Slow Down” offers a reggae song with a cool country-rock guitar solo dropped inside of it, and “In A Bind” has a wonderful pop melody, with interesting harmonies and great guitar. “The Dip” is an interesting, almost experimental track, with way cool instrumentation that moves into and out of rock ‘n’ roll with guitar effects and a great solo. Yes, “Funky Disco Cat‘ sounds like it should be a 1970’s disco song. It has a pop feel to it, with cool harmonies, a wonderful change in tempo, and power chords to remind us that this is a rock band. By the way, the synthesizer is perfect. “Animals“, a way cool trip to some psych-rock place, has great effects. My favorite track on the album,  “I Get Sick Without You” has a rock beat with a pop vocal melody line. The guitar is brilliant, with wonderful solos and riffs. A way cool track, that could have been on any Spirit album.

 

 

 

 

ggtwThe songs, written by George Guitierrez and Tyson Webb follow no format I know. Each is a well crafted work of art. Ecclectic, esoteric, and engaging. They incorporate several genres in their music, and make the complex seem simple. The album is filled with twists and turns, that surprise and excite. The album is fun. You can listen at Soundcloud, and even download it for free! A wonderful journey to places you have probably never been before.

 

 

 

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THE SUPERLATIVE-Numero Deux

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

One year following the release of their debut album, ‘Chester‘, The Superlative, one of the coolest bands to come out of Ottawa, Canada, have done it again with ‘Numero Deux‘.

superlativeno3The 8 tracks show the band’s flair for incorporating different musical styles into their body of work. “Forget To Remember“, a punk-pop tune, opens with cool effects, and displays wonderful changes and acoustic guitar. “Life Is Good” offers great drum fills, a dynamite vocal track, and a way cool guitar solo, with effects. “Fallout” delivers a solid chorus, amazing guitar within a punky instrumental arrangement. “Keep It Here” with its blues feel, has a great bass riff to end the track. “JAMaca” offers up a rock song that shifts in and out of reggae. The powerful guitar, and cool use of effects, are an added bonus. “Glory” offers beautifully, subtle harmonies with some jazz elements. The guitar and vocals make this an interesting track, while “Dad Rock” displays a very sweet guitar riff and some exceptional drumming. “Homewrecker” contains a reggae beat with pop flavor. There are psych-rock guitar effects, and a dynamite rock solo over power chords. All of that, plus the great riffs, vocal track, and wonderful ending, make this my favorite track on the album.

 

 

superlativeno2Numero Deux is a wonderful treat. It is a change from ‘Chester‘: It is grittier, edgier, and it has bite. There is a wonderfully full sound, with layers of instrumentation that blend together in magical, musical mayhem. And once again, the album cover is way cool. Give this a few listens, as it gets better every time. And purchase a copy. An exceptionally thrilling adventure.

http://thesuperlativeband.bandcamp.com/

 

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-February 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Having lived through one of the coldest Februarys on record, Here are 3 incredible albums that will keep you smiling and warm your soul.

tsup1THE SUPERLATIVE-Chester

This Ottawa, On band have developed a unique a sound that combines elements from several genres.The songs contain a reggae beat, layered with a pop melody, rock guitar, and hints of blues and psych rock. The album is dynamite, providing a guitar driven sound with a wonderful rhythm section. And if that is not enough, the album artwork is very cool. Definitely 1 for the collection and a band to keep your eyes on.

mf11THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Wizard Blood

11 months after the release of Chasing Ghosts, this Oshawa, On, band released Wizard Blood. With all of the alternative blues-rock stylings I had heard on Ghosts, I assumed that I was in for more of the same on this new release. Sometimes it is nice to be mistaken. This 9 track album on Get Bent Records, produced by the bent brothers, who I suspect are Abel Renton and Dan Reiff, takes the music to places it has not been before. I like The Micronite Filters. This album seems to be a continuation of the themes of their previous release, showcasing the band’s growth and maturation. I really dig it. Each track feels like an experiment in pushing the limits of their sound. While Chasing Ghosts had me experimenting with this band, Wizard Blood has me addicted.

tm11TOXIC MELONS-Bus Therapy

Not Canadian, but it doesn’t matter. Bus Therapy is my kind of therapy. Truly 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.

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THE SUPERLATIVE-Chester

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tsup2The Superlative released their 6 track debut album, Chester, in March 2013. I was pretty upset that I didn’t find out about it until December, 2013. Influenced by the likes of The Who, The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Allman Brothers, and I Mother Earth, among others, had me interested. This 5 piece band from Ottawa, On., delivers a sound I can best describe as rockgae.

tsup1Inner Muse” has great fuzz guitar over a reggae beat. There are great changes and a wonderful guitar solo that lies just under the power rock vocal track. In “Anthem Of A Degenerate” we are treated to nice transitions from reggae to rock and back again, a great melody and very cool guitar riffs and solo. The wonderfully creative vocals at the end of “Dancing In My Mind“, take nothing away from the great guitar solo, nice change in tempo and a way cool blues riff. I really like  “Hot Summer Dub“, with its sweet melody,  and cool changes. There are some interesting psych rock guitar effects here that make me think of Tommy James & The Shondells. tsup3 “Dark Nights (Don’t Look So Pretty)” nails it. A great pop melody and harmonies, with  wonderful  guitar work underneath, amazing transitions, and a kick ass ending. Yep. Nails it! There is a way cool bass line in” The Beast Within“, as well as, a great vocal track and a dynamite riff.

These guys are definitely talented. They rock, and they rock hard. The songs contain a reggae beat, layered with a pop melody, rock guitar, and hints of blues and psych rock. The album is dynamite, providing a guitar driven sound with a wonderful rhythm section. And if that is not enough, the album artwork is very cool. Definitely 1 for the collection and a band to keep your eyes on.

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LUCKY WIDMORE-Long Time Coming

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

Another innovative band from London, Ontario, Lucky Widmore released their EP, “Long Time Coming” to rave local reviews. A favourite bar band in their home town, these four guys have a unique and distinctive sound created by a fusion of reggae, funk, pop and rock.

lucky1The album opens with” Dollars Down“, a funky tune with great drum shots, a bass heavy bridge and some very gritty vocals all set to a reggae beat. “Where Would I Be“, has strong bass lines and prevalent drums with a lead guitar solo that sounds like surf music. The power chords in the chorus of “Safe And Sound” give this song a rock edge while still delivering the reggae feel that Lucky Widmore has come to be known for. The ballad “Hold Me Good Night” contains full, yet light harmonies and an acoustic intro that sets the melodic tone of the song. “Obsession” moves from light reggae-pop to rock and back again, almost effortlessly. The bass and drums carry this song while  making way for echoing guitars and a wonderfully creative tinny piano sound. The best track on the album, “Someone’s Got To Lose” demonstrates Lucky Widmore’s  range of talent. Gutsy vocals, well executed harmonies, tempo changes and an infectious melody make this song.

Long Time Coming” is a good time, feel good album with great songs that contain surf tones, rock riffs and pop melodies. Like riding the waves, the music moves in many different ways, playing with convention and tradition. But these guys make it work. A solid debut effort from a tight and talented band, and a fun listen.

To hear Lucky Widmore, follow the link below:

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