REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Joey Flip & Aurora – ‘Release’

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July 1, 2015
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Joey Flip & Aurora’s “Release” is a silky smooth sound, one that effortlessly taps into the heart of the blues. Full of anguish the pieces nicely work off of each other, with the album overall coming together to create a truly fascinating narrative. Loss, longing, wistfulness, these work alongside the dreamy overall atmosphere that...
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CeeGramz – Transexual Tender – EP Review

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June 30, 2015
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Rap can be such an incredible genre of music. I’d never be the guy to say it’s all I listen to every day, but it’s certainly been a part of my life since about the age of seven years old. Combine an intense early love of hip-hop with a whole shitload of summer-school for...
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Hizreturn – ‘Deliverer’

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June 30, 2015
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“Deliverer” is a confident album full of hope. Hizreturn do a great job in including many different approaches from folk-tinged rock to indie rock and everywhere in between. Throughout it all they use their lyrical work to tie the pieces together. The songs are celebrations looking for the light of the world and living...
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Doug Cash – ‘The Acoustic Rock Onslaught’

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June 29, 2015
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Doug Cash’s “The Acoustic Rock Onslaught” is aptly named for Doug Cash manages to create a full-bodied frenzied physical sound. Whether he opts for the fast-paced blitz almost punk-like performance of “Midnight Baby 2” or the slow, low-slung funk of “Love Thicka Than Blood”, he shows an impressive range. Lyrically the songs have a...
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Glamour Assassins – “Ain’t So Young”

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June 29, 2015
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Glamour Assassins remembers the sounds of the 80s and builds upon them on “Ain’t So Young”. Among their influences are the meticulous New Order and to David Bowie’s 80s glam rock era. This means that they write the kind of songs that stick in the mind long after they’ve ended. Melodies are sweet as...
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Eric And Aaron – To Keep From Losing Our Minds – EP Review

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June 26, 2015
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Impressive songs from the song-writing duo of Eric And Aaron…I really felt like I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t expect in listening to their latest EP, To Keep From Losing Our Minds – and by the time it was over I found myself instantly reaching to repeat and hear more of their...
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Vince Lindley feat K-Trik-E – “Party Life”

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June 26, 2015
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If Greenville native Vince Lindley’s debut single is autobiographical then that must be one hell of a boring party. Party Life is a trite, tired song about nothing in particular with as much hot air as it takes to blow up Lindley’s big head. There is literally nothing redeemable about this supposed “banger”. The...
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Jelani Lateef – “Cold Days and Dark Nights”

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June 25, 2015
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Jelani Lateef’s “Cold Days and Dark Nights” is a warm, welcoming album full of carefully selected samples and impeccable delivery. With a keen ear for melody and a knack for carefully constructed stories, Jelani Lateef brings these songs feel alive. Inspiration and striving for the future help to weave the songs together giving them...
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Return for Refund “Self-Titled” EP

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June 25, 2015
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Big rock sounds echoing out of Toronto, Canada, coming from the amplifiers of Return For Refund – a three-piece rock’n’roll crew built on frantically-intense, straight-to-your-face music. Incorporating skilled musicianship, complex timing signatures and blazing-hot performances, Return For Refund is making sure you get every pennies-worth on their self-titled EP. Stream the full EP at...
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The Gypsy Lumberjacks – Giants of America

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June 24, 2015
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The new album from this Minneapolis-based six piece, Giants of America, shimmers with crisp musical textures and an airy, inviting sound full of intimacy that never overwhelms listeners. The production perfectly frames the band’s eight songs spanning across every imaginable genre line. These are deceptively modest compositions that conceal enormous ambitions behind an astonishingly...
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Empire Of Gold – Raw – EP Review

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June 23, 2015
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It’s been a strange morning here at sleepingbagstudios… I could have sworn things were going to be record setting type-awesome today as I awoke to the sunshine streaming through the windows. Shortly after, I’m back here to my online world and in massive discussions with managers and band-promoters…if it wasn’t for coffee, the amount...
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The Dan Coyle Wonder Thrills – Perfect Word. Perfect Beat.

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June 23, 2015
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New York City based singer/songwriter Dan Coyle and his Wonder Thrills project delivers listeners a vibrant and literate six song collection with their Perfect Word Perfect Beat ep. Coyle’s songwriting isn’t content with staking out long explored territory and, instead, plays uneasily at the seldom traveled border between the traditional and subversive. His subversion...
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Dylan McDonald & The Avians’ – Fueled by Dreams of the Future

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June 23, 2015
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Dylan McDonald and The Avians’ latest release “Fueled by Dreams of the Future” is an diverse rock album with a sound that is all their own. This band is reminiscent of rock legends from the 60’s and 70’s, but they bring their own fresh take. With great rhythms, unique melodies and distinctive vocals, this...
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Salome Pacific – Beautiful and Strong

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June 23, 2015
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‘Beautiful and Strong’ is a single by the Kenyan singer-songwriter, Salome Pacific, who has so far, delivered songs that are full of warm susceptibility and a gripping emotional connection, attached with the beautifully penned lyrics. She managed to conquer hearts wherever she went, with her beautiful vocals, powered by extraordinary lyrics. She has travelled...
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Lawson Garrett – “Language Of Love + Culture Of War”

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June 23, 2015
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Lawson Garrett’s work explores the roots of American rock. Vocals are honest, pure, and representative of years of hard work. The arrangements are downright meticulous and the lyrics show off a level of craftsmanship that is hard to do right. Yet Lawson Garrett does it all right. “Social Distortion (Facebook Parody Song)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcmCGazOe8Y “Language...
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NEAL SCHON – Vortex

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June 23, 2015
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The veteran guitar slinger best known from his lengthy work with Journey, has also been involved in numerous side projects including a recent one working with Carlos Santana. This instrumental release with Neal on guitar and bass also features Jan Hammer and Igor Len on keyboards, and Steve Smith on percussion. Being a double-album,...
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Ajay Mathur – “9 to 3″

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June 23, 2015
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Ajay Mathur’s “9 to 3” follows the tradition of classic rock while incorporating elements of modern life. This includes anxiety, the interesting left turns (a surf rock track called “Surfing Girl” that explores surfing the internet instead of actual surfing), and even a few delightfully smooth jazz-rock hybrids that recall Steely Dan at the...
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SONNY LANDRETH – ‘BOUND BY THE BLUES’

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June 22, 2015
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The veteran blues slide-player started out playing trumpet, and being influenced by the jazz greats. Sonny has played and collaborated with many of the blues heavy hitters like John Mayall and John Hiatt. He also toured with Jimmy Buffet Coral Reefer Band as well as being a regular at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festivals. Sonny...
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Wonky Tonk – ‘Stuff We Leave Behind’

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June 22, 2015
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Jasmine Poole sings songs that celebrate togetherness. On “Stuff We Leave Behind” Jasmine Poole’s songs express optimism as they observe the large and small events of live, from love to a party to moving forward. Throughout the album Jasmine Poole effortlessly combines elements of pop, country, folk, and even a little acappella. By exploring...
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Mercury & The Architects – Mercury & The Architects – EP Review

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June 22, 2015
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We’re beginning to develop a semi-regular cast of characters here at the pages of sleepingbagstudios…anyone else noticing that? Mercury & The Architects first appeared on our pages with the lead single from their soon-to-be-released self-titled EP called “Philosophy Of Hope” which appears in the middle of their full set of five. With confident &...
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Magnificent Birds of Prey

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June 19, 2015
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This 4 member rock band Magnificent Birds of Prey recently released their latest 11 song CD entitled Kaleidoscope in 2015. From the first notes of “Sticks and Stones” trough to the final winding twists and turns of “lullaby” this release fires on all cylinders. In contrast a band like Magnificent Birds of Prey deliver...
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Beneath Potomac Skies: A Rustic Performance

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June 17, 2015
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Ken Francis Wenzel, a singer/songwriter/saxophonist, based out of Washington, DC, has a brand new album for release, which is titled, ‘…Beneath Potomac Skies.’ Ken, who happens to hail from Champaign, Illinois, is an expert saxophone player, which he studied at the University of Illinois before graduating from UNLV in Las Vegas, NV with a...
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TIM HOULIHAN – ‘Anthems’

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June 17, 2015
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Tim Houlihan sings like someone who has seen things. Often on hearing young singer-songwriters in their late teens or early twenties, critics might praise them for the imagery of their lyrics or the gritty delivery of their vocals. Houlihan skips over grittiness in favour of a pure, smooth voice. He skips over detailed imagery...
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Autopilot – ‘Desert Dreams’

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June 17, 2015
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You can tell a lot about a band by taking a look at the way they craft their sound. Autopilot, a Canadian indie rock group, has some intriguing methods that hooked me immediately. Laying of guitar effects, dynamic drum beats, and bow-played guitar are all present on their new record, ‘Desert Dreams.’ I’m compelled,...
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Jared Deck – “17 Miles”

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June 17, 2015
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Can’t help but catch the vibe on the latest song from Jared Deck. The new single, “17 Miles” is a great blend of classic-rock, Americana and a slight country-twinge all coming together perfectly for good times and much volume. In short, the song rocks…but I do kinda feel like writing more than that… In...
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Duncan Foley – “On Your Own”

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June 17, 2015
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Duncan Foley’s “On Your Own” is a comfortable reassuring album. Lyrically the songs focuses on the idea of evolution, of trying to constantly better oneself. The pieces heavily reference 70s rock, Cat Stevens’ work in particular. For like Cat Stevens, Duncan Foley lets his lyrics serve as the guide for the rest of the...
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Jodi Krangle

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June 16, 2015
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Performing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, Jodi Krangle has lent her talents on several albums including: six albums from Chris Conway, who is also featured on this debut album, three albums with Urban Tapestry, and a live album with Play it with Moxie. Jodi’s influences are classic jazz era artists such as...
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Luca Bash – Single Drops – EP Review

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June 16, 2015
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Definitely a tough one to review…I gotta give Luca Bash some real credit for challenging my ears and brain for true acceptance with this new EP. On the one hand, there’s a beautifully gifted songwriter and musician…on the other is one struggling to find the perfect tones of voice to match the music. Listening...
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PREMIERE: SEIDS – “Ticket To Heaven”

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June 16, 2015
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Ticket To Heaven recalls the halcyon days of trance pop. With neat little flourishes, SEIDS celebrates this nearly forgotten sound. Light on its feet the song has an optimism that is undeniable. Build-ups are quite satisfying as SEIDS includes small elements of funk and rock into the mix. Rather full these elements revolve around...
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Not Another Playne Jayne

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June 16, 2015
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I’m always a sucker for a crisp, crystal clear sound. If the production is there, then you’ve got my attention tenfold. Not Another Playne Jayne, hereafter NAPJ, is a CO-based Auroran rock band. Their specialty is “a somewhat dark, yet redemptive sound.” The music of NAPJ is a concatenation of a “variety of complimentary...
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Colorway – The Black Sky Sequined

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June 16, 2015
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Lou Reed never believed rock music, the great populist art form of our age, condemned to disposability. He devoted significant time in the second half of his career to writing works of extraordinary depth like New York, Magic and Loss, and Songs for Drella with the hopes these albums combined the thematic weight of...
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Five Hundredth Year – A Rose from Ashes EP

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June 15, 2015
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Five Hundredth Year goes forth with great fury on “A Rose from Ashes EP”. Confrontational, volume-centric, and passionate, Five Hundredth Year explores darker impulses. The songs highlight the contrast between the absolute cacophonous and the quieter introspective impulses. Possessing great chops, the band is completely on point knowing when to go fully into the...
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Shane Martin – Til The Wheels Fall Off

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June 15, 2015
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“Til The Wheels Fall Off” is full of heart and soul. Shane Martin’s voice leads the way with confidence and power. With each additional song comes yet another well-crafted narrative. As much a songwriter as a storyteller, his songs work together to travel across a lifetime. Best taken in as a whole, the songs...
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London has Fallen – Into the Night EP

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June 12, 2015
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With a frantic energy London has Fallen explores the dramatic on “Into the Night”. Electronic effects are used to great purpose, nicely complementing the vocals that serve as the heart and soul of the songs. Volume is a must for these are songs that work best when blasted. They let the lyrics help form...
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Patrick Ames – Mutually EP

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June 12, 2015
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Patrick Ames plays from the heart on “Mutually EP”. These are songs that possess raw power through Patrick Ames’s earnest vocals and the careful arrangements that pepper the collection. Fondness for the blues is apparent throughout the collection as Patrick Ames adds his own unique twist on the sound. “Do You Think That You...
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Headshy – La Belle Epoque – (Triple EP) The Head Chord, The Heart Chord, The Base Chord

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June 12, 2015
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Headshy’s triple feature EP is a sound straight from the heart. The sections work together to create an overall moody series. Dreamy textures are explored in full with their lyrics helping to convey a romantic sense, a sense that romance does not have to be loud. Here Headshy opt for the softer textures with...
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Brett Vogel – Never Giving Up

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June 12, 2015
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Eight months in the making is “Never Giving Up”, the newest recording from singer and songwriter Brett Vogel. I always have said that musicians should take their time when making new music; there is no need to rush the creative songwriting process. The end result is well worth the wait. That is exactly what...
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Matthew Morgan – Empathy For Inanimate Objects – EP Review

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June 11, 2015
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Oddly enough, Matthew Morgan and I have something strange in common! My brother’s name is actually Mathew Morgan as well – just one less T…how bizarre is that? So, completely due to his gentle approach and a melodic acoustic pop/folk sound, I hereby dub the new Matthew Morgan my official brother-from-another-musical-mother. Stream Empathy for...
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Sarantos – “A Mission of the Heart”

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June 10, 2015
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“A Mission of the Heart” shows Sarantos at his most vulnerable. Throughout the song Sarantos shares his innermost hopes and desires. His band proves to be particularly adept at matching the sadness and hope that permeate the piece. In particular it is his soothing voice that gives the song its true power: by emphasizing...
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Honor By August – Four Sides

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June 9, 2015
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‘Honor By August’ in their latest album, ‘Four Sides’ explores four different varieties of tracks as they offer their latest version of rock to its audience. The band is essentially a quartet with Michael Pearsall as the lead vocalist, Evan Field on the guitar, Chris Rafetto on the bass and Brian Shanley on the...
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