Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Morning Fuzz, Self-Titled

This Morning Fuzz will without a doubt get your motor running from the early morning to the midnight hour.   Morning Fuzz are a Brooklyn-based band with ROCK at the core of everything!   The group is made up of front man, Frank Fussa on vocals & guitar, Chris Johanidesz on bass & vocals and…

The Peace, The Peace

The Peace is led by Bobby Kendes who wrote all the songs for this debut release while also taking care of vocal & acoustic guitar assignments.   One other key figure on this record is Aaron Z. Katz who is responsible for producing, arranging, recording, co-engineering & mixing this entire project.   Katz also played…

Tonight We Ride, Of The West

This Montana-based rock trio packs so much intensely fun energy into this record that it’s ridiculous!   Tonight We Ride is made up of: Dustin “Dub” Campbell on vocals & guitars, Greg Vivrette on bass & backing vocals and Adam “Bomb” McDonald on drums.   The music on Of The West is so damn random…

Mason Daring, Self-Titled

Mason Daring is a well-established film composer who has been hard at work since the early 70s.   Early on, the singer/songwriter performed solo at the Bull & Finch (eventually Cheers) in Boston and later toured & recorded as a popular duo with singer Jeanie Stahl.   He is highly recognized for composing scores for…

We Are The City, In A Quiet World

Youth is as much a blessing as it is a predicament. There’s a fresh-faced innonence that captivates young people; this innocence has a way of underlining so many recordings from young rock bands as well. The riffs sound a little more immediate and a lot more pop-leaning. The vocals are brimming with life, if only…

Parlour Steps, The Hidden Names

A few months ago, while browsing through one of Vancouver’s top indie record shops, I came across an older record from Parlour Steps, a local act. I’d heard of them in passing and I was intrigued. I asked one of the clerks about the band, and in a typically succinct manner, he replied carelessly, “Good…

Painkiller Hotel, Black Roses

Black Roses, the latest from Aurora, Illinois’s Painkiller Hotel is a study in how to do a lot of things right. They’ve got a great, interpretation-heavy name. And judging by the back cover, they’ve got that simple, weary rock star look down to the finely crumbled tuxedo. But most of all, they’ve got punchy tunes…

Various Artists, Record Of The Week Club

The idea of Record Of The Week Club is rather simple; bring three different artists from Winnipeg’s Manitoba’s vast musical landscape once a week (Every Wednesday throughout the summer of 2008, if those kind of things are of interest to you) into MCM Studios. None of the artists knew who else was going to be…

Downcast Theory, Damaged Calm

Downcast Theory is made up of Matthew Simon on lead vocals & guitar, Jake Raynor on lead guitar & vocals, Kenny Earl on bass and Matt “Raundawg” Raunick on drums & piano.   This NJ-based hard rock group is bringin’ the noise in bountiful amounts.   So much raw energy is displayed by this group…

The String Cheese Incident, Best of Trick or Treat

Live albums can be a very hit-or-miss affair as it is hard to capture the energy of a concert in a recording without any visual clues as to what is going on behind the music. Making a live album even more problematic though is having it as a compilation of tracks from different concerts from…

Rob Wadda, Live From the Darkside of the Moon

The first thing that struck out at me right away was the title of this album, Live From the Darkside of the Moon.   I was thinking to myself, “Wait a minute; we already have a Darkside of the Moon by music legends Pink Floyd.   Not to mention, this classic record goes down in…

The Warped 45’s, 10 Day Poem For Saskatchewan

 “It still amazes me what some people will throw away” croons Dave McEathron on “Progress.” It’s an apt sentiment from McEathron, lead singer of the country-rock troubadours The Warped 45’s considering how many fans and critics will disregard 10 Day Poem For Saskatchewan as nothing more than simple boot-stomping bar rock. Yet upon deeper dissection,…

Precious Father, Alluvial Fan

Precious Fathers are the kind of typically enigmatic act that Vancouver’s oft-experimental, instrumental post-rock scene thrives on. Altruistic in the manner which they toss sounds off one another, Precious Fathers seemingly follow no tried and true methods of songwriting. Their experimental rock builds rapidly, with screeching guitars and relentless drumming acting as the core for…

Anna Madorsky, Incantation

Madorsky is following up her 2008 debut, Talk Is Cheap, with a new name & a new attitude.   Talk Is Cheap was darker clouded with the focus on a romantic breakup whereas Incantation focuses more on current issues from a narrative standpoint.   The focal point for this album is based on where people…

Fiction 20 Down, Comfortable Fools

First off, I’d like to mention the exceptionally professional touch put forth on their overall appearance of the cover art and inside sleeves.   This brand new LP has a very pleasing feel about it due to its well-put-together packaging.   Right away, I was drawn to this band and their record just from first…

Luis Bonilla, I Talking Now

Sit down and fasten your seat belt before hitting “play” for this album, because Luis Bonilla is talking now. It’s going to hit you fast, and it’s going to hit you hard. In fact, in the opening/title track, you might have a 4-minute “WTF?” moment as Luis Bonilla and his band prove that their finger…

Tirra Lirra, Pink Live Forever

The Chicago-based trio, Tirra Lirra, brings modern sounds of outer-dimensional electronics mixed with pop/rock tendencies.   Pink Live Forever offers listeners a New Wave ambience of experimental sonic jargon.   I would best describe Tirra Lirra’s new release as an abstract puzzle with millions of pieces.   This puzzle will require much thought, concentration and…

Teleseen, Fear of the Forest

Teleseen is one man known as Gabriel Cyr and he is based in Brooklyn. The NY locale has no relevance here because Fear of the Forest will you take you on a trip, but not in the physical sense but rather by way of a voyage through the mind. Teleseen and the artist behind the…

Steven Bryan, Let Me Stay

Steven Bryan was born Francesco Dell’Orco in Milan, Italy, but he is an English adopted singer/songwriter.   He later moved to London in 2007 where he really started to find out who he was as an artist.   It seems that Bryan has now found his voice/identity on this new EP, Let Me Stay.  …

Mayday Parade, Anywhere But Here

On their sophomore release Anywhere But Here will come as a huge change to many Mayday Parade fans. Mainly for the fact the new record does not feature the writing and vocals of original singer, Jason Lancaster, whose spot has been filled by Derek Sanders. However, with the absence of Lancaster, the Tallahassee-based quintet have…

Elephant Stone, The Seven Seas

“Hindie rock,” you say? That’s what Elephant Stone, a five-piece psych-pop outfit from Montreal (Better known as Canada’s indie music goldmine) are calling The Seven Seas. The debut record features members of The Besnard lakes and The Dears, and is essentially the brainchild of Rishi Dhir, once a member of the all-to-infectious Montreal rockers The…

Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows

Elliot Brood is one seriously bad-ass band. No, it’s not just one dude parading around; it’s a full-on, raucous three-piece band that manages to kick out some of the most rollicking countrified jams possible from just three instruments. Toss in lead singer Mark Sasso’s relentlessly raspy growl and you’ve got reason to believe why Mountain…

Ihsaan Khatim, Speak Life

The meaning behind this artist’s name is “Excellence, Finally”, which was given to him by his uncle.   Ihsaan Khatim is definitely following suite with Speak Life by pouring everything he has into this project.   This EP is just a taste of what’s to come in 2010 when the new album hits the streets.…

The Beatles, Rare and Unseen

Ready to relive the British invasion? ‘The Beatles: Rare and Unseen’ takes you on a magical mystery tour from the birth of the biggest band in the world, to their break out performances, the American invasion, and the drift to different directions for the ‘Fab Four’ – out now on MVDvisual. If you have ever…

Amanda Morra, Self-Titled

The first thing that blew me away was the simple fact that this was a debut album.   Incredible news to my ears because the quality & professionalism put into this disc was undeniable and damn near impeccable.   This artist seemed to be a seasoned vet in the studio based on the overall sound…

CRGruve, Naughty and Nice

Two men make up CRGruve and they are bringing you some Naughty and some Nice. This Portland, Maine-based duo offers up a fun & party-like atmosphere that everyone can jam to. They go by Craig Handley & Ramone Jones and they are set to take the world by storm with their infectious sounds. It is…

Lights, The Listening

One year and and a hot, sweaty summer of Warped Tour later, Canadian sweetheart Lights has finally released her full-length record, The Listening. Half of the record will already be familiar with fans, featuring previous releases like opening track “Saviour” and “The Last Thing On Your Mind” from her past EPs, and the rest is…

Sex Slaves, Wasted Angel

This 3-member rock band from NYC is bringin’ the dirty ‘n’ nasty goods here on Wasted Angel.   Sex Slaves offer a real hard-edged rock sound that really has some ballz to it.   The new record has attitude, it has got rawness and it has a whole lot of substance!   Coming off their…

The Box Elders, Alice And Friends

The Box Elders are a throwback to simpler times. When making eight-minutes ambient, difficult to digest post-rock tunes wasn’t considered cooler than thou, but when drawing as many eager kids out to the dancefloor (With guitars, no less) was the only way to gauge cool. And on Alice And Friends, The Box Elders crank out…

Rah Rah, Going Steady

Certain bands remind you of certain things. Neil Young and campfires. U2 and a breach of trust. You get the idea. Rah Rah, an auspiciously named eight-piece indie-pop opera of a band out of Regina, Saskatchewan remind me of something even more vague and non-descript: colours. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Rah Rah,…

One Flesh, Twelve Gates

Right away from the front cover, you get a gloomy, dark-type setting.   This flows right into the CD where you definitely get a dose of what I like to call Gloom Rock.   One Flesh and their newest release, Twelve Gates, offers up some darkly-layered gothic rock with some tinges of alternative & psychedelic…

The Hidden Cameras, Origin: Orphan

Much is made of the fact that Joel Gibb and the rest of the Hidden Cameras are closely aligned with the gay movement within indie-rock. Yet on Origin: Orphan, the band’s 5th studio LP, one doesn`t hear so much an influence from Gibb`s personal choices as a spiritual influence. Long classified in the chamber-pop genre,…

Alberta Cross, Broken Side Of Time

Comparisons in rock and roll are inevitable for two reasons: very often a band gets together because of a shared affinity for another band. And rock journalists are a stringently lazy bunch whose ears are often tweaked but connect the dots like young children. Without knowing the exact circumstances of what brought Alberta Cross, the…

The Echelons, Don’t Kiss Her Face

First thing I see when I look at the front cover of The Echelons’ Don’t Kiss Her Face are two cartoon characters with serious sexual innuendos.   One character is portrayed as an attractive woman all dolled up while putting lip stick on & looking at herself in the mirror.   She is depicted as…

Meshell Ndegeocello, Devil’s Halo

There are very few musical performers today who can be described as musical artists. Meshell Ndegeocello is one of the few though. The genre-bending singer who is one of the best bassists, male or female, of her generation has been releasing plenty of fine, yet underrated music for a good two decades now. Ndegeocello has…

Ryan Dahle, Irrational Anthems

Limblifter was a fantastic Canadian piece of indie-rock folklore in the mid-90’s. The band practically shit out hooks. Though I was a little too young to appreciate them then, I can now consider Ryan Dahle’s debut solo LP, Irrational Anthems a blessing from above. Dahle, being one of the founding members of Limblifter hasn’t lost…

Joe Henry, Blood From Stars

Upon first listen, Joe Henry’s blend of folk, blues and jazz on his 11th LP, Blood From Stars comes across as entirely too ambitious. The record struggles to find a happy medium and therefore, loses its groove very early on. Now, if chaotic is the spice which entices your tongue, then Blood From Stars might…

Sand Machine, Conference

A Boston band that came out of nowhere a few years ago, Sand Machine has grown even stronger than their 2002 debut indicated. They caught on with the city’s indie crowd as well as with the older folks who enjoy classic rock. Neil Young and The Beatles were the influences they wore on their sleeves.…

K-Maxx, The Whole Woo Wop

Okay, first off let’s clear up what the meaning behind the title means because I’m sure that’s what you’re asking yourself.   K-Maxx states that The Whole Woo Wop is actually a slang term that means “all encompassing”.   This pertains to all the emotions/feelings that have surrounded K-Maxx in the last few years.  …