Monday, November 2, 2009

Death to god - deVries

deVries is the music musings of Travis DeVries, Sean Gibbons, Dan Ollvo, and Marco Echanove. The 4-piece band writes well and produces even better.

Girl In The Fur-Skin Rug is an epic/ambient sounding tune that sounds like NIN playing the Beatles. Black Thursday Repeat is extremely catchy. They're able to write very poppy music with a dark harness placed over it.

On Shoulder to Shoulder, the band becomes more anthemic, reminiscent of The Who. Finally, on Slowing Down, the band goes tribal with its percussion and instrumentation. Its a perfect blend of ambient drone and texture.

The overall production value is high and the writing is mature. This band is something to watch!

RATING: 4.5 of 5 stars

Without Wax - Harley Jay

Harley Jay is pure talent. He's an LA native and has a resume that most would die for. Hearing 30 seconds of his record Without Wax, its obvious this guy has a background in musical theatre. Opener, And She Said, features catchy rhythms, hooks, and vocals - falsetto galore and guitar riffs to boot.

On Lipstick Letter, Jay employs his unique country/rock blend more clearly. Its got some extremely tasty acoustic guitar interplay and fantastic harmonies. The Fall is even more Nashville, but the twang is replaced with feedback (that's a good thing), probably his best song.

Maybe I'm Crazy slows things down with a nice finger picked acoustic guitar sound. By the second verse the band starts a groove and you'll be humming along. This is one of his catchier ballads.

It's a pop-perfected album with lots of great stuff going on. If you're a fan of music spanning from Keith Urban to Maroon5, then you'll love this CD!

RATING: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Morning Birds - Inspiration Point

Hollywood's, The Morning Birds, are a polished and professional band spouting art at every turn. Its part folk, part rock, and all accessible. Their 2009 release, Inspiration Point is an impressive work of music - 16 tracks (so i'll try and focus on my favorite songs).

Seed of Life comes at you like a folk piece reminiscent of a commune experience. Its easy with layered vocals and smoky with emotion. Bag Full of Emotion is in the same vein. Its a bit more atmospheric as it lends itself to a true psychedelic quality. If the Doors were still releasing albums, this song would be on it.

Heart Connection is a Dylan-esque song that uses their strong asset of layered vocals and simplified percussive grooves. The focus clearly being the vocal melody lines, this one rises.

It's great to hear varied production tactics, and these guys employ them nicely. Catch a show the next time you're in California!

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Long Live the Viscounts - Vacant Stairs

Vacant Stairs is a solo musical endeavor that wins! Its simplicity and rawness compel the listener. Window of Opportunity is longing and enables various musical elements. From the distant vocals, simple percussion, to the almost circus-like breakdown, it all works.

Dead Can Dance comes off like a perfect independent film score tune. Its all encompassing themes can be used and liked by many - plus there's a whistle solo. Brother Where Art Thou is the ep closer, and a rougher track. It takes on an almost live quality. The vocals seemed a bit buried and could use some more polish.

Long Live the Viscounts is a solid ep from Vacant Stairs though. Canada did it again.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars


Washington's SEACATS are a throwback to vintage party music. Their sound is cool and upbeat. Its garage rock meets the pool party. Album opener, Don't Get What You Want, will have you screaming along with the whimsical melodies before it hits the second chorus.

On, We Don't Sleep, they put their best foot forward. Falsetto vocals glide nicely with an easily strummed electric guitar. Its a quick, in your face, tune that excels. Yield is a three minute poppy/grunge tune, I could imagine a less dark Cobain writing.

All in all, the SEACATS please. Watch for upcoming shows in your area!

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars