Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It Came From ReverbNation - The Ripple Music-ReverbNation Playlist Part 3: featuring Opey Tailor, American Bombshell, Newdayz, Tuco Ramirez, and Wall-Eyed.

Welcome waveriders.  Once again the good folks at ReverbNation asked us to participate in a promotion for their millions of bands and artists.  Who ever was interested had 60 days to submit one song to us.  I then promised that I'd go through each submission and write a quick line about the 20 that caught my ear.

2480 artists submitted from all genres.  Originally, I only wanted to review heavy rock stuff, you know, Ripple Music record label kinda stuff, but wouldn't you know it, I simply fell in love with some of the voices, songs, craft and melodies of some very surprising (to me) submissions. I don't really lean towards Country/Americana, yet the Tennessee Stiffs grabbed my ears and refused to let go. I've been bored with too many emo-ish pop bands and intended to skip the whole scene, but a talented young signer/songwriter named Danielle H was way, way too talented to ignore.  Not looking for any indie, folk or alternative yet you'll find amazing songwriters/performers like Lauren Marsh, Gentlemen and Scholars and NMBR11 on the list.  That's not even to mention some of the amazing bands that crossed my computer, like StoneCoats, Ophelliah, and Axis/Orbit.  Way too many to name here.  And despite the fact that ReverbNation ranks submissions by how many fans, facebook/followers they have, etc, I intentionally ignored those rankings and often started at the bottom of the list where the funky as all get-out, bluesy hip hop of PR Stunt was just waiting to be found.

Its a very mixed, eclectic playlist for all kinds of moods.  In other words, it's what the Ripple Effect is all about.

My apologies to all the others who submitted.  Some of these cuts were brutal for me.  It was a brutal process, listening to each and every one of the 2480 submissions and trimming it down.  Once I got the list down to about 100 the process trudged to a snail's pace.   I wanted to keep them all, but simply couldn't.  Often it wasn't that a submission wasn't worthy, it just may have been not what I wanted to write about at this point in time.  Case in point, The Black Marbles, who I passed over the last time I did this, but jumped out at me this go around.

So, without further ado, the Ripple Music ReverbNation playlist, part 3.  Part 1 played (find it here) a bit back, Part 4 plays next week.

Opey Tailor - Movement

"I got a bullsyeye painted on me, but I keep it moving, you bitches missin' the target"

Somewhere amongst all the ego and bravado of the rap scene, those lines burst through the speakers like a burst of fresh aire.  Following a middle-eastern style sample, Opey comes blaring in, daring his haters to come after on him.  He knows he's in the headlights, but nothing is gonna stop him from reaching his goals.  It may be lazy to compare a white rapper to Enimen, but damn, if there isn't a similarity in their style and flow -- and that's a compliment not a criticism.   Toss in some tasty beats and some rhymes about fighing against the barriers to get his music heard, and this is about as good a rap track I've heard in ages.  We're starting this playlist off right.

American Bombshell - Another Dead Rockstar

Back in my teen years, my walls were covered with KISS posters.  Later generations used Motley Crue to indoctrinate heir walls.  Today's kids may as well just run out right now and buy up any American Bombshell posters they can find.  That's what we got here.  Straight up, KISS-inspired, Crue-sleazed, straight- ahead  rock and roll and it's damn fine.  No pretense.  No hints at a deeper, wounded soul.  Just guitar mad, whiskey fueled, fiery solo jammed rock.   Toss in some killer riffs and vocals with just the right amount of wail and snot and we got a winner.

Newdayz - Fou

Perhaps the biggest surprise on this playlist is the lightly reggae-tinged, downtemp, french chill cut from Quebec's Newdayz.  As I was digging through the thousands of submissions, this was one song I simply couldn't get out of my head.  With its smokey, sultry vocals and catchy as hell chorus, I just wanted to keep it going.  Over and over.  But damn, it was so different from anything else in the playlist.  Pure, golden pop.  Finally, one day I put it on for my Ripple partner, The Pope, with the simple question.  Is this song really as good as I think it is?   The smile on his face was an instant answer.  Rock, pop, chill, EDM. Whatever it is, it's an amazing, feel-good slice of musical happiness. 

Tuco Ramirez - Latin Girl

More local flavor (for Ripple HQ that is) I've known of Tuco Ramirez for a while, but never had the chance to see them.  Not for their lack of gigging.  The boys really work it, getting their fuzz, riff-mad rock out in front of audiences at a steady pace (including an upcoming show with Ripple's own Mos Generator on Halloween night in San Jose . . . if you're free).   But for some reason, my schedule always seems to miss em.  So instead, I got this slice of 6-string electricity with a southern swagger and a stoner rock soul to listen to.   And that's the name of the game here.  Formed from the ashes to two legendary underground Bay Area Bands, Six Liter and Canyon Creep, Tuco Ramrez blast out a double barrel load of big, bad southern rock, and 70's metal - inspired grooves, with a southern-soulful delivery and fire on the six-string leads.  I'm gonna try and catch the San Jose show, but again, might miss them. But don't worry, someday I'll catch them live, and so should you.  They are just that good.

Wall-Eyed - Exile

Without a doubt, the most surprising song to have caught my ear during this promotion came from the individual/band known as Wall-Eyed.  Wall-Eyed is the alias of Raleigh, NC-based street poet, gutter-Americana singer-songwriter Wilson Getchell, who is also known for his work as a member of The Whiskey Decision. Wall-Eyed’s music is characterized by a highly-energetic, lyrically-driven songwriting, which fuses together country, punk, progressive, and rockabilly, and is anchored by Getchell’s wailing, crackling, warbling vocals.  At times a band, at times a one man project, Wall-Eyed are stripped bare, yet surprisingly full, archaic americana that is surprisingly fresh.  Getchell's vocals may wander wherever they want, but it all hangs together and is actually mesmerizing.  If you like bluegrass, roots, americana, street punk . . .whatever, he's worth checking out.

-- Racer

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