Archive for Yes

TRIO OF MADNESS-Lost Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

Well, it finally happened. After much anticipation, Trio Of Madness, the Somerville, New Jersey band, released Lost Time in March, 2017. Filled with 14 wonderfully looney tunes, the trio delivers a blend of psychedelic, surf, and progressive rock sounds, which merge into what can only be called “alien rock”. The album conjures up memories of my old arena rock days, with shades of King Crimson and Yes peering out from behind the wonderful melodies. There are different musical themes woven into songs by exciting changes and transitions. The album is guitar-centric, yet the rhythm section is a standout. Nick Charles’ solos and riffs deliver wonderful waves of melody, while Mike Wojik and Liz Gonzalez drive the music. There are cool effects, and I am certain I heard a bicycle horn. ‘Roswell‘ delivers a surf vibe which morphs into a sound that can best be described as The B-52s meet King Crimson, while ‘Birthquake‘ offers a psych’d out, funky, beach blanket bingo feel. At times it seems that the album is a free for all jam, but the music is brilliantly executed. This is an entertaining trip which, one can only hope, brings with it a safe return. And while the long term effects of listening to Trio Of Madness are, as of yet unknown, this is an insanely good time. Favorite tracks: ‘Lost Time‘; ‘Spaceships‘; ‘Showering At The Bates Motel‘;  ‘Mutant Song‘, with guest vocals by Geverend Dee. You really need to hear this. Play it loud, and remember to keep your eyes on the skies! You can listen and purchase Lost Time here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FRACTAL REVERB-Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind

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

FR3I discovered Fractal Reverb in the spring of 2014, after listening to their ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘ release. Recently, this trio from Lodi, Italy released a 15 track, 2 CD album entitled ‘Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind‘.

The album is filled with songs that deliver wonderful melodies, great guitar, cool effects, and dynamite sounds of strings. There are changes in time signatures that blow my mind, and I swear I heard cello!! The off beat drumming is reminiscent of Bill Bruford, and the use of effects such as feedback, echo and fuzz conjure up a psychedelic vibe. The songs are wonderfully crafted and arranged, with music that FR2transitions in and out of various movements, and lyrics that are both  introspective and socially relevant. The vocal tracks are dynamite, with incredibly sweet harmonies. Some of the tracks appeared on the 2014 release, but I had no problem listening to them on this album. I was particularly impressed with ‘Song Of Something‘, with its off beat drumming, wonderful harmonic guitar, and great changes. ‘Hidden Places‘ excited with its multiple movements, and way cool effects, while ‘Song Of Everything‘ offered a dynamite instrumental melody, and a very cool bass line. My favorite track, ‘20th January 2013‘  is simply a beautiful piece of music, while being incredibly powerful at the same time. The sound of strings is an added bonus.

 

 

Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind is an incredible journey. Progressive Psychedelic Rock, a sort of FR1fusion of Yes, King Crimson, and Rush. The sound is wonderfully full, and complex, incorporating different orchestral themes within each track. A progressive free for all that is perfectly executed, and often unexpected. The album drives forward, taking you places that you never imagined existed. A brilliant piece of work! This is the kind of album you put on and just let it play, allowing the music to envelop you, and hold you within it. An epic sound. An epic album. Certainly one of the most incredible collections of music I have heard in a long time, and definitely on the shortlist for the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year 2015!! Check it out for yourself, and then purchase at least 1.  http://fractalreverb.bandcamp.com/

 

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UNIFIED PAST-Shifting The Equilibrium

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

up1I like Progressive Rock. I like Yes. I like King Crimson, Flash & Gentle Giant. There is now a new band on the list. Unified Past, with their album Shifting The Equilibrium, is Progressive Rock the way I remember it.

The vocals are ethereal, delivering melody lines and lyrics that are seductively sublime. Pay particular attention to “Today Is The Day“. The bass lines come at you from places I have never been, just check out “Peace Remains In up3This World“, and the drumming is devastatingly powerful. The guitar work is brilliant, with riffs that surprise and excite, and the synthesizer rocks, particularly on “Smile“. The album is wonderfully melodic. There are exceptional changes, and some way cool harmonics on “Deviation From A Theme“.  Favorite track: “Etched In Stone“, with its sweet, acoustic guitar, and a wonderfully orchestrated medieval theme.

up2Shifting The Equilibrium has an amazing amount of stuff going on. Each listen allows you to hear more and more. Unified Past has the ability to construct tracks that come full circle, while taking you down several roads between beginning and end. And the CD comes with a lyric booklet!! This is some of the best Progressive Rock I have heard in a long while. Check it out for yourself here. Sit back, put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and prepare to be amazed! The only thing missing is the dry ice.

 

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WE GOT YOU COVERED…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

Well, it seems that everyone likes a great cover tune. So do we. And so, we compiled a short list of cover tunes that we think are better than the originals. There are more, but these are some of our favorites.

 

 

A way cool psychedelic rock version of the Burt Bacharach song, previously covered by The Shirelles & The Beatles. The organ is wonderful, and Gayle McCormick‘s vocals are insanely good.

 

 

 

Harry Nilsson‘s 1971 version of the Pete Ham/Tom Evans song which originally appeared on Badfinger‘s 1970 album, ‘No Dice‘. No one does this like Nilsson!

 

 

 

 

A progressive rock version of Sinon & Garfunkel‘s ‘America’. Released on Yes‘ 1975 ‘Yesterdays‘, and a 1972 Atlantic Records Sampler, ‘New Age Of Atlantic‘. The guitar is dynamite. Incredibly Yes.

 

 

 

Sonny Curtis‘ 1959 Crickets release ‘I Fought The Law‘, immortalized in 1966 by The Bobby Fuller Four, and Punked up by The Clash on their 1979 release ‘The Cost Of Living‘. Wonderfully addictive!

 

 

 

 

The best version of Leonard Cohen‘s ‘Hallelujah‘, and Jeff Buckley well, being Jeff Buckley. Magical!

 

 

 

One of our favorite Bob Segarini tracks, is this cover of Slade‘s 1974 ‘When The Lights Are Out‘, which appears on Segarini’s 1978 ‘Gotta Have Pop‘. The album title says it all…

 

 

 

 

 

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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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PETER MURRAY-On Druckfarben, And More

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

pm4I set out to do an interview on the progressive-rock band, Druckfarben. As I sat down with Peter Murray, bassist, I instead found myself immersed in his story. Not a bad afternoon at all.

We began by comparing notes about progressive-rock bands, from Yes, King Crimson, and Flash, to Rush and Kansas. We taked about Gentle Giant. We talked about music. We discussed the lack of airplay progressive-rock received in the 1980s and 1990s and how it could be considered underground. We talked.

Peter is an easy interview. Ask a question and he will talk. He has stories to tell. Stories from his days with Surrender Dorothy and the major label deal; stories of his singer/songwriter solo album; stories of his pm3learning the bass line to Yes’ Close To The Edge, for the first Druckfarben gig . He is animated, and energetic. He has strong opinions on music, and the music industry. He is a musician, but foremost, he is a music fan. His interests cross all genres. If it is good, Peter appreciates and enjoys it.

We discussed The Beatles influence on progressive-rock, and queried whether Sgt. Pepper could have been the 1st progressive-rock album. As Peter sees it, progressive-rock is not so much a genre of music, pm5but an attitude. An attitude that encourages experimentation. An attitude to do something that is not usually done. An attitude that impacts not only the song writing, but the instrumentation and arrangements as well.

We delved into bass players, and I asked about his favorite. In true Peter Murray style, he couldn’t or wouldn’t identify one. Instead, names started swirling around the table: Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Mark King, Robbie Shakespeare, Stanley Clarke, to name a few. Paul McCartney came up, and it was agreed that he is perhaps the most under rated bassist around. It was here that I saw the true passion for music in this man. He told a story of how, as a writer for Bass Player magazine, he traveled to England to interview Colin Moulding and Mark King. With his face ‘lit up’, he spoke of spending an afternoon at Moulding’s farm house, drinking tea, and listening to the as yet unreleased ‘Apple Venus’.  Very cool.

pm6We talked about Druckfarben, which grew out of  Classic Album’s Live. All of the band members have a love for progressive-rock. They enjoy playing and performing. Peter looks like a man who is having the time of his life. Bassist, song writer, teacher, author,  producer. This is an accomplished man, a Renaissance man, who shows no signs of slowing down.  Despite his impressive resume, there was no name dropping. An incredibly talented guy, who is kind, humble, and grateful.  Peter Murray is simply, a nice guy. A nice guy who just loves music. Hard not to like him.

 

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FRACTAL REVERB-How To Overcome The Ego Mind

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

fractalreverb2Fractal Reverb, from Lodi, Italy released their EP ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘ in May, 2014. It includes 4 studio tracks, 3 demos, 1 live rehearsal track, and 1 unplugged song. I have no idea where the band got its name from, but its cool as anything. So is the music.

The 1st track on the album, “Spleen“, has a great base line, cool changes, nice harmonies, and some dynamite drumming. “Dystonic Wave”  has amazing vocals that appear to be double tracked, a fraxtalreverb3wonderful melody, and a way cool bass solo. The changes in tempo and musical theme make “20th January 2013”  an exceptional track. The bass line rocks, and the guitar, wonderfully melodic. The guitar riff and solo carry the melody, until vocals begin almost 4 minutes in. “Natural Sounds” has a great melody, with a wonderful riff, and a powerful rhythm section highlighted by a great bass run. There are several movements that seem to blend effortlessly, and the ending is dynamite. The melody and great vocals of “Blindfolded“, the acoustic track, are superb.  “Hidden Place“, the live rehearsal track, has great off beat drumming and great effects. There are changes in tempo and time signature that remind me of early Yes. Very cool.

 

 

 

Fractal Reverb delivers an exceptional collection of music. The songs range from 6-8 minutes long, and incorporate several musical themes. There is a Rush feel going on here, but there are elements of Yes, and King Crimson as well. This band has the ability to fractal reverb1incorporate several movements into 1 song with flawless transitions, and bring it back every time. As if playing with our emotions, they take us on a long, strange journey, and then bring us back home again. The lyrics touch on issues of ethics and humanity, and the instrumentation, while simple, is surprisingly full and complete. It is progressive-rock with an edge. Sort of progressive-grunge. Check it out. Listen, and then listen again. A wonderfully exciting album.

You can listen and download here: http://fractalreverb.bandcamp.com/album/how-to-overcome-the-ego-mind-ep

 

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