Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hostages EP - Attack the City

If you're into hard-hitting rock in the vein of Coheed and Cambria or Story of the Year, you'll love Attack the City. ATC is an incredible 5-some of rockers from Boston, MA. Their newest EP, Hostages is a 5 track rock-fest featuring tight grooves, climbing instrumentation, and wailing vocals. Songs like Rediscovering Letters gives plenty of room for Melanson to yell, "it won't last," and drummer Olivares to deliver some extremely tight beats.

On Castaway, it begins like a bad version of cheesy 70's video games (a la Galaga), but quickly unleashes real power and talent. The entire band is working together increasingly well to create perfect rock songs.

The overall production is seamless and these guys clearly have what it takes to make it in the scene. Be on the lookout!

RATING: 5 of 5 stars

A Scary Kind of Love - Witches in Bikinis

Witches in Bikini's may sound like a late night Cinemax special, but instead its the theatrical/musical experience of 7 Brooklyn artists. The music is an experience all its own - like a musical circus that I'd imagine complements the live show quite well.

Their album, A Scary Kind of Love, is a 12 track joy ride. Layers of 60's music and synth-pop, combined with the intensity of a dance troupe is what you can expect on tracks like Video Vixen Vampire, O.O.B.E., and Party Like A Chimpanzee. Its titles like these that fill out the album. Its fun, very live, and I can only imagine what the show might be like...

Check them out live in concert for a real ride!
RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Funky Poetz - Eggshell Egoz

Imagine Primus doing a pop-funk project...there yet? Now you have Eggshell Egoz. Their album, Funky Poetz is that slap happy album of pop-perfected funk with a tinge of obscurity riding the fringes, all soothed with the vocal performance and comfort of Jack Johnson.

Album opener, Funky Poetz rides like a quirky party out of Bonaroo. Simple Toys is the jam-oriented song grasping to the bands ability to groove in tight sync. Then to cap off the album is an acoustic nicety, Manic Peaches. Whitton's vocals surprise in this folksy lullaby quality. Its a move from funk-pop-obscurity to soothing acoustic rock in the vein of The Counting Crows.

Production is something these guys do amazingly well. The album has a stellar gloss about it!

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Single Serving Friend

New York's, Single Serving Friend, is a mixture of raw energy, excitement, and throwback to influence. Listening through the self-titled e.p. you'll hear homage paid to the likes of 311, Sublime, and Cake.

On Lolita, the band works off of a catchy rhythm and delivers enthusiastic lyrics to boot. Rock Radio works with more intensity and belongs on the video game Road Rash circa early Sublime. This track adds more drive than most - its not for family listening.

Forever utilizes ambiance and space to communicate. Then at 2:26, enters the drive and force you're used to with these guys.

Overall, the production captures energy in its live quality. I think more time and care in the studio could bring these songs up to their potential.

RATING: 3 of 5 stars

The Voodoo Fix

Funky good times is what you'll experience with The Voodoo Fix. Their self-titled e.p. is like the funkier cousin to The Black Keys. Wrought with catchy electric guitar riffs and a bass/drum combo to get any room dancing, The Voodoo Fix works!

On songs like, Walk on By, they employ a more R&B/rock/Maroon5 sound to broaden their genre and pop-appeal. On Don't Come Home, they add another element of euro-indie sounds to their already successful sound. It culminates in you being in a good mood.

Catch these guys live in concert or read more at their website: www.thevoodoofix.com

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pianocentric - Sharon Kenny

New York singer/songwriter, Sharon Kenny is a vibrant musical force. Her vocal clarity excels while her piano work swirls around her in a circular and unique fashion.

The first track, So Soon, begins with single piano notes and her vocals beckoning your attention. All will stop in the world around you. As the song continues and builds, she sings, "let me catch my breath," and the arrangement swirls around her perfectly.

Clockwork continues the ride with projected ease. She works in and out of a tight band sound. The story is a ride! Calendar Song is total free-form. Its angular and plays like musical theatre. If you're a straight music lover and true art scares you, stay away from this one. If you're in for some adventure and are will to take chances, join Kenny on this one and hold on tight.

Kenny's album, Pianocentric is a musical and artistic trip!

RATING: 4.5 of 5 stars

Only Too Well - Jacob Carver

Jacob Carver delivers true Americana on his album, Only Too Well. Songs like Bitterhanded, have an early Tom Petty quality. At times you'll feel like you're sitting around a campfire - jumping to join in on the chorus, grabbing a harmonica, or beat some percussion. It's just that welcoming.

On the slower ballad Come Crawling, Carver croons a tune about the "human stain." Again, running to that communal sound of the saloon scene, Carver ends with a soaring vocal line.

All in all, his production and writing is simple and lends itself nicely to the genre.

RATING: 3 of 5 stars

Nive Nielsen & The Deer People

If you've ever wondered what eskimo music sounded like, Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children, is it. Nive is an Inuk from Greenland and her compositions are breathtaking!

Her song, Room, is a simple track plucked and plinked along with great accompaniment to surround her cooing vocals. Its a truly fresh sound.

Good for You, is a more quirky-folksy tune that needs a Mac commercial to support. Its a pop-perfected folk song that you'll be singing along to by the first chorus. On My Coffee Boy, her voice lilts along with a jazzy bass and percussive undertone.

Nive clearly has it. She combines talent, creativity, and successful writing to work for her and her band. I can only imagine it a matter of time before she's an international success.

RATING: 5 of 5 stars