Saturday, October 31, 2015

It Came From ReverbNation - The Ripple Music-ReverbNation Playlist Part 4: featuring Rocky Darkroads (Ophelliah), Guru, Danielle H, and PR Stunt

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 4.

Rocky Darkroads (Ophelliah) - Memento

Some of you know that I was a disc jockey at KSPC radio in the '80's where I reveled in discovering new, darkwave, post Joy Division style music to blast across the airwaves during my saturday night show.  If Rock Darkroads had been around then, you can bet they would have been part of my set.  Fusing just the right amounts of light guitar tones to counterbalance the heavy darkness of the bass, Rocky Darkroads have created a near perfect blend of gothic pop.  Think Mission UK.  Think Sisters of Mercy.  You won't be too far off.  Sometime in between me accepting this song in the promotion and actually getting around to writing about it, the band apparently changed their name from the previous Ophelliah to the current moniker, Rocky Darkroads.  Personally, I like the previous name better as it's more obscure and lends itself more to the mystery of the music.  But whatever they call themselves, if you like it darkwave but with a strong spine of perfect pop chops, they're worth checking out. 

Guru - Desiertos Pintados

A rollicking power trio from Durango Mexico, Guru bring a bluesy soulful edge to their rough-and-tumble rock.  Streaming guitar licks paint the corners of this barnburner of a blues rock explosion.  Catchy vocals and a hummable melody wrap it all up into a nice package.  I wish I could tell you more about the band, but even ReverbNation doesn't have much info on them.   In fact, I couldn't even find their ReverbNation page.  But I did find a link on soundcloud so you can jump in and give a listen

Danielle H - OK

Not something I would naturally gravitate towards, but there was just no way of denying talent of this young singer or the simply grab you-by-the-ears and drag you into the speakers catchiness of this tune.  Damn, from the heavy riffing to Danielle's perfect vocal to the absolute earworn of a chorus, this song should be getting every teenage girl up in arms, jumping up and down on their bed and screaming to the stars.  Heck, it even got me doing it!  Evanence-inspired electro-heavy rock is the name of the game here, but it's no rip off.  The songwriting is simply perfect and Danielle pulls is all off with panache and her own personality.  Wow, talk about a future star being born!

PR Stunt - Looking for a Friend Tonight

And now we're saying one of the best for last.  Or at least the very first song I accepted for this promotion.  PR Stunt were an immediate success for me, so much so that I accepted the song right away, instead of making it go through the 40 or 50 rounds of listening that most songs were subjected to. Why you might ask?  Because I am a damn fool for the acoustic, laid back, blues funk rap of the Fun Lovin' Criminals, and I've never heard anyone else come close to capturing that feeling.  Until PR Stunt, and they nailed it.  A languid blues guitar riff, and funky beat and some killer rapping flow on top.   This is manna to my ears.   PR Stunt is an awful name for a band and one that will guarantee they can never be found on a google search (change your name boys) but the music is all that matters and this is friday night, beer in hand, pull up my collar swagger type of bluesy rap and it's damn fine. 


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