Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Back in the late eighties an Australian friend of mine, whom I've sadly lost touch with since, sent me a cassette of a Sydney-based band. It was their self-titled debut and the band in question was Noiseworks. At this point in time, this five-piece were completely unknown to me and based off of the artwork, a photo of the band against a white backdrop with the logo above, I had no clue what to expect. However, once the music started I was sold - hook, line and sinker!
Australian rock and pop of the eighties had a particular sound. Can't honestly describe it in words but to this day that sound is very identifiable in a good way. And Noiseworks are not exempt of this. They deftly embrace their heritage while going full tilt with awesome hooks, great lyrics and a lot of emotion. What baffles me is that the guys were labeled a pub rock band. Maybe that was the case in their infant years but ‘Noiseworks’ is anything but. Then again, we all look at things differently.
Several permeating features throughout ‘Noiseworks’ are, amongst other things, the prominent bass guitar. It keeps the rhythm but at the same time goes off on it’s own excursions, which gives the music more substance. The guitar tone is airy, free and floating both in the riffs and the lead work. And the way it tag teams with the keyboard is refreshing. Almost like a twin-axe attack. Lastly, Jon Stevens’ voice is something else. Beautiful, yet desperate with great range which brings out the meaning in the lyrics perfectly.
This is a great debut album through and through with no low points at all. Still, as always, I find some tracks that stands out more than the others. ‘Burning Feeling’ is a mid-tempo rocker with hooks to kill about yearning for an adrenaline rush no matter what. A heartfelt plea for forgiveness and redemption ‘Take Me Back’ hits home with anyone who’s lost someone and it’s irreversible, forever. ‘No Lies’ picks up the pace as the band ponders the devious ways of an ex-partner who’s pulls out all the stops to reel you back into a bad relationship. ‘River Of Tears’ tells the tale of finding yourself while watching others, maybe a loved one, remain in limbo not wanting to change. ‘Welcome To The World’ is a song telling two sides of the coin. One child is born into a nice safe world being fed from a golden spoon, while another is born to fight. Stand up and make a difference wherever you come from.
Despite not having released any studio albums since ‘Love vs. Money’ in 1991, Noiseworks have been active on and off with various old and new members. The latest I heard the ‘Noiseworks’ lineup was back and recorded an album slated for a 2016 release but as far as I know that wax is still locked up in a vault somewhere.
In between all this bassist Balbi and keyboardist Stanley formed the semi-successful Electric Hippies before working with David Bowie, Tom Jones and Michael Hutchence(Balbi) and Beck, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and Prince(Stanley). Singer Jon Stevens has, besides a long solo career, worked with INXS and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as forming the music collective The Dead Daisies, whom he no longer performs with.
Monday, May 22, 2017
“…The Flying Eyes appeared and cast their hypnotic power over the crowd.”
Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome Baltimore's heavy psych rockers, The Flying Eyes, to it's roster of the best of modern heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.
The Flying Eyes name comes from a 1962 science fiction novel about giant, disembodied eyes that descend from outer space to control humanity...
Since forming ten years ago, they have released four albums, several 7" singles, and toured the world, supporting bands such as Dead Meadow, The Raveonettes, The Black Angels and Dan Auerbach among others. The Flying Eyes have achieved a notable following in Europe with extensive club touring and festival appearances. Highlights include: Burg Herzberg Festival (sharing the main stage with Jeff Beck and Hawkwind), Rockpalast Crossroads Festival, Stoned From The Underground (DE), Desert Fest Belgium (BE), Trutnov Open Air (CZ) as well as the Synchronicity Festival in India.
After extensive touring in South America, playing shows and festivals in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, they linked up with producer Gabriel Zander (Mars Red Sky) at Super Fuzz Studio in Rio de Janeiro to record their upcoming Ripple Music debut album Burning of the Season. Season is a return to the band’s roots of fuzzed-out blues and soulful psychedelia with the maturity and craftsmanship of age. Coming out this fall on Ripple Music (US and non-European Territories), it is their heaviest statement to date.
California-based Ripple Music is one of the world's leading record labels for heavy rock, heavy psych, stoner and doom. Ripple Music is distributed world-wide by MVD Distributors, as well as H'art, Plastichead, Borders, Suburban, Goodfellows and more. All releases are available on the Ripple Website and Ripple Music Bandcamp. Check out www.ripple-music.com for more info and news.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
“Led Into Temptation” is the sophmore release from British band Midnight Messiah. Formed by Phil Denton (guitars) and Paul Taylor (vocals) from the ashes of NWOBHM cult favorites Elixir. Like it's predecessor, “Root of All Evil” - “Led into Temptation” has the sort of NWOBHM vibe but it , in fact the song “The Sinner Must Die” starts off with a moody into very reminiscent of Elixir's “Llagaren” from the “Sovereign Remedy” album.
I can go through every track and say “This sounds like Judas Priest, this sounds like Thin Lizzy...” yes Midnight Messiah wear their influences proudly. Just a sample lyric from “Hellbound” -”They Tell me Hell Ain't a bad place to be” - any band that cites Bon Scott era AC/DC has a special place in my heart. “Second Coming” has a dual guitar solo very similar to Judas Priest's “Freewheel Burning”. “Go to the Light” has an anthemic chorus like all the 80's Scorpions songs....see? “While Heaven Bleeds” is Dio-era Sabbath. There's nothing wrong with paying tribute to the bands that helped shape ones musical direction. There's cowbell on the intro to the otherwise very heavy “Merry Widow” - how cool is that?? HEAVY METAL COWBELL!!!
To be honest, it's going to be hard to write a non biased review of this CD. I've loved everything I've heard from the Elixir family from the second they took the stage in NJ 11 years ago and my jaw fell on the floor when I heard the opening notes of “Star of Beshaan”.
The biggest compliment I can give is if I ever get good enough and form my own band they won't sound very much different than Midnight Messiah. This is recommended for fans of the classics – but again with a modern twist and modern production.
Midnight Mesiah are:
Paul Taylor – vocals
Phil Denton – guitars, bass, keyboards
Darren Lee – Drums
Dave Strange – Lead Guitar on tracks 3, 4, 5, 10 & 11
Led into Temptation
The Merry Widow
Go to the Light
Return of the King
While Heaven Bleeds
Right Place, Wrong Time
King of the Night (2017 remix)
Find Midnight Messiah online:
Photos by Electric Eye Photography.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
The irony in today’s title is the featured album initials are BBB and the article series here is also BBB. Double Triple B’s. Killer B’s. I thought that was cool, what I also think is that you should listen to the recommendations in today’s feature of Bucky’s Bandcamp Bonanza.
Buttered Bacon Biscuits – From The Solitary Woods
What we have here folks is a reissue for the first time on vinyl the defunct band who later formed the monster what is Witchwood deep in the Italian woods. I urge you to grab the vinyl edition of this as Jolly Rogers Records is doing the world a service by putting this out there. Extremely limited, this will likely only get pressed once and you have your chance to be one of the few and one of the proud vinyl junkies. As there is only a couple tracks streaming on bandcamp, you get the full album with digital purchase and it is impeccable. Trust me.
What a well executed and masterfully written album. If you're here you probably have the Witchwood stuff already and this is the prelude to that. If you're new, sit back, relax and let the melodies drift you away to a time when the sun baked oranger and the smoke rung heavier. BBB bring classic rock full circle including haunting keys, arena filling rhythm, mind-melting psych, and deep brooding blues with a vocal package soaring at the crossroads of Dickie Betts meets Use Your Illusion era Axl Rose.
Mind Reverse – Mind Reverse EP
This one just ticks all the right boxes and is an enjoyable listen no matter what your mood.
Nice fusion of punky garage blues and progressive psych rock. One that gets better with each listen. Quite impressive.
This one may go down in many year-end lists. Interesting trivia, Tony Hawk’s kid is the frontman for this impressive band. Southern California skater rawk at its finest!!!
Petyr come launching out of nowhere with a blazing set of cosmic riffage on its self-titled smasher. Heavy psych hasn't felt this good since your first trip on magic mushrooms. The laser blues laced skater punk jam layers of extraterrestrial fuzz into empty pools of Witch meets Earthless. Hot damn!!
The Wicked Ones – The Wicked Ones
Ya, this is a wicked one. I especially like the hard edged groove and the vocal assault. So mean, yet so clean. Price is right too. Can’t afford not to.
This is where the Steve Rodgers in me says "Gods Holy Trousers" Ravishing vocals wailing over dominating bass lines and wickedly constructed metallic fuzz. Add in a distorted cover of Jefferson Airplane and I think we've got somebody to love. Holy fucking crap!
King Zong – King Zong
Sounds like the album looks, and seems to be getting welcomed attention in the heavy side of the heavy underground. Dig it.
King Zog comes out ripping hard on the riff bong taking the low and slow doomy blues to the 5th dimension
Feuerzeug – Dead Wahines and Psunamis
These guys just came on my radar and come to find out as blown away as I was about this old material, our president Racer was all over it back in the day. Review here. They’ve gone into hibernation but rumor has it they are back together and working on new material. Keep your ears out for Feuerzeug, as they’ve got big news to unleash soon.
Absolutely punishing fuzz catapulted by unrelenting groove after groove. The bass rumbles tirelessly beneath the distorted riffs which echo against a clean, powerful vocal.
Well that was fun. What do you think of all this madness? Give us your suggestions. What are you listening to other than the obvious albums mentioned here right this minute? Inquiring minds want to know. Don’t be scared join the party, pitch your tent, follow us on bandcamp, and comment below.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Greetings waveriders. Today I have something a little different to present for your listening pleasure. The Impossible Kid is the latest album from Aesop Rock. Aesop Rock is an incredibly gifted hip-hop emcee/producer. If you've been reading The Ripple Effect regularly you might recognize his name. Back in November of 2016 I reviewed an album entitled Bestiary by Hail Mary Mallon, a group composed of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz. I love that album and would willingly use it as a straightforward introduction to this new solo work if I could. The Impossible Kid however is an entirely different animal.
What makes this album different from other hip-hop albums you might hear, let alone Bestiary? Good question. First and foremost is the lyrical content and delivery. If you want to hear the next good time jam or party anthem this is not your stop. On second thought, I shouldn't say that. What do I know? Aesop Rock weaves intricate tales of adulthood, introspection, and melancholy that may in fact be just what your upcoming shindig requires to make it truly legendary!
Anyway, the subject matter covered by these fifteen tracks is often highly sobering. I particularly appreciate songs like "Blood Sandwich" which examines vivid memories of Aesop's brothers and "Shrunk" which breaks down a combative back and forth between Aesop and a psychologist. "Rings", "Lotta Years", and "Dorks" each reflect on mortality in their own unique way. "Defender" is ostensibly about taking part in a neighborhood watch and then there's "Kirby", an epic and awesome ode to Aesop's cat. "Shrunk" and "Lotta Years" happen to be my favorite tracks on the album.
Waveriders I know that you've come across reviews which proclaim that a particular album is "mature". My friends, I'm here to tell you that The Impossible Kid is the perfect example of a "mature" work from an accomplished artist. Aesop Rock has produced a collection of tunes that will provoke serious thought. Add to that the extremely groovy production and we've got a winner! Get your copy and start contemplating today!
Thursday, May 18, 2017
He Is Me is collaboration between Portland based songwriter and musician/producer Casey Braunger and Calgary, AB based songwriter/vocalist Steve Moore. Casey and Steve first collaborated on a 2001 track called "Silencer". Fast forward to 2016, when Casey reached out to Steve about guest vocals on a new song, Steve liked it so much that they decided to form a new project.
This fourth single that they have released is a down tempo, electronic/industrial song that has angst, anger and enough edge to grab you and pull your ears into the swirling morass that they have concocted. The vocals and subtle at time, but then they turn savage and the song goes into a pounding drill into your soul. The guys have come up with a song that takes a little from here and there and makes it into something that you will want to replay over and over again.
This certainly hits the right buttons and makes me anxious to hear what they will come out with in the future. Stop being a tease and get a whole album out already!
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Sacramento based hard-rock trio Misamore have dropped their video for "Bloody Mary" online at https://youtu.be/cQt7PRMCZOs. The track is the new single from Misamore's brand new "Monolith".
"The song 'Bloody Mary' was written a few years before the recording of Misamore's full-length album, "Monolith". The song deals with the destruction of what little innocence we have and how it all fundamentally is the same feeling that sends us in the same direction," commented Misamore's Josh Amolsch. "Originally, the video was planned to be a woman losing her virginity and then giving birth in the snow and bleeding to death, but we thought that might be too graphic and "real" for people. There was also plans for the band to be in the video, playing around burning trash barrels in the snow. But the lyric video seemed more appropriate for a few reasons. Those being that the listeners probably want to understand what the lyrics are saying and the another was to focus on the story of how easy it is to make bad decisions and how quickly they will cause things to crumble."
Sacramento, CA-based power-trio titans Misamore refuse to rest. Misamores' drummer, Cameron Ellis, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 20 years old which was immediately removed. Despite the struggles, music was always a driving force while he searched for solutions. He is now healthy and stable. Bassist Mike Dragony suffers from celiac disease, a long-term autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the small intestine that occurs in people with acute sensitivity to gluten and other foods that can cause severe abdominal pain. During the making of the album "Horizon" in 2010, Dragony was rushed to the hospital and almost died. While battling through health scares that would cause most people to throw in the towel, Misamore has persevered and continued to create infectious hard rock.
With fourteen years in, a five-song EP, a single and now a full length album to tout, Misamore has proven that it will take more than a pesky thing like a brain tumor or a near death experience from Celiac Disease to slow them down.
Misamore's new offering, “Monolith”, is what Loud & Heavy calls “a top to bottom solid body of work” with many peers in the Sacramento music scene praising the release as an “evolutionary piece” and “Flawless”.