REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Farewell, Manchester, ‘Found’

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July 25, 2014
Farewell, Manchester, ‘Found’

Perfect pop in the style of Owl City and the Killers right here from Farewell, Manchester. Opening with title track ‘Found’, the sound of Farewell, Manchester might not be the most original but it is delivered in a way that comes across as caring about the place it comes from. Making use of the...
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Stone Diamond, We Stole the Stars from the Black Night

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July 25, 2014
Stone Diamond, We Stole the Stars from the Black Night

The clarity of this Stone Diamond is spot on with one jamtastic, brilliant cut!  Stone Diamond is a rock band that has a lot of history together.  Starting as a garage band some many years ago plus dealing with a breakup at some point in the past, Stone Diamond is moving forward with no...
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Mini Diaz, Invisible Fences

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July 24, 2014
Mini Diaz, Invisible Fences

Taking cues from Chrissie Hynde and Zero 7, Mini Diaz delivers eclectic pop filled with passion and heart. Let’s face it, if music doesn’t make you feel something then it rarely seems worth giving it the time. Thankfully, Mini Diaz creates exactly the kind of music that is impossible to listen to without being...
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Blue Light Bandits, The BLB Demo

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July 24, 2014
Blue Light Bandits, The BLB Demo

Classic bluesy soul. That’s the dish of the day from the Blue Light Bandits, with a generous side order of funk. Blue Light Bandit’s music is smooth and stylish, shown firstly with ‘Sarah’, a smoochy love number littered with all the funk-soul elements you would expect. As the track progresses, it becomes clear that...
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Rick Shaffer, Misadventure

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July 23, 2014
Rick Shaffer, Misadventure

I had the pleasure of reviewing Rick Shaffer’s second solo album titled ‘Hidden Charms’ (http://skopemag.com/2011/05/25/rick-shaffer-hidden-charms) back in 2011 for Skope and I knew then that Rick had a special quality about him.  His latest release and now 5th solo effort, ‘Misadventure’, proves that Shaffer’s ‘Hidden Charms’ are revealed once and for all by way...
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Xombie, Capital X

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July 22, 2014
Xombie, Capital X

With some brutal beats and out there vocal stylings, Xombie’s latest album Capital X will shake the dust from your weary bones. Stream the full album here: https://soundcloud.com/xombienyc/sets/capital-x/s-VNfUp Starting strong, ‘Velocarapper’ sets out Xombie’s stall with clarity and focus, laying down some aggressive hip hop vocals with some real nu metal leanings. The fusion...
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Matt Townsend And The Wonder Of The World

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July 22, 2014
Matt Townsend And The Wonder Of The World

Matt Townsend’s curious blend of  folk rock leans in many ways towards Neutral Milk Hotel and Apples In Stereo, immediately made clear on opening track ‘Seventh Story’. Listen: http://matttownsendmusic.bandcamp.com/ The folksy americana makes good use of lap steel and emotive, wailing vocals and form an undulating rhythm. ‘Carry On’ continues in the same vein,...
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Sean Wagner And The Ne’er Do Wells EP

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July 21, 2014
Sean Wagner And The Ne’er Do Wells EP

Blasting into the soundscapes with trumpets blazing, Sean Wagner And The Ne’er Do Wells blend Irish folk, americana and marching band tunes to complete abandon. After seeing Monsters University it irritated me that the best tune on the entire soundtrack wasn’t featured on the main OST. It was ‘Gospel’ by the Marchforth Marching Band,...
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Tanya Marie Harris, Second Hand Dreams

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July 21, 2014
Tanya Marie Harris, Second Hand Dreams

Citing inspiration from Patsy Cline to Carrie Underwood, Canadian and Nashville country pop rock singer Tanya Marie Harris is destined to inspire future generations of country music lovers with her new single “Second Hand Dreams”. Something that really stood out to me are the lyrics, her story is about her father that sacrificed his...
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D.Z tha DoK, A Souljah’s Ambition

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July 19, 2014
D.Z tha DoK, A Souljah’s Ambition

D.Z tha DoK’s latest mixtape lays down tight beats and confident rhymes, with a narrative approach and a sense of direction all the way. http://www.datpiff.com/DZ-tha-DoK-A-Souljahs-Ambition-mixtape.628239.html Opening with ‘Combative Soul’, the military imagery is immediately present, with a beat that creates the sense of marching onwards to fight a noble battle. Lyrically the track calls...
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Larusso, Life In Static

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July 17, 2014
Larusso, Life In Static

Larusso aren’t afraid to hide their influences. Rather, they are the kind of band that shows through their music that they are proud to be a part of the rich legacy of modern hardcore. Larusso-pic-4-750x500Let’s get the comparisons out of the way; Anberlin, Brand New, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday (spot the reference in the...
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Alex Cook, The Swing Set

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1
July 17, 2014
Alex Cook, The Swing Set

Who can forget the greatest party of all time? Fortunately I am old enough to remember some of it.  Trust me when I say being in Las Vegas in the 60’s and late 70’s was the place to be as artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett dominated the strip and airwaves....
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Xander Demos, Guitarcadia

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July 16, 2014
Xander Demos, Guitarcadia

The opening track is titled “Right Angles.” You can tell right form jump not knowing anything about this act that it is definitely metal. This gives you an old school metal feel almost and that is a good thing to me. The third track, “Under A Darkened Sky,” jas some really strong and good...
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Amy Rose, Country Crazy

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July 16, 2014
Amy Rose, Country Crazy

The opening track ” Country Crazy” starts off with a great high energy. There are good instrumentals, Amy Rose’s voice adds to the song very nicely. I like the country/pop sound she has! At first I was really into track two, “I Just Want You To Know.” Then, as I listened more and more...
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Mike Barnett, Everyone Gets to Dream

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July 16, 2014
Mike Barnett, Everyone Gets to Dream

Midwest artist Mike Barnett, great hooks and melodies to get you thru your day. Old 97′s producer Salim Nourallah produced and played a great bass on the tracks. Dallas super players contributed. Do you miss George Harrison? Me too. One of the greatest things a music-lover can experiences is the discovery of a new...
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Rozii Chaos, The Beginning Of The End

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July 16, 2014
Rozii Chaos, The Beginning Of The End

The Beginning Of The End is the latest single by British rock-n-roller Rozii Chaos and it’s got a heck of back story. Apparently Rozii and her band were nearly killed by a meteor as they were driving back from a performance in London, and this lifechanging experience inspired Rozii to write this monster hard...
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Jerra Blues, “Soul Inspirer”

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July 15, 2014
Jerra Blues, “Soul Inspirer”

Transformed from a b-girl to an MC on one of the modest hip-hop labels in Russia in 2004, recording a handful of singles as both a rapper and singer, and also winning a few festival contests. “Hip-hop quickly became my religion and the love of my life” Jerrra. Some of my biggest musicial inspirations...
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Jude Gwynaire, Singing Rock Lake

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July 14, 2014
Jude Gwynaire, Singing Rock Lake

Opening with ‘Ocean City Groove’, Singing Rock Lake establishes itself as an album filled with a range of influences. We could reel off names like Boards Of Canada, Death In Vegas, Royksopp, and the more obscure sounds of Finland’s Paavoharju. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/judegwynaire54 ‘Girls Of Malibu Canyon’ has a dark, energetic and at times pummeling groove...
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A Hundred Years, Cosmic Imbalance

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July 14, 2014
A Hundred Years, Cosmic Imbalance

A Hundred Years is a trio of avowed “creepy dirtbags” from Edmonton. Purveying a genre known as “psychedelic badlands rock,” this group of malnourished, long-haired misfits has – since its inception in early 2012 – acquired a reputation for maniacally intense live shows, be they underground or otherwise. As front man Jeremiah Simmons remarks,...
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Deborah Henriksson, Traces

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July 11, 2014
Deborah Henriksson, Traces

Deborah Henriksson’s voice perfectly suits her celtic, ethereal music. Written with her longtime producer Mats Nyman, Traces is a delightful collection of classic, yet modern celtic folk. On ‘Fly’ things sound almost like the symphonic rock of Within Temptation, with slightly gothic hints, but the strongly celtic tones are what carry the song along,...
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Marshall Dane, One of These Days

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July 10, 2014
Marshall Dane, One of These Days

How would one describe Marshall Dane? Dane’s voice cuts to the heart of any story, taking you down back roads, through broken lonely hearts, and into hopeful, open skies.    Launched in May 2013, in time for last year’s CMAO Awards – for which he was nominated in several categories including Male Artist and Album...
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Stevie Bucks, “Soul Projects” Mixtape

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July 9, 2014
Stevie Bucks, “Soul Projects” Mixtape

With a distinctive style that sits somewhere between Kanye and a kind of caribbean influenced dub, Stevie Bucks shows of his skills as an emcee with his latest mixtape, Soul Projects. Stream the mixtape at Datpiff: http://www.datpiff.com/Stevie-Bucks-Soul-Projects-mixtape.501518.html   From its opening track, the flow is relentless like a steady stream of bullets, and blending...
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Kenny Fame, Another Man’s Woman

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July 9, 2014
Kenny Fame, Another Man’s Woman

“A hoe down between Woody from Toy Story and Teenage Fanclub, while they dance around a purple campfire.” Audio – http://www.reverbnation.com/KennyFameMusic/song/21104574-another-mans-woman The archetypical renaissance man, Kenny Fame returns with another track that takes his sound into a totally new direction. This time, Kenny Fame has put his hand to country and blues. Tonally rich,...
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The Lost Poets, Insubordia

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July 9, 2014
The Lost Poets, Insubordia

The five tracks that make up The Lost Poets’ Insubordia form a dark, brooding record that draws on a wide range of influences. The EP can be streamed in full at Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lostpoets/sets/the-lost-poets-insubordia Opening with ‘Ode To K’, there are hints of Alter Bridge and even Slipknot, with rich vocals that sustain and break...
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Chris Andres, Authentic Outlaw Country

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July 8, 2014
Chris Andres, Authentic Outlaw Country

Americana artists often offer listeners something that is very genuine and can be awe-inspiring. British Columbia based singer / songwriter Chris Andres fits well into this category with his latest release entitled fittingly enough Authentic Outlaw Country. In his own words: The term “Outlaw” gets thrown around a lot in the music biz, but...
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Mangoseed, Basquiat

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July 8, 2014
Mangoseed, Basquiat

Mangoseed’s debut album is a funk infused slice of quirky rock. Opening with ‘Lioness’, an energetic track which nods to Rage Against The Machine in terms of funk/rock fusion, while ‘Careful’ lays on the 2-step pretty thick at points, with a cracking snare that you’ll just have to hear yourself to believe it.  ...
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Red Undead

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July 8, 2014
Red Undead

Red Undead is an Alternative Rock band from Mission Viejo, CA. . Influences: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Pixies. The band enjoys pizza, Kirin Ichiban, and pirate tales. Mary Yanashima – vocals, Daniel Jun – drums, Thomas Monroe – guitar, Blake Martin -bass. An original blender of sound mixing bands like White...
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Lovesick Saints, Dia De Los Muertos

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July 8, 2014
Lovesick Saints, Dia De Los Muertos

Blasting out ballsy punk rock tinged with hints of dirty southern blues, Lovesick Saints’ Dia De Los Muertos EP is a hook-laden set of punchy tunes. Opening with ‘One Foot In The Grave’, Lovesick Saint’ style is immediately made clear, with their growling guitars and Green Day style vocals. The guitar work even has...
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Shudder, Inside My Head

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July 2, 2014
Shudder, Inside My Head

Hailing from the city of Detroit in the US, the rock world brings you “shudder”. Formed in 2003, this 5 piece has had quite an adventure from their early roots to present. However today they are here to show the world they mean business! Combining the sounds of rock and modern melodic metal, you...
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John Lynam, WAR

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July 2, 2014
John Lynam, WAR

Gritty, emotive on-the-road country is the dish of the day with John Lynam’s EP WAR. Opening with ‘Daisey’, we’re immediately met with a driving, rolling piece of rock and roll. The guitars are crunchy, the organs swirl in and out, and the lyrics are romantic. Add to that the uplifting chords of the chorus,...
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Aluatta, Foolish Game (2014)

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July 2, 2014
Aluatta, Foolish Game (2014)

  This CD “Foolish Game” by Italy’s own Aluatta is sure to one day be remembered as one of the classic good timing Americana-Alt Rock CD’s of recent time – and they’re not even from the states. It’s pure rocking Americana magic the way it used to be, full of cautionary tales, and a...
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Canary Burton, Jazz Bird

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July 1, 2014
Canary Burton, Jazz Bird

Canary Burton brings us a jazz compilation called, Jazz Bird. She is a lover of music and is a composer that writes for no other reason except for the love of the game. Some people exude their talents and Burton is one of those who creates pure heart felt music from the deepest depths...
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The 12:45 Music Project – (Volume I)

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July 1, 2014
The 12:45 Music Project – (Volume I)

In our modern age of Rap synths and autotune it can be difficult to find the top seeds among the harvest. What makes masters like Snoop Dog, Nelly, Eminem so sought after? Sure they sound good, they look good, the feel good. But above that they got something else. They got what many in...
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Jared Wesley, The Reinvention of ‘The Cool’ 2

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June 30, 2014
Jared Wesley, The Reinvention of ‘The Cool’ 2

With its tongue-in-cheek reference to Miles Davis’ seminal Birth Of The Cool, Jared Wesley’s mixtape The Reinvention Of ‘The Cool’ stands in an entirely arena with his old school hiphop. With the intro out of the way, ‘Happy Belated’ immediately establishes Jared Wesley’s style as vintage sounding, with a loose flow and relentless rhymes....
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Sulu Babylon, Colour

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June 30, 2014
Sulu Babylon, Colour

British indie rockers Sulu Babylon are here with their EP Colour. It’s tinged with all the british indie rock tones we’ve come to expect, and yet touched with a distinctly American influence. Soundcloud EP streaming: https://soundcloud.com/sulu-babylon/sets/sulu-babylon-colour-ep Opening with ‘See It In Colour’, there’s an immediately fascinating blend of emo and britpop, the vocals shifting...
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Frankly Speaking EP

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June 27, 2014
Frankly Speaking EP

Frankly Speaking is the brainchild of Jordon Schneider, a Cincinnati native who, upon taking a music degree, headed to Los Angeles, where he: recorded two albums, appeared on CD compilations with such acts as Lifehouse, and earned a nomination at the 2007 L.A. Music Awards. Having since returned to his hometown, he has performed...
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Liz Kennedy hits a “Speed Bump”

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June 26, 2014
Liz Kennedy hits a “Speed Bump”

The Review: Speed Bump by Liz Kennedy was released 2013. A highly anticipated  release from a singer songwriter who hails from the Bay area featuring all original heartfelt songs on acoustic guitar and piano, accompanied by amazing musicians on electric and acoustic guitar, piano, organ and back-up vocals. I call this style of music...
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When Summer’s Gone, Knockout Mechanism

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June 24, 2014
When Summer’s Gone, Knockout Mechanism

Exploding with the feisty punk rock of ‘After All’, When Summer’s Gone’s Knockout Mechanism immediately establishes itself as big, bold, and full on rockin’. Stream the full album at Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/when-summers-gone/sets/knockout-mechanism As an album opener, it’s a good way of getting your sound across effectively, with hints of Nirvana on the vocal and touches...
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EarthandtheNextSociety, On the path to the 100th Monkey

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June 24, 2014
EarthandtheNextSociety, On the path to the 100th Monkey

In anticipation of their upcoming release, The 100th Monkey, Earth And The Next Society reveal four tracks to give a taste of what is coming up. Soaked in classic rock swagger, these tracks hark back to a time when prog rock reigned, while also acknowledging the clean aesthetics of modern music. https://soundcloud.com/earthandthenextsociety/sets/on-the-path-to-the-100th ‘Cheap Hustle’...
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Frostbite, Everything I Crave

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June 24, 2014
Frostbite, Everything I Crave

Frostbite is a one man rock band and constantly evolving portfolio of an emerging Atlanta based producer, experienced performer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter named Chris Compton. Chris Compton writes, performs, produces and releases all Frostbite material under his own dark moniker. Drawing  influences by suspected artists such as Carnivore, A Pale Horse Named Death, Seventh...
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