REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Nic Nassuet – ‘Eleutherios’

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April 28, 2015
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Nic Nassuet’s “Eleutherios” is a passionate performance. Folk with fire, these songs are short and sweet pieces of work. Everything remains economical. The elements are used to maximum effect as Nic Nassuet dives deep into a sense of honesty, the sort of thing possible through folk and punk. Indeed certain elements of it are...
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Bill McBirnie and Bruce Jones – Grain of Sand

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April 28, 2015
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Bill McBirnie is a jazz and Latin flute specialist based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has studied with renowned American flutist, Samuel Baron, distinguished Canadian flutist and composer, Robert Aitken, as well as Cuban charanga legend, Richard Egues. His latest release see his collaboration with Bruce Jones (Guitar, vocals, Percussion and Synth) This well...
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TJ Doyle’s – ‘On The Horizon’

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April 22, 2015
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On April 8, TJ Doyle and his band released their new record, ‘On The Horizon.’ This introspective, heartfelt sophomore release for Doyle is a classic rock-tinged wonderland of exciting performances and impactful lyrics. It delves into some meaningful content in quite excellent ways, making it one of the more notable independent outings of the...
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The Devine Xperience – “The Answer” – Single/Video Review

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April 22, 2015
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I, uh….hmm….I’m not really sure what I’m listening to & watching right now…yet… Even one of my favourite electro-only acts, Hot Chip, has a very hard time selling it all to me live with four guys standing around a bunch of electro pads and rooted in place…no matter what the energy of the track...
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The Malpass Brothers – Self Titled CD

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April 21, 2015
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The Malpass Brothers couldn’t care less about today’s fashions and play music they love. This album invites a number of judgments, but insincerity is not one of them. One pass through this self-titled debut will make clear the objective fact that these young men know how to present this music. Moreover, they have the...
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DogHouse Swine – Fearless

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April 21, 2015
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I have a small area in my heart that belongs to the Punk Rock sound. I often reminisce of my youth and jamming out to Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramone’s. Today’s Punk lacks some of the lifestyle elements that those original Punk bands had. It was truly a lifestyle and, for a...
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Sarantos – “A Child’s Mind” – Single Review

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April 17, 2015
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Sarantos continues to create pop-rhythms and sweet atmospheres here on his latest single “A Child’s Mind.” Some of you will remember Sarantos from past episodes of our show SBS Live This Week…the man is relentless in his music and work, it truly is to be admired. He produces quality singles at an alarming rate,...
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Lola de Hanna – “The Other Side” EP

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April 16, 2015
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Independent music-scene…you will forever astonish me with the sounds you put out of my speakers. I’ll fully admit to instantly being hooked on Lola de Hanna’s style & beat immediately as the opening song “Thin Air” burst brightly with exotic sounds and beautiful textures as The Other Side EP began to make its way...
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Anne Steele – “What’s Mine”

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April 16, 2015
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Don’t get me wrong, weather-wise it would have been a bright & sunny day here in BC no matter what was coming through our speakers today…it’s one of our rare April days without rain it would seem; but I’ll absolutely make the case for the sunshine finding its way under the roof here at...
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Craig Coltham – “Watching Over Me”

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April 16, 2015
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Craig Coltham’s confident voice reigns supreme on “Watching Over Me”. The sensitivity of the song is obvious. By mentioning specific geography the sound takes on a love for those surroundings. Instrumentally the song takes on a reflective point of view letting the sounds sprawl over everything. With a sense of earnestness Craig Coltham’s lyrics...
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The Vigilance Committee – “Exit A Hero”

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April 16, 2015
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I love The Vigilance Committee’s Exit a Hero. They waste absolutely no time getting started. Eschewing the gradual they start in the middle of things. Songs are full of energy and emotion. Lyrically the songs follow the lives of James King of William and James P. Casey, with their histories neatly emphasized by the...
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Mark A Williams

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April 15, 2015
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Mark A Williams’ song catalog features several beautiful singers with very powerful lyrics to go along with them. The catalogue features some amazing composition, showing off solo singers and creating a balance with strong sections of group chorus. The music makes you feel as though you are standing in a packed church where everyone...
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Female Bureau of Investigation

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April 15, 2015
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Female Bureau of Investigation is a project of Sasha Sumner, a singer-songwriter and saxaphone player. With a hip-hop/indie-rock/jazz-fusion sort of flair, Sasha’s latest musical endeavor would be a wonderful backdrop for a twenty-something dinner party or a contemporary art show. The overall musicianship and production quality are of a quite highly skilled quality. On...
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Sasha Leonov – ‘Skies Change’ – Album Review

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April 15, 2015
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It wasn’t that long ago that I felt I recorded my own music in a similar fashion to what Sasha Leonov is here on Skies Change. I made music that I believed in, was passionate about, I even think they were good songs! But at the end of the day I still hadn’t come...
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eM, When You Were Here

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April 14, 2015
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Vocalist/producer/songwriter, eM is back with her most personal & emotional piece of work yet! The brand new single is called “When You Were Here” that digs deep and hits a powerful chord. There’s also a “Craig London Chillout Remix” that adds an extra layer of earthy & rich textures. eM takes you on a...
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The Electro Lights Drop EP

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April 14, 2015
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The Electro lights band was formed in mid-2012 and consists of Oliver Meacham on lead vocals and guitar and Samuel Mahler on drums and background vocals. Their talent has been recognized by their peers as they have played with a variety of well-known bands and rappers. There you have it. They’re official and so...
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Chainflower – Chainflower EP

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April 14, 2015
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The Chainflower EP is packed to the brim with attitude. With a sound reminiscent of the best grunge had to offer, they possess a biting sound that sets them apart from their peers. Every element fits in perfectly: Erika Renee’s dominating voice, the powerful haze of the guitars, alongside the persistent steady rhythm makes...
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Paula Tozer – Cain’s Regret

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April 14, 2015
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Paula Tozer maps out a spiritual journey on “Cain’s Regret”. Not a note is wasted. The country-influenced pieces carry their own stories, that of regret, that of joy, and that of compassion. With three tracks this is a trinity of emotional outpouring from the heavy to whole hearted. Lyrically the songs deal with different...
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The Electro Lights Drop EP

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April 14, 2015
el000_phixr

The Electro lights band was formed in mid-2012 and consists of Oliver Meacham on lead vocals and guitar and Samuel Mahler on drums and background vocals. Their talent has been recognized by their peers as they have played with a variety of well-known bands and rappers. There you have it. They’re official and so...
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Mitchell Coleman Jr

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April 13, 2015
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Funk never seems to give it up. Since its early roots in the 60’s, whether it’s jazz-funk, G-funk, funk metal, or the more recent genre-bending To Pimp a Butterfly, funk always finds some way to fuse with whatever musical trend is dominant at the time. This usually works out for the better, since funk’s...
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Gretchen’s Wheel – “Fragile State”

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April 13, 2015
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Gretchen’s Wheel embodies casual cool. Fragile State focuses heavily on the concept of nostalgia. This is done through the lyrical content itself as well as the smooth, early 90s dream-pop sound. Such silky sounds from the polished vocals to the pitch-perfect chords. Everything on Fragile State is in the right place. At times the...
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Daxton Monaghan – “Highway One” – Single Review

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April 10, 2015
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Yuck! You mean to tell me that good ol’ Australian singer/song-writer Daxton Monaghan has been rocking in some way, shape or form since the early 1990’s yet there’s no official Facebook page? Right now there’s one of those fan-posted fact-boards where you kind of have to cross your fingers and hope that the descriptions...
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Jim Pelz – Loser Angels

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April 10, 2015
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Jim Pelz’s “Loser Angels” are pure manna from Heaven. Right from the first track the sound is so rich and dense. With these songs Jim Pelz sings the songs of the marginalized of the world. Throughout the album Jim Pelz’s voice and thoughtful lyrics take center stage. His band is phenomenally talented as well...
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Artist: Atman

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April 9, 2015
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So who is Atman anyway? Rapper Atman delivers an edgy and cool clean appeal that’s missing from a majority of rappers these days. His latest release, “Silence is Golden” recently slid across my desk. I’ve heard my share of rap this year, and most of it is trivial to say the least. Give me...
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Baïki – GLOBALIENATION

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April 8, 2015
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GLOBALIENATION displays the best of calculated angular rock. Baïki possesses a clear edge to their music. This comes across in their urgently delivered music. Embedded within their lyrics is a message of social justice, a desire to create a more equal society. Nicely matched up with their frantic energy the overall sense is one...
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Winchester Revival – Burden’s Landing – EP Review

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April 7, 2015
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Some truly excellent sounds coming from California’s innovative indie-rock band Winchester Revival. With brand-new music now out for public consumption, this five-piece band is making some major waves out there online and have already picked up several positive reviews in their favour as the buzz behind this band continues to grow surrounding the recent...
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March to May – The Water’s Edge EP

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April 7, 2015
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A uniquely blended culmination of a journey’s beginning. Haunting melodies, and classic strings with a calibrated seduction gives way to the lingering mist of the fjords, and soars us up and over the high reaching Andes. Musically, leaving the listener breathlessly entangled as a lover exhausted and content, March to May debuts their first...
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Anne Lindsay – Soloworks

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April 6, 2015
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When my father died in January 2014, I did little more than write about him for the first eight months. Poems, snatches of prose, abandoned plays, journal entries, class assignments – I parried with his death on notebook pages and computer screens trying to make some sense of how to move on with an...
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bitter’s kiss “Self-Titled”

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April 6, 2015
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Bitter’s Kiss is an album of delicate pop songs. These are piece that are full of emotion. Lovelorn, hopeful, carefully arranged, Bitter’s Kiss is the kind of album that gently introduces these elements into the overall mix. Moody the album feels like the perfect fit for a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Playful at times the...
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Arstidir – ‘Hvel’

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April 3, 2015
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Arstidir’s “Hvel” possesses a glacial grace. Their Icelandic origins might have something to do with this: the songs display true patience. By letting these songs spool out with a sense of majesty, their work at times is highly reminiscent of Beck’s “Sea Change”. Everything works together perfectly. Displaying great taste throughout the album Arstidir...
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Kathy Muir – Book Cover Judge

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April 3, 2015
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Who doesn’t like poppy singer-songwriter music? I’d bet all hands go up in the air. I mean, while bluesy singer-songwriter, which by the way kind of emerges in the late 60’s and 70’s with the arrival of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Elton John and Billy Joel, represented a close and personal artistic snapshot from...
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Ryal – “Lonely Love”

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April 2, 2015
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Some might say the best singers are born. They are letting their voice go from early in life in choirs, music classes, and around the home as a prelude to future careers. Ryal, onetime singer for Strip Darling, is one of those singers. Raised in Colorado and the San Diego area, Ryal participated in...
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DeDe – “The Fairy Tale Song”

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April 2, 2015
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DeDe’s “The Fairy Tale Song” is a song that bursts at the seams with optimism. With a comforting sense of purpose DeDe references a wide variety of different fairy tales applying them to the inevitable ascent into adulthood. How one’s own life goals changes as they grow older is the focal point of the...
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Vince Grant – “My Depression Is Always Trying To Kill Me”

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April 2, 2015
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Vince Grant’s darkly titled “My Depression Is Always Trying to Kill Me” is music for cloudy days. The songs explore the loneliness that comes with depression and how isolating it can be. Lyrically the songs express a yearning for others. With a dreamy sound that seems to rise above the ground like fog the...
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Rock Masters Band “Hit The City/Diamonds” (Double Single)

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April 1, 2015
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Rock Masters Band needs no warm up. They start right at maximum volume and maximum onslaught. With “Diamonds” they prove exactly how much energy they have. For the flipside, on “Hit The City” they opt for a casual summery groove. Put together they are able to show off their considerable range. Although the two...
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Pyramids On Mars – “Battle For Rome” – Single Review

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April 1, 2015
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Well…I mean all I’m saying is you just go ahead and TRY to find me music that sounds more like pyramids on Mars than Pyramids On Mars do! I’m also fully willing to admit I’ve never really heard the sounds of ANY pyramid before…or seen one for that matter…but I’ve got an overactive imagination...
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Jonathan Bannon Maher – “The Fallout of Love”

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April 1, 2015
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Software author, former candidate for the United States Senate, published self-help author. These are a few of the many pies thirty-one year old Jonathan Bannon Maher has his fingers deep in, but it doesn’t indicate a lack of focus. Instead. Maher is a multi-faceted thinker and artist, a quasi-Renaissance man in distinctly un-Renaissance world....
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CBDB – Joyfunk Is Dead

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March 31, 2015
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Many might think that the days of bands with a big sound, bringing different sorts of music together into a bigger picture, are past. Southern-bred CBDB, however, proves that there’s life yet in music like this. In a desperate age where no one is making the money they used to, too many bands ape...
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Artur U & the New City Limits – “Holiday From Eternity” (Album)

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March 31, 2015
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Artur U & the New City Limits play moody rock for cloudy days. Their work explores the same sonic palette as so many now gone bands from the mid-2000s. Emotional, melodic, and downright beautiful at times they manage to find the joy within their self-imposed limitations, opting for small gestures to create big pictures....
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Lazy J & The Dirty Shuffle – Lazy J & The Dirty Shuffle

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March 30, 2015
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Lazy J & The Dirty Shuffle is a rollicking good time. This is rock n’ roll at its absolute best. With a clear humid Southern feel these are songs packed full of heart and soul. Lyrically the songs focus on universal themes, from relationships to religion. How these songs are built differs: from the...
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