Archive for The Micronite Filters

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 MICRONITE FILTERS-Wizard Blood

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

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.

mf12Keep The Fire Burning Bright“, has a great blues riff and amazing vocals. What a great opening track. It grabs you hard and just won’t let go. The fuzz guitar, and cool harmonica of “Roll On“,  help to create a Mississippi blues tune with a hint of Southern gospel. “Blood On The Flowers” offers a dynamite electric piano solo, great effects, solid drumming, and a very interesting layering of vocals and guitar. The changes and transitions are unexpected and very cool. The haunting vocal track of “Breadcrumbs” enhances the great melody, while the guitar picking and electric piano are wonderful. The rock-blues song “Death Leather Blues” gives us power chords, slide guitar, horns, and an amazing guitar solo. The sound touches on Southern Rock, with its rock beat and blues influences, and I really dig the all-star blues finish. “Whiskey Bottle” is a rock-blues frenzy with psych-rock elements. There are great echo guitar effects, and changes in tempo and time signature. The lyric, “another broken down, bubble gum princess singing out of tune” adds poignancy to the album. Very cool song. The wonderfully melodic instrumentation of “Hellhound On My Trail“, opens up a diverse and complex track. There are great harmonies, beautiful saxophone, and a simple yet powerful solo that, with amazing shades of The Doors, at times. “Po’ Black Maddie” delivers another great blues riff. This song is more mf11up tempo, with nice harmonies. There is a deep south blues coupled with rock elements, that give this a live recording feel.  Despite the somewhat disturbing title, “Blood In My Eyes For You” plays as a rollicking, rocking blues tune that goes on for almost 7 minutes. A sort of Micronite Filters opus! The track has a great rock melody. A well constructed rock song with blues influences. Great drumming, wonderful transitions, and a way cool power rock riff, all combine to make this my favorite track on the album. The electric piano rocks, and the song slows into a dynamite sax solo. A great track with some way cool elements of psych-rock. The song has elements of everything I have listened to over the past 50 years, and it keeps taking me back there. Blood In My Eyes For You should come with a warning: May cause flashbacks.

Ballad Of The Banker’s Son from the Chasing Ghosts album

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.

Check out and purchase all of The Micronite Filters albums.

 

 

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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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MY WORLD GOES POP

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My venture into popular music began with an uncle, 10 years my senior, who was entrenched in the girl groups of the early 1960s. The first songs I remember listening to were the delightfully unsophisticated  “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels, ” He’s A Rebel” by The Crystals and The Chiffons’He’s So Fine“.   I spent numerous hours ingesting  the harmonies and the melody lines of these and other pop classics.

The Ronettes

The Ronettes

And just when I thought I had heard all there was to hear, I discovered The Ronettes. They were amazing. Insanely different. Veronica Bennett, her sister Estelle and her cousin Nedra Talley created a sound so different than anything I had heard before. It was Ronnie’s (Veronica) voice that drew me in. It was Phil Spector‘s production and the now infamous Wall Of Sound that kept me there. ‘Baby I Love You” and “Be My Baby”  kept me listening over and over again. I got my own 45 of “Be My Baby”. I played it and played it. I drummed along with it on pots and pans. I knew every nuance of the song. musically and vocally. I adored Ronnie’s voice and her vocal inflections. I  still do. The power of her voice  blows me away. And so began my epic adventure with rock and roll.

I heard The Beatles many times on the radio before I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was then that I knew I wanted to be, no, needed to be a musician. I wanted to make music. I wanted to be a Beatle.  A plot was hatched to dispose of Ringo. Why not? I was quite proficient on the pots and pans, and how much different could the drums be? I wanted to be a drummer. I asked for drums for my birthday, and I got a guitar. What the hell. I learned to play and began writing songs.

I dove in to the British Invasion, headfirst. I spent years harboring vinyl from across the ocean. Listening to The Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, whose harmonies were some of the most complex I had heard, and The Kinks, who wrote incredible pop songs and played them like a rock band,  allowed me to intercept the North American bands who were now emulating the British sound. And so, Tommy James and The Shondells, The Grass Roots,  and The Lovin’ Spoonful were added to my ever growing list of must have vinyl. The Beach Boys were added when I heard Pet Sounds. “God Only Knows” is a remarkable song . The harmonies are deep and full. Changes in tempo and time signature reflect Brian Wilson‘s genius. I was set. I was in pop paradise. In 1966-67, as The Beatles experimented with psychedelica, I did as well,  finding  gems in  Blues Image, Spirit, and a host of other insanely talented bands.

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

On my 13th birthday, I received my own drum kit. I had fallen ass backwards into Progressive Rock and was living and breathing Yes; amazing musicians, with the ability to incorporate so many different melodies, time signatures and themes into one perfectly crafted work. Yes led me to King Crimson, Flash and inevitably to Pink Floyd, who made the complex seem simple and the simple sound complete. . How cool was that?  I started a band, but I just couldn’t shake my passion for pop. My fondness for Pagliaro, 5 Man Electrical Band, and Badfinger, created the sound and direction of my musical psyche. New Wave delivered Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, and The Pretenders. One of my all time favorite bands,The Pretenders were pure pop. Unforgettable melody lines, great hooks, amazingly simple yet catchy riffs permeated each song. And Chrissy Hynde looked so cool holding a guitar.

Gotta Have Pop

Gotta Have Pop

To satisfy my passion, I have always looked for new artists playing pop. Over the years I have found The Pursuit Of Happiness, The Bob Segarini Band, and Sloan. Segarini is pop genius. His ability to hear the music long before it is ever played sets him out as one of the truly great pop song writers. Once referred to as the Canadian Nick Lowe, Segarini’s Gotta Have Pop  is a classic . I have, more recently found some amazing talent out there in bands named The Creekside Strays, The Micronite Filters, The Research Turtles,  Toxic Melons and The Toniks. There are so many more that I have yet to discover. I can hardly wait! Recently a friend of mine who travels The Oregon Trail looking for new music introduced me to No Small Children. I have just started my auditory stalking of this band so any verdict at this time would be premature. He rarely steers me wrong. I will go on record as saying that they have something, and I suspect it is highly contagious as I can’t seem to stop listening. My fondness for all music lies in  melodies and harmonies. It began with the girl vocal groups and is as strong today as it ever was.

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THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Chasing Ghosts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

mf2

There are blues bands, and then there are The Micronite Filters. As a follow up to their 2012 Ep,” The Wrong Side Of The Tracks“, this Oshawa, Ontario band went to the Mississippi hills to record their album. Produced by the legendary Jimbo Mathus and released on the independent label, Get Bent Records, “Chasing Ghosts” contains 10 tracks that redefine blues music.

The Ballad Of The Banker’s Son” has stand out vocals, slide guitar and an unforgettable bridge immersed in rock overtones . “Here She Comes Runnin’“, a Mississippi blues song if ever there was one, has herky-jerky instrumentation during the verse and then settles in the chorous. The band’s ability to play with time signatures is distinctly evident in this song. The title track, “Chasing Ghosts“, incorporates horns with guitar underlays. The saxophone is perfectly placed within the battalion style drumming.  The  bluesy vocals and eloquent melody line of “Ladies Man Blues” are accompanied only by harmonica, trombone and bass drum, and it sounds amazing.  In “Rambler’s Lament“, the rock melody is contrasted by blues guitar with echo effects and feedback. “Train Robbers”, another rock song, swirls amid blues music with a melody line that reminds me of T-Rex’s 20th Century Boy a great guitar solo and beautifully incorporated saxophone. The live recording feel of “When The Lonesome Whistle Blows” creates the perfect backdrop for the twangy steel guitar which emulates the vocal melody line. ” Hit The Hammer On The Nail“, gives us rock chords and blues rhythms, an amazing female vocal line, piano riffs and spectacular drum runs. “Walking Dead Man” has beautiful bell tones playing in the background. The drums are used to accentuate the vocal phrasing, while the fullness of the production creates a very powerful track. My vote for best song on the mf1album: “The Exile And The Canary“, a remarkable rock/blues/psychedelic journey into the Mississippi hills. The electric organ and drums make me think of The Doors until the song changes tempo and direction. The screaming guitars with rock riffs, the echo effect and the haunting vocals made me realize that this isn’t just any ordinary album.

The Micronite Filters are not just another blues band.  The music is raw, gritty, powerful, soulful and infectious. The songs are masterfully crafted. “Chasing Ghosts” is an exceptional album, which should be a contender for Indie Album Of The Year.

To listen to The Micronite Filters, follow the link below:

http://themicronitefilters.bandcamp.com/

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