Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Camille Nelson, ‘Lead Me Home (Acoustic Guitar & String Ensemble)’

The first thing I noticed right away when listening to Camille Nelson’s latest album, Lead Me Home, is just simply the sheer joy that went into each song.  This 12-track recording is an absolute labor of love for Camille and one spiritually uplifting experience.  Camille Nelson has been in the music industry for over 8…

D.L. Byron, ‘Satori’

This is one I’m particularly excited to review after I read D.L. Byron’s backstory and how he has quite the musical past! Byron was signed by Clive Davis the year I was born in 1979 to Arista Records and had his debut album produced by Jimmy Iovine, which churned a Top 40 Hit single and…

Ultratone – “A Dream”

Louisville, Kentucky might superficially seem to be an unlikely home base for any sort of progressive music, but Ultratone buries that shallow assumption. Their latest single release “A Dream” hails from their fifth studio album Mellow and embodies an ongoing consolidation of their place in the modern music scene. Ultratone has long since evolved from…

Fabpz the Freelancer – “I’m Loco, I’m Crazy”

Originally hailing from the United States, Pete Atkinson has been ruling the world of modern pop music for quite sometime now. Most popular with his earlier stage name Fabulous p, he has currently reformed the name into Fabpz the Freelancer, which is already going places depicting his creative mind. An engineer by profession, music has…

Mulholland Drive – “Miranda”

Immensely skillful and tempered by life’s experiences, Luke Mulholland’s music is representative of a swath of recent young performers edging into pop world prominence with a stylized classic rock influence in tow. Mulholland’s choice of a primary instrument, guitar, is distinctly unfashionable in a EDM/hip hop world, but there’s undoubtedly still an audience out there…

Clare Means – ‘Sidewalk Astronomy’

Los Angele’s Clare Means stands out in an overcrowded indie music scene – her ability to deliver just what you need in the time you need it is both refreshing and magical. She hits all the emotions with effortless energy. Means, whose newest album Sidewalk Astronomy charts together starry-eyed reflective songs and emotional landscapes so…

“Evolution” by Ashley Delima

“Evolution” by Ashley Delima leaves you wanting more – more of her voice. At just 19, this New Jersey resident is already on her second single and finding her niche in what feels like a pop rock abyss. She stands out and I have a hunch she will keep rising. Though born in New Jersey,…

Broken Testimony – ‘Holding On To Nothing’

With “Holding On To Nothing” Broken Testimony goes for a wild, feral take on alternative rock. Reminiscent of Korn and Alice in Chains, the sound is shrouded in darkness. The riffs have a heaviness to them while rhythms go for a force of nature quality to them. Determination rests at the very core of it…

Review: Jacob Needham and the Blue Trees “Procrastinated Memoirs”

Slick…that’s the one word I could use to describe Jacob Needham and The Blue Trees’s Procrastinated Memoirs album, released in April of this year. Actually, make that two words: slick and clever…this album is slick and clever. At least, that’s what Jacob Needham and The Blue Trees made it out to be, especially with their…

The Sheyana Band – ‘Big Love’

Have you ever been to Australia, Tasmania, or The United Kingdom? One thing is certain, the recent death of world-renowned Chef, Storyteller, and Traveler Anthony Bourdain has rocked the entire world as it relates to cultures being understood, new faces being met, and new places being seen. Many times, Australia, Tasmania, and The United Kingdom…

The New Occupants, “Be Careful What You Listen To”

Look over your shoulder and be aware because the wildly zany bunch known as The New Occupants are urging people to “Be Careful What You Listen To”.  I have heard all kinds of acts from all over the world but I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything quite like this group.  Right away, I…

Mike Ra – ‘Dogs’

It’s almost impossible to examine modern hip-hop without seeing the obvious operatic qualities that have the genre for more progressive in 2018 than it was during its humble, stripped down beginnings in the 1980s. Audiences have gradually desired more and more of the epic, anthological rap tracks ala the experimental efforts of the Fugees, and…

Mark Schirmacher – “Are You Okay?”

Mark Schirmacher’s single “Are You Okay?” is a stark, honest question set to music. Shirmacher’s sincere singing voice is set against a folky electric guitar accompaniment and a politely quiet rhythm section. A Neil Young-ish harmonica solo is smartly placed within the track, as well. It’s both quiet and sweet. This song/question suggests all is…

Eye’z – ‘Still A Rainbow’

Eye’z sings with fire and passion on the soulful “Still A Rainbow”. Her voice has a commanding presence to it rising above the rest of the arrangement. Done with the utmost of care, her voice possesses a soulfulness, one that incorporates elements of pop, R&B, and the blues into a satisfying whole. The arrangement has…

T C Crosser – EP “Book Of Arius”

T C Crosser delves into an ornate modern chamber music with the thoughtful narrative of “Book Of Arius”. Reminiscent of Rachel’s fondness for delicate, carefully considered arrangements, the entire album feels alive. Listening to the album as a whole gives it a sort of soothing, inspirational quality to it. Gestures go for dramatic flourishes at…

Astronomique – ‘Losing Our Control’

Astronomique is a new band based out of Minneapolis that we’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now. They are about to release a new LP called Sharp Divide and have released another single called “Losing our Control” from the upcoming LP. This band sticks to their recognised genre of indie rock which…

Cyborg Asylum – ‘Paradigm Shift’

Every day in the world, people are seeking new ways to do business. People are seeking no ways to create medication to cure various diseases, while people are trying to invent new technology to make the world a better place to live in…According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a ‘Paradigm Shift,’ is considered to be…

Yam Haus – ‘West Coast’

Yam Haus is a synthesizer-anchored rock fourpiece from Hudson, WI. The single “West Coast” is taken from the group’s full-length Stargazer. The song’s sound is bright and hopeful. The lyric is not quite so confident, though. These words focus on a relationship that isn’t quite working out. Its title comes from how the protagonist is…

D.L. Byron – ‘SATORI’

Intense wild energy runs through D.L. Byron’s passionate “Satori”. Featuring a gigantic, anthemic approach everything about the EP deserves to be blasted at the highest possible volume. A theatrical quality rests right at the very center of it all which runs through the entirety of the EP. Lyrics go for a carefree attitude while everything…

Astronomique – ‘Sharp Divided’

Can music have the potential to make the mind float in the stars? Can music alone provoke a mind to experience a long odyssey between sound, resonance, and sonic waves, to find the true elements of a fine melody? Well, if you listen to Astronomique’s latest music album, “Sharp Divide”, you will definitely lose your…

Mark Rogers – “Qualifiers” EP

Mark Rogers delivers a heartfelt slice of Americana with “Qualifiers”. Done with the utmost of care, Mark Rogers proves to be an exceptional storyteller. Fitting into the singer-songwriter tradition with such ease, the whole of the collection has a laid-back, mellowed atmosphere. Jazz, folk, country, rock, all with a unique western twang merge together into…

Bongo Boy TV Season 7 Episode 6 – Young Victorious

Romy Conzen’s “V for Victory” goes for a swaggering classic rock style. Featuring a shapr edge to the guitar riffs, the whole thing is propelled forward with an incredible intensity. By far the highlight comes from Romy Conzen’s incredible vocals that are delivered with a fiery passion. “Eat It Too (Cake)” shows off Rossemberg Maza’s…

Welsh Avenue – “Disco Moon”

Welsh Avenue delves into a fun, playful dance-rock with the blissful “Disco Moon”. Lush synthesizers perfectly intermingle to create a surreal, joyful realm. A great deal of color comes into the mix lending it a living, breathing sort of approach. The beats have a giddy quality to them as they set the groove up into…

The Band OF The Hawk – “BOHUP VOL.2”

When it comes to presenting music in hip-hop, the crew of The Band Of TheHawk knows the best. By the ending of 2017, the Houston-based talented Hip Hop band released their debut music album #BOHUP (Band of the Hawk Underground Pyramid Crew). And within this short time period, they have released another remarkable music collection,…

Music Review: “Be On Time” by Brother Jon Band

It’s time for a summer road trip. Roll down the windows, let the wind blow through your hair and cruise to the song that may very well become your warm weather anthem. “Be On Time” is an easy flowing tune cut from the album “Open Jam” by Minneapolis rock band, Brother Jon Band. The opening…

Annie Fitzgerald, “Black and Blue”

I’m getting punched with such pristine grace as Annie Fitzgerald belts out the song “Black and Blue”.  This track is off of Annie’s second album titled You & Me & the Sun which just came out on June 1, 2018 with a CD release party at The Hook & Ladder Theatre & Lounge in Minneapolis,…

Fate Under Fire – ‘La La Love’

Top shelf pop like this is more and more difficult to find. Fate Under Fire are definitely filling a glaring gap in the modern music scene, but their talents are such that they’d likely continue standing out from the pack even if it the field were far more crowded. “La La Love” is the latest…

Daisy Hicks – ‘Upside’

If you’ve been following jazz’s indie scene lately, then you’ve probably familiarized yourself with the expressively cleansing style of Daisy Hicks, an Australian singer/songwriter whose third extended play “Upside” is sending a shock wave through American and European audiences and getting the attention of critics across the board. A follow up to her slow jamming…

Ibiza Opening Party 2018

Ibiza Opening Party 2018, the new release from Dan McKie’s 1980 Recordings label, is a collective anthology of summer beats and party anthems to usher in a hot new season in European house music that is certain to please fans of the genre across the globe. Featuring Alex Franchini (who also mixed the record alongside…

The Elation – “Catch”

The single “Catch” from Irish pop rockers The Elation is definitely the catch of 2018. This infectious ditty hits all of its needed marks and then some as it balances great guitar ideally against strong vocals. Judiciously placed harmonies complete the package without ever seeming strained for effect. The Elation do something few pop rock…

Bongo Boy Records Releases Escape the Mind by Various Artists Vol. 2

STEEL goes for a mellowed atmosphere with the luscious “Tranquilo”. Aptly named, STEEL explores the nuance of Vaporwave in such a careful, considered way. Melodically dense everything shifts with such deliberate care. Going for a playful disposition is Mike Surratt’s joyful “Aquarium Screensaver”. A wide variety of styles come into the mix, from folk to…

City of the Weak – ‘Pulling Teeth’

City of the Weak crafts alternative rock with edge on the passionate “Pulling Teeth”. An awesome, truly electrifying experience, the songs possess a feral unhinged spirit to them. Her vocals rest front and center of it all, while she conveys a sense of true defiance. Lyrics further emphasize this sense of independence away from it…

Lee Perreira – ‘Born In Da LBC’

All up and down the west coast, there are some wonderful sights to see. From Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, California, San Francisco, California, and many others, there are just so many wonderful cities, attractions, and places that warm hearts up! And with a truly hot spring already making its presence known, it wouldn’t…

Ann Paul – “Stay”

Ann Paul taps into the joy of the singer-songwriter tradition with the 70s-influenced style of “Stay”. Wild and wonderful, the way she lets her arrangements unfold gives them a sense of poetry. From the glistening keyboards to the thoughtful acoustic guitars, everything has a unique careful balance to it. By far the true soulfulness comes…

Annie Fitzgerald – ‘You & Me & the Sun’

At first listen to Annie Fitzgerald’s You & Me & the Sun, the first question that comes to mind is,’10,000 Maniacs, where have you been all these years?’ This is because Fitzgerald has a bit of Natalie Merchant in the way she sings these ten songs. Or maybe it’s because album opener, “Be Like a…

Stepping Sideways – ‘Destined to Fall’

Have you ever been anywhere in the south? Have you ever just been to a place where time seems to stop right as soon as you get there? During the peak of summer, most people get their bags packed and head to any portion of the Gulf Coast to experience summer food, fun, heat, magic,…

The Norm – ‘Delirious’

Music history is filled with colorful stories about famous brothers creating memorable music together (the Gallaghers in Oasis, Everly Brothers, to name a few), but the two siblings that comprise The Norm (Bryan Rucker and Ryan Bars) are also brothers – only they’re step-brothers. You might say, then, the brotherly duo The Norm is not…

Sarah Patrick – ‘The Woman I Am’

The talented women of country music have always provided the crucial backbone for the genre since its very inception. Despite being heavily associated with masculine themes in western culture, the reality is that country music is one of the most gender diverse genres in pop, partly because of the fact the biggest thematic elements in…

Chris Pietrangelo – ‘Hard to be Sad in Nashville’

Chris Pietrangelo may be a singer-songwriter from Memphis, TN, but his single “Hard to be Sad in Nashville” is, as its title spells out, all Nashville. In short, this is a regional-centric breakup song. Pietrangelo sure sounds the part of a brokenhearted country singer while singing “Hard to be Sad in Nashville,” but his career…