Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tending Bar - featuring Dan Miraldi, Dansewolf, and Charetta

Late last night I found myself once again behind my bar’s well-worn counter.  Three individuals, a man who appeared to be in his 60s, a woman I’d guess to be around 35, and a young man definitely still in his 20s walked through the door one after the other and sat down.  Each of them looked downtrodden.  While I thought it was unlikely they were family, they clearly knew each other.  After a few moments the older of the two men called me over.

“Good evening folks.  Would you mind if I ask what’s troubling you?  All three of you seem upset.”
“Oh, it’s nothing really,” said the older man.  “I’m just angry that no one makes music with the same spirit of what they created when I was a kid back in the 60s and 70s.”
“I see.  What about you ma’am?”
“I’m troubled that none of the new rock music I hear nowadays is any fun.  I remember in the 80s when hard rock bands were having a good time.”
“And you young man?  Care to share what’s on your mind?”
“Well, I grew up in the 90s and I miss the bottom heavy, groovy hard rock with clean vocals that dominated the charts.  All the yelling and screaming nowadays leaves me cold.”
“Ah, I see.  Excuse me a moment, I’ll be right back.”  I went to the end of bar and took a few CDs from my hidden cache.  When I returned I placed a CD in front of each of my customers.
“What’s this?” asked the older man.
“That sir, is a copy of Dan Miraldi’s newest EP.  That is music written with exactly the spirit you’re looking for.”  I directed my attention at the woman.  “Ma’am this is an EP by Dansewolf, a band that would feel right at home in the 1980s.  You’re going to have fun listening to this, I promise.”  Finally I turned to the young man.  “My friend I feel your pain, and without a doubt this EP from Charetta is going to knock your socks off!  You’ll find it’s so hot, it’s going to scorch your eardrums.”
“What kind of bar is this?!?”

Dan Miraldi  Rock N Roll Band!

Waveriders, when I learned that Dan Miraldi had a new EP out and that I would get to listen to it, I got excited.  I loved his last EP Tease thanks to its three wonderful, retro-tastic songs.  Needless to say my expectations for this new music were high, and I’m very happy to report that Mr. Miraldi’s new release picks up right where Tease left off.  Vintage rock/pop fans rejoice!

Rock N Roll Band! offers up five terrific songs that evoke all the same feelings you get from listening to classic rock and pop from the 60s and 70s.  There are newer influences at work as well, especially in EP opener “We Both Know”, but overall there is an undeniable innocence and genuine purity on display that is notably absent in a lot of modern music.  These songs are upbeat and fun to listen to both musically and lyrically.  My personal favorite track is “You’ve Got To Hurry”, an upbeat bouncy number with good vibes to spare.  The title track is a very entertaining excursion into Mr. Miraldi’s recent musical history.  EP closer “Give & Take” is a rollicking version of the classic guy wants girl who wants different guy storyline featuring some very clever and witty lyrics such as ‘why should we go to a party when you only use my heart for karate’.  Ha!  Love it!

The only problem (and I do mean the only problem) is that this EP ends way too quickly!  Seriously, every time I listen to Rock N Roll Band!  I look expectantly at the speakers in silent entreaty for more musical goodness after it ends.  Alas, the speakers never answer and I’m forced to hit the play button again.  Waveriders, do yourselves a favor and check out Dan Miraldi.  I guarantee your days will be lighter and brighter when you hear this music.





Dansewolf  Smoke -N- Mirrors

Question.  Do you want to know what it would sound like if Gwen Stefani sang in front of a synthesizer-equipped hair metal band?  Answer.  Of course you do!  Why?  Because it’s fun, that’s why!  And because you just don’t hear many bands taking this approach nowadays.  Seriously, listening to this EP makes me wish I had long hair, a full time makeup artist, and an androgynous wardrobe.  Okay maybe that was a bit of an overstatement, but I think you get the point.  The playful spirit of 80s rock is alive and well for every second of the twenty two minute runtime of this EP.

If I could, I’d like to make one thing clear.  I think this is a very good band that writes songs filled with great and memorable hooks, but in my humble opinion this music really revolves around vocalist Juls D.  Her melodious voice effortlessly takes center stage in each composition, and her level of charisma is off the charts!  Again, I don’t want to take anything away from the rest of the band (Andy Lagomarsino and Grant Webb), but these songs would simply not be the same without Juls D’s singing.

Musically speaking the six songs offered on Smoke -N- Mirrors cover all the bases.  You have your guitar heavy rockers like opener “In L.A.”.  You have your power ballad “Shut You Down”.  There’s the bluesy-groover “Smoke N Mirrors”, the feel good closer “Like A Ghost”, and the infectious power pop of “I Think Maybe”.  All great songs, but my favorite has to be “Love Hate Heartbreak”.  Fantastic!  Waveriders, take a listen to Dansewolf and inject some fun into your listening life.



Charetta - A Nation Distracted

Attention waveriders.  Do you enjoy heavy post-grunge 90s-era alternative rock?   Do you think you would get a kick out of hearing “Alannis Morrisette punching Chevelle in the face” (the band’s own words)?  If so, boy do I have a band for you!  Their name is Charetta and they have a new EP entitled A Nation Distracted that’s been made just for you.

Charetta is a five piece band out of New York, NY.  Bass player Richard Mollo and drummer Adonis Sanchez lock together to lay down some wickedly solid grooves.  Guitarists Pablo LaFrossia and Chris Fullam take every opportunity to bludgeon the listener with immense, monstrous riffs.  Last but not least we have the group’s gifted vocalist Angelina DelCarmen, who puts her powerful voice at the forefront of every song.  The most impressive thing about Ms. DelCarmen’s voice is that it can easily blow the front door of your house down, yet she never resorts to actually yelling / screaming her vocals.  Impressive stuff!

The EP is made up of a short introduction and four proper songs.  My ears agree most with the first two songs, “Distraction” and my personal favorite “Lights Out”.  Both songs get my head banging rather easily.  That said I don’t mean to imply the final two songs, “Fighting Blind” and “Bully”, are inferior in some way.  They are quite good in fact and the full EP does its job rather well.  I want to hear more from Charetta…right about now.  I think you waveriders might as well.  Mission Accomplished!

--Penfold




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