Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Audio And The Earthling, Crazy Moon

It’s amazing to think that this album, Crazy Moon, happened by complete chance.   Singer/Songwriter, Dave “Davo” Evans walked into a Missoula, Montana studio just wanting to record some folk songs.   Next thing Evans knew, Ryan “Shmedly” Maynes would turn Dave’s folk music into an Electronic, Dance Explosion!   Maynes wasn’t only the studio…

Jessie Murphy In The Woods, Eight Belles

Coming from the same anti-folk scene as Regina Spektor, Jessie Murphy in the Woods is made up of Jessie Murphy, Marcia Wood, and Amy Wood (All NYC public school music teachers) who play oodles of instruments ranging from   a melodica, pan pipes to an auto harp.   Their diverse musical talents (which are mind-blowing…

Tribella, Thirteen

Tribella is coming back strong after the release of their EP, My Guest List, two years ago.   This Austin, Texas-based trio is now offering you thirteen ways to experience their one-of-a-kind sound.   Their style stands out because there is so much being heard on this new album from 80s New Wave/Pop Rock to…

The Ted Painter Band, Keepin’ It Real

This review marks another first in my tenure at Skope Magazine in that this is the first time I have reviewed back-to-back country acts. Former U.S. Army infantryman turned country crooner Ted Painter has released Keepin’ It Real, a five-track EP of contemporary country-fried tunes that run the thematic gamut from kids coming of age…

Feldiken, Small Songs About Us

Feldiken’s debut album, Small Songs About Us, is an album that EVERYONE can enjoy.   The record focuses on relationships, but more importantly Feldiken emphasizes the importance of connecting with people.   Small Songs About Us really does pertain to us then, as a whole.   We’re ALL in this thing together, so why not…

Kate Cameron, Conviction

It’s hard to believe that a 16-year-old girl could write such a compelling piece of work, but that is the case here with Conviction.   At just 16, Kate is the sole singer/songwriter on this new project as well as playing the role of guitarist & pianist.   Boston area-based studio owner and producer, Bob…

Beach House, Teen Dream

Ever had the feeling that you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming? From the moment you set eyes on Beach House’s latest release, Teen Dream, something about it seems intangible. The cover art’s pastel zebra striped imagery has a certain unworldly feel to it, washed out to the point of near-nonexistence. Seldom does album…

Arek Religa, In Memory of the Greatests

Non-stop instrumental music at its finest is what you get here from the 13-track CD, In memory of the Greatests.   The Polish guitar sensation, Arek Religa, is the man of the hour as he wrote, arranged, produced and performed all the songs on the disc.   Religa even engineered, mixed and mastered the entire…

Susan Elizabeth, Wine and Cigarettes

Susan Elizabeth is bringing you an album that will relate to so many people on so many different levels.   Elizabeth gets extremely personal on this record as she refers to this project as the “soundtrack of her life”.   The new album touches on Susan finding herself, discovering Buddhism, discussing a past marriage/divorce and…

The Sumner Brothers, The Sumner Brothers

I must begin this review with a confession: I am very weary of contemporary country. It seems that what gets churned out of the Nashville machine is either too “boo hoo” or too “Yee Haw” for this correspondent’s liking and my reviews tend to reflect this. That being said, the new self-titled album from The…

Hollerado, Record In A Bag

Hollerado are nothing if not one of the most unique acts coming out of Canada at the moment. Record In A Bag, the band’s debut is a fresh, wholesome listen. The band may be young, but their punkish charm is so damn flagrant that they give new meaning to “Throwing caution to the wind.” “Do…

The Band of Heathens, One Foot In The Ether

From the opening slow, grooving foot-stomping crunch of “L.A. County Blues,” you know that One Foot In The Ether, the latest from The Band Of Heathens isn’t a record to be taken lightly. Full of the kind of blue collar grit that country-rock ought to possess, The Band Of Heathens walk with a boisterous swagger…

NUKE THE SOUP, MAKE WAVES NOT WAR

Nuke The Soup is an all-original & brand new project thanks in part to the vision of veteran musician, Mark Davison. Davison is the lead singer/songwriter while also handling guitar parts and Mark is actually the founding member of Cubic Feet.   This music vet from Maryland even came up with the group logo, which…

The Thermals, Now We Can See

The last thing the world needs is another generic power-punk three piece. But the first thing that the world needs is more of Portland’s The Thermals. Quite simply, this is power-punk with a potent message. There is nothing generic about these three; Now We Can See, their latest screams with youthful urgency. Not bad for…

Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada, Coconut Rock Deluxe Edition

Listen up, this is how everyone should make an album. A brilliant mix of of genres, it blends seamlessly into a psychedelic/Latin/funk/dub masterpiece. I’d bet money that you’ll be tapping your toe or dancing along to it’s hypnotic rhythms by track five. Sounding like Frank Zappa decided to do a Latin infused album with DJ…

William Funk, The Veronica Sessions

With a friggin’ cool name like William Funk and a hot new record, what more could you want?   According to William Funk, there is a lot more to life than a rad name and a bunch of new songs.   There is a much bigger purpose & meaning behind the making of The Veronica…

Fanfarlo, Resevoir

It’s hard not to fall wickedly in love with Fanfarlo, the indie-pop five piece out of London. Their melodies are plumb, their rhythms brim with joy, complemented by an array of strings and horns. And lead singer Simon Balthazar coos in such a healthy and enlightening manner that hasn’t been heard since the likes of…

Yukon Blonde, Yukon Blonde

Yukon Blonde’s self titled debut full-length is garnering some serious buzz amongst the indie circles in Canada. As one would imagine, in the age of immediacy, fueled by blogs and the like, buzz surrounding a young band’s debut LP isn’t anything new. Yukon Blonde definitely run the risk of falling victim to the hype, considering…

Mando Morphosis, 2010

Mando Morphosis is a group made up of seven mandolin players.   Originality at its finest, as this band brings fresh material to the masses. With the exception of one track, this entire record is all instrumental. Mando Morphosis are proud to introduce their new acoustic music at the start of a brand-new decade. The…

Bowerbirds, Upper Air

There’s a haunting expansiveness on Upper Air, the latest from Bowerbirds that suggests this forceful three piece has their sights set very, very high. On their own, each of the ten tracks presents a rather rugged aesthetic. It’s bare-bones Americana, leaning heavily on acoustically-charged melodies and the potent pitch of vocalist Phil Moore. Connect the…

The Burned, The Burned

It’s rare when music and lyrics reach down and touch your soul.   So rare, I can’t remember the last time it happened to me.   Suddenly, I am sitting here mesmerized by “The Burned”. Thought provoking, current day lyrics are combined with mellow, accoustic and electronic sounds that extend themselves creating visual experiences that…

Sol Skugga, Fairytales and Lullabies

Sol Skugga is coming strong with her eclectic set of songs titled Fairytales and Lullabies.   This young and talented singer/songwriter/producer blends together musical styles such as: classical, rock, pop, electronica and Celtic string arrangements.   Skugga hails from the land of Sweden where she is promoting her third album.   The US and the…

The Band of Heathens, One Foot In The Ether

From the opening slow, grooving foot-stomping crunch of “L.A. County Blues,” you know that One Foot In The Ether, the latest from The Band Of Heathens isn’t a record to be taken lightly. Full of the kind of blue collar grit that country-rock ought to possess, The Band Of Heathens walk with a boisterous swagger…

El Perro Del Mar, Love Is Not Pop

For all that Love Is Not Pop tries to be, it manages to accomplish a hell of a lot more. The latest from sullen Swede Sarah Assbring dips its feet with pleasure in the comfortable waters of dream-pop, but there’s enough comfy groove and passionate resolve on the record that it could likely stand alone…

The Coloursound, Reclaim

Turns out The Office isn’t the only thing to come out of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Many years ago, Sean Hieter and Doug Batt got together to pack College bars with their meaty, sweaty brand of rock. And now, some 10 years after that meeting, Hieter and Batt act as the driving force behind the Colorsound. Reclaim,…

Capybara, Try Brother

On the strength of their name alone, Capybara might evoke images of massive rats. Maybe you’d imagine their sound as a bit murky and heavy. But this Kansas foursome is a clever bunch. On Try Brother, their latest full-length, the band has created ten of the most docile yet engulfing quirk-pop tracks of the last…

Nicholas Mrozinski, Together We’re Stronger

Right away, the environmentally safe CD packaging blends right in with the earth-friendly overall sound.   Not to mention, this new record is a powerful testament to the local talents that thrive in the Twin Cities music scene.   Mrozinski and “The Feelin Orchestra” attempt to make Minnesota the new music capital.   With the…

Clever Con, The Robot EP

Have you ever listened to a band that was part punk, part reggae, and part metal? Let me introduce you to A Clever Con, New Jersey’s latest in innovative original music.   With Mike Dietz (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Ryan Marsa (Lead Guitar and Vocals), Bobby Certo (Bass), and TJ “Smash” Horner (Drums), you get…

Amerie, In Love & War

Amerie has truly come a long way since her “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” days back in 2002 when she first hit the scene. With “In Love & War”, we can definitely see some serious growth in this fourth album, released in late 2009.   Popularly known to have love themes in her R&B…

BLK Orpheus, Where Words Fail

It’s a breath of fresh air to hear music that truly conveys a message, one that has been shown by BLK (pronounced “black”) Orpheus, with his debut album, “Where Words Fail.”   BLK Orpheus, real name Omotola Ajibade, is a native Nigerian, who has lived in the Bronx (birthplace to hip hop) and now in…

Gail Marten, In Love…Again

“Never let me go,” Gail Marten sings in the opening track of her album, In Love…Again. But she’s not just singing, she’s pleading. And you’re not just listening idly; you’re transfixed and fascinated by the voice in your ears, a voice of maturity and depth, smooth and airy, the voice of someone who knows a…

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, NIGHT CASTLE

TSO is recognized as the ultimate touring operatic/theatrical act in music today.   Selections from the new offering are being previewed on the current annual TSO Christmas tour.   When you have a stable of the top writers, musicians and vocalists in the business, it makes for a flexible and versatile, writing platform without boundaries.…

Matthew Curran, Simplify

Matthew Curran and his trio (Matt Jurasek on bass & Kevin Conray on drums) introduce a powerful yet simplified rock ‘n’ roll sound.   Curran & company are blending together elements of rock, blues and alternative to offer you a creatively fresh recording.   With catchy guitar rhythms & vibrant hooks, Simplify sums it all…

Alligators, Piggy & Cups

Recently were seen some impressive music come out of the Pacific Northwest. Bands like Loch Lomond, Kane Hodder, The Dandy Warhol’s, and of course Death Cab for Cutie just to name a few. This new brand of music flows and ebbs with rich liquidity, exotic musical textures, and a lot of positive creative energy. Enter…

Cool Aide, Flavor Ade

Have you ever put a CD in your laptop or CD player and right before you hit play, asked yourself why?   Why do I really want to put this on?   I felt that exact feeling before putting on the latest from Cool Aide, “Flavor Ade”.   But with a sense of optimism, I…

Project DNA, Self-Titled

Singer/Songwriter, Jimmy Blecher is the driving force behind this new & exciting act.   Project DNA stands for “Do Not Ask”, which is what Blecher would tell people inquiring about the new album.   The record is all said & done now and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised after taking a listen.…

Planetary Nights, Elliptical Motion

Planetary Nights and Elliptical Motion are ever-flowing with raw energy.   R.J. McSweeney is responsible for all the songs &  lyrics as well as being the lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist.   The CD is produced, engineered and mixed by Mark Hermann who also contributed all lead guitar parts as well as keyboard/organ sections.  …

Panda Transport, Monorail

Kathy Compton and Thierry Holweck are bringing a diverse array of audio to the forefront.   As the sole songwriters on Monorail, Compton and Holweck aka Panda Transport have created Electro-Pop grooves.   The record offers acoustic & pop elements mixed with a unique display of sounds.   Monorail comes after Panda Transport’s debut release,…

Drum Dynasty, Drum Dynasty

One can envision the drums as a heartbeat, pumping blood into the rest of a song. That’s what can best describe how Drum Dynasty works and is truly expressed in their two-disc debut release, “Drum Dynasty.”     Drum Dynasty consists of members Bruce Burgess on drums, Arturo Rodriguez and Marco Zonka on percussionist tandems,…