Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Through Fire – ‘Breathe’

Embodying the best of hard rock, Through Fire’s “Breathe” simply overpowers the senses. Riffs rage on through the album with every song build off the last. Vocals rise above the din with a commanding presence. Anchoring the colossal sound is the massive percussion which propels the whole sound forward. Layer upon layer of sound intermingles…

Monsta Kodi – ‘Concrete Jungle’

Monsta Kodi says “I ain’t a rapper, I’m a Monsta!!!”. Hence the namesake but the music style is indeed rap, hip hop, even some reggae mixed in there. Which is what you get after listening to his new song turned single “Concrete Jungle”. It’s a song that mixes around the genres mentioned, as well as…

Kevin Carroll

Kevin Carroll embodies the DIY ethic informing the work of many indie artists today. Working in his soundproofed living room alongside his friend Joey Conception, Carroll produced his debut effort The New You and the three songs off this release highlighted on SoundCloud and Reverbnation are mightily representative of what the full work offers listeners.…

Stuart Hollinger – ‘Endangered Species’

Performed with true passion is the pop perfection of Stuart Hollinger’s “Endangered Species”. Within this album Stuart Hollinger taps into a joyful 80s sound with guitars that glisten and glow. Inviting rhythms add to the overall spirit of the songs as they drive the songs forward with great determination. Akin to pop classic revivalists like…

Ivan Beecroft – ‘Believe’

Sung with great passionate is Ivan Beecroft’s pop perfection of “Believe”. Rather stylishly the song glides forward with great optimism even despite the obstacles that the world often places in front of people. Arrangements have a punchy amount of percussion behind them as everything simply comes together in a marvelous display of color. Melodies ties…

Leah Capelle – ‘Joshua’

Sometimes a little goes a long way. The latest release from Chicago based singer/songwriter Leah Capelle is a three song EP entitled Joshua. Despite the apparent brevity of such a collection, Capelle encompasses vast musically imaginative worlds in this trio of songs thanks to two crucial factors above all others – the songwriting talent involved…

I Am the Polish Army – ‘My Old Man’

It has taken, in essence, ten years to make this release reality. Emma DeCorsey first conceived of her band, I Am the Polish Army, during her years as a college student and worked hard over the intervening years at hammering out a clear, comprehensive vision for the band’s presentation and sound. Her recent acquaintance with…

Susan Calloway – ‘Time For This’

Singer/songwriter Susan Calloway’s latest single “Time For This” continues the upward trajectory of a career that has seen her find widespread success in some of the least traditional ways imaginable and reflect the changing face of the music industry. Her hit song for the Final Fantasy video game franchise, “Answers”, staked her claim as one…

James Raftery – ‘Everything’

The title track from James Raftery’s upcoming album will set some ears on fire. Few composers and performers use their typical array of instruments with the imagination you hear on a James Raftery recording and the song has simmering sonic energy that’s impossible to deny. Stylishness plays a big role in Raftery’s presentation as well…

Roger Jaeger – “Elevator”

Hope and optimism define the jubilant pop perfection of Roger Jaeger’s “Elevator”. Tasteful arrangements work wonders building the piece up into a wonderful energetic rhythm. Attention to detail means that the percussion has the right punch, the piano the right level of passion, and the glistening keyboards referencing a classic 70s rock sound. By far…

Sarantos – “Why Ask Why”

“Why Ask Why” shows Sarantos contemplating the way life unfolds. Strong vocals rest at the very heart of the sound with everything else revolving around them. Lyrically the song focuses on living to the absolute fullest, both as an individual and as a member of the world at large. Throughout the song, a philosophy begins…

Michael Van and The Movers – ‘A Little More Country’

Michael Van and the Movers do soulful country great justice on the beautiful “A Little More Country”. With thoughtful lyricism that attests to the hard times life brings, the songs show off Michael Van and the Movers ample storytelling abilities. Nicely framing these slices of life are the laid-back, almost dreamy arrangements that at times…

Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV Show – Season 6 Episode 3

Bongo Boy TV Season 6 Ep3NAT – SuperPower premiered on Channel 29 in Portland, OR. on 2.17.17 and follows it heavy TV rotation on all 66+ Terrestrial TV Channels through March. A spacious classic rock ballad emerges on Anana Kaye’s “Carolina”. Vocals lead the song forward featuring a poetic delivery. Nicely framing this is a…

A Little Bit More – ‘A Little Bit More’

Strong and true, A Little Bit More’s self-titled album represents the best of classic country and Americana. Everything simply works from the physicality of the drums to the emotionally charged guitar work that graces the sound. By far the soulful comes from the earnest vocals that tie the entire sound together. Lyrics have a determined…

Saint Mars – ‘Ocean Blues EP’

Saint Mars delves into a dark beauty on the timeless “Ocean Blues EP”. Rather stylish, the way the songs unfurl gives them a truly majestic quality. Everything works together perfectly creating a vast tapestry of sound. Poetic lyrics are peppered throughout the collection adding to the emotional heft. A great variety of genres are touched…

Tripp Denom – ‘Eyes Wide’

Tripp Demon, could be a namesake for about anybody, whether it’d be a band or an artist. In this case, it’ goes to an artist, within the rap, hip hop, category. Tripp Denom or his alter ego Uncle TD is what he likes to be called, either one works. His artistic talents would include rapping,…

The Pete V Project – ‘Stop Pushing Love Away’

The Pete V Project, is just that, a project done by singer and song writer Marie Virginie Pierre, except instead of using her namesake, she has gone with the decision of The Pete V Project. Why that name for said project, who knows, how does the music play out? Well with her brand new song…

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers – ‘Made to Move’

The sixth release from Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Made to Move, continues this band’s extraordinary run as purveyors of modern Americana as well as imaginative interpreters of traditional material. If this music form is destined to continue living, as myself and many others hope, then artistic units like Jones and The Night Drivers…

Sweetalk – ‘Mutiny’

The second release from Green Bay based, Wisconsin three piece Sweetalk, Mutiny, is five track EP building well on the success of the band’s 2015 debut full length Picturesque. Vocalist/guitarist Jamie Koebe, bassist Travis Grahn, and drummer Brian Boelter have discovered a spark in their songwriting and performance interplay promising to carry them higher than…

Jonathan Di Renzo – ‘Getting Nowhere’

Neatly tying together folk, hard rock, country, with a psychedelic pop sheen is Jonathan Di Renzo’s confident “Getting Nowhere”. Highly articulate lyrics guide the way resulting in a series of songs that come together to create a great sprawling narrative. Jonathan Di Renzo’s vocals are pristine showing off a wide range from commanding to comforting.…

Roadcase Royale – ‘Get Loud’

Whenever a band uses the word “loud” in their song titles, let alone lyrical context, it could go both ways, be a good track, or be a bad track. In the case of rock and r&b act, Roadcase Royale, they have a little track they like to call “Get Loud”. This debut song turned single,…

Jonathan Cavier – ‘Comes a Moment’

Pop music is always the center of attention, out of all the music genres, available. But why is this, well perhaps it’s basic it has more relatable topics, or even because it has a better tone or groove, that people adjust to, more so than other genres. Or maybe it is just one of those…

Amilia K Spicer – ‘Fill Me Up’

Several genres under one artist’s namesake, can be a tricky one, for the likes of Amilia K Spicer and her song “Fill Me Up” off her upcoming album ‘Wow and Flutter”. This track takes the genres of soul, folk, rock, country, and some Americana thrown in for good measure, you get quite the combination. “Fill…

Debbie Anthony – ‘All Over Again’

Debbie Anthony’s “All Over Again” does country just right. Serving as the heart and soul of the sound are Debbie Anthony’s powerful vocals from which all else emanates. Lyrically the songs focus on relationships and all the complications they bring. By choosing such an approach the songs possess true character and show off Debbie Anthony’s…

John Hickman – ‘Hello Hello’

Delivered with true panache is the celebratory spirit of John Hickman’s “Hello Hello”. Giddy to its very core the lyricism is profound, focusing on the idea of true affection for the world. Led by exquisite piano work and passionate vocals, the song glides by in a blissful rush. Rhythms add to the overall sense of…

Mason – ‘Midnight Road’

Arizona based blues rockers Mason have released a debut album entitled Midnight Road capable of reminding you why this style of music has enjoyed such enduring popularity. The ten song collection is steered by the vocals and memorable guitar of bandleader Jacob Acosta, a prolific multi-instrumentalist who’s earned quite a reputation for himself in indie…

The Flashpot Moments – ‘s/t’

The self-titled recording debut for The Flashpot Moments represents a chance for singer/songwriter and drummer Tim Cawley to promote his musical talents in a much more complete way on a bigger stage than ever before. The “band” for the album’s eleven songs isn’t a cohesive unit in the typical meaning of the word as Cawley…

DocFell & co. – ‘Dust Bowl Heart’

DocFell & co. offer the true grit and soul of the blues with “Dust Bowl Heart”. Passionately played their attention to detail is admirable. The arrangements are truly raw with the right sort of instrumentation: from the western twang of the guitar to the careful fiddle work, the entire album simply drives forward with such…

Howard Simon – ‘Visitors’

Sung with a true sense of earnestness is Howard Simon’s intimate folk offerings on “Visitors”. Possessing a great knack for storytelling the songs radiate with warmth. The delivery is all-engrossing for Howard Simon’s articulate engaging lyricism leads the sound forward. Arrangements are kept to the utmost essentials. His spry guitar playing alongside the rather mellow…

Jeremy Poland & Lantz Dale – ‘Timeless Soul’

The success of Jeremy Poland’s first album Southbound Heart didn’t leave him feeling hidebound to pursue the same mold on his follow-up. Timeless Soul finds him teaming with Lantz Dale for a rousing sophomore success. Dale, Poland’s producer on the debut Southbound Heart, brings a distinctly different personal background and musical pedigree to the project…

Natalise + the Sunset Run – ‘Glimpses of the Sun EP’

Delivered with true tenderness, Natalise + the Sunset Run is a powerful potent piece of chamber pop. Extraordinarily tasteful, the songs are imbued with a truly sunlit presence. Melodies glimmer in the softened atmosphere. Lyrics lead the way forward with the vocals resting at the very heart of the collection. Pieces play off each other…

Carmen Lundy – ‘Code Noir’

The latest release from Miami born, Los Angeles based jazz vocalist/songwriter Carmen Lundy, Code Noir, continues her recent spate of top notch collections with, arguably, her most complete work to date. Lundy’s experience as an actress on Broadway stages and film further enhances her interpretative talents in the way she’s able to so clearly embody…

Jet Black Pearl – ‘Flop’ EP

With a childlike sense of wonder is the fantastic surrealism of Jet Black Pearl’s “Flop”. Playful arrangements adorn the tender tracks. Over the course of the collection the pieces appear to nearly drift into the air for they are so light. Layer upon layer are intermingled in such deft ways. Attention to detail means that…

Kanisha K – ‘Bet On Me’

Kanisha K’s chart success thus far is an affirmation that this unique talented singer has a skill set that cuts across multiple genres. She has unerring instincts for making pop songs work, but there’s also a deep bluesy feel in the way she handles this particular track that elevates the song as a whole. “Bet…

The Spider Accomplice – ‘Los Angeles: The Abduction’

Los Angeles has often been referred to as a city of transplants and The Spider Accomplice certainly fits that term. The band’s three members are hail from elsewhere and discovered each other after relocating to the sunny climes of California in hopes of finding more opportunities in the music business. They have an instantly audible…

Brooke Moriber – ‘Up All Night’

Brooke Moriber is, virtually, a Renaissance woman. There simply aren’t as many all-around performers still on the scene, regardless of gender, who cover as many bases. Moriber’s music career comfortably sits alongside her critically praised career as an actress with numerous Broadway, film, and television credits filling out her CV. She’s a true force in…

Gina Roode – “Half-A-Hallelujah”

Gina Roode sings a song of triumph and celebration on the jubilant “Half-A-Hallelujah”. Carried by her strong powerful voice the piece is pure pop perfection. The attention to detail is profound for Gina Roode lets the multiple layers of sound interact with the greatest of ease. Stylistically Gina Roode covers a wide range from folk…

Kirbie – ‘Human Single’

The first single from Washington DC area singer/songwriter Kirbie’s new album, Melon Soup, is entitled “Human” and gives listener an excellent taste of what they can expect from this upcoming release. Her self-titled 2010 release presented her as a compelling talent with her own idiosyncratic voice quite unlike any other working today, but “Human” shows…

The Ricky Fitts – ‘The Great Beyond’

The Ricky Fitts deliver a classic cool with the pop perfection of “The Great Beyond”. Fitting into a fine 80s revivalist tradition a la Neon Indian and M83, their songs are full of life. Stylistically the Ricky Fitts incorporate a wide variety of influences, from Prince’s funk glam to the Weeknd’s downright infectious dance-focused grooves.…