Tag Archives: Rock

ALBUM REVIEW: JPNSGRLS – DIVORCE

JPNSGRLS-Promo

Background
Vancouver quartet returns with a new LP after a change in personnel. Oliver Mann left the group after recording the album, with new guitarist Colton Lauro now onboard joining vocalist Charlie Kerr, bassist Chris McClellan and drummer Graham Serl. This sophomore effort, follows Circulation, Power of Pop’s Album of 2014.

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PoPTV – THE NEW ROCK ’N’ ROLL FT. THE SALT RIOT, FURNITURE GIRLS, BEWARE OF DARKNESS, HONEYBLOOD + ERIN TOBEY

PoPTV 150716

Rock ‘n’ roll might not have the same commercial or cultural impact it used to have but we promise to keep the flag flying.

Here are videos of new music you should be watching that expresses the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy!

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LISTENING BOOTH – THE NEW ROCK ’N’ ROLL

Listening Booth 2016

Rock ‘n’ roll might not have the same commercial or cultural impact it used to have but we promise to keep the flag flying.

Here are streams of new music you should be listening to that expresses the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy!

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ALBUM REVIEW: RIVAL SONS – HOLLOW BONES

RivalSons-Denver_2015-02-15

Background
Based in sunny Los Angeles, California, Rival Sons formed in 2008, the quartet of Scott Holiday (guitar), Robin Everhart (bass), Mike Miley (drums), and Jay Buchanan (vocals) captures that massively huge, guitar-driven classic rock sound, with rock-solid drumming and a riff-oriented approach to songwriting backing up Buchanan’s soaring vocals.

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ALBUM REVIEW: B-LEAGUERS – DEATH OF A WESTERN HEART

Photo credit: Gary D Chapman
Photo credit: Gary D Chapman

Background
Hailing from Lincoln in the UK, B-Leaguers describe their energetic, crunchy guitar rock as ‘powerpoppunkrock’. Consisting of James Popdog – vocals, Ched Howard – guitars, Mikey Barraclough – bass & Mark Barrett – drums/percussion, the band have released its debut album, Death of a Western Heart.

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ALBUM REVIEW: GUIDED BY VOICES – PLEASE BE HONEST

GBV

Background
Guided by Voices (GBV) is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. Formed in the 80s, the band has made frequent personnel changes but has always maintained the presence of principal songwriter, vocalist Robert Pollard. GBV has disbanded & reunited twice in the last six years. However, for this new album, Pollard played every instrument – the first time that this has happened in the band’s history.

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ALBUM REVIEW: PJ HARVEY – THE HOPE SIX DEMOLITION PROJECT

PJ Harvey

Background
PJ Harvey is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. With new album The Hope VI Demolition Project, Harvey has now released nine LPs. Harvey wrote the songs during her travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington D.C. with photographer/filmmaker Seamus Murphy between 2011 and 2014.

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ALBUM REVIEW: PETER WOLF – A CURE FOR LONELINESS

By Joe Greene
By Joe Greene

Background
Peter Wolf is an American rhythm and blues, soul and rock and roll musician, best known as the lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983 and for a successful solo career with writing partner Will Jennings. A Cure For Loneliness is his eighth album.

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ALBUM REVIEW: TWO INCH ASTRONAUT – PERSONAL LIFE

two-inch-astronaut

Background
Formed in 2009 in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Colesville, Maryland, Two Inch Astronaut is a power trio that blends well the poppier edge of punk and experimental hardcore flourishes. A delicate balance that band members Sam Rosenberg (vocals/guitar), Daniel Pouridas (bass), and Matt Gatwood (drums) serve up with aplomb.

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ALBUM REVIEW: CHEAP TRICK – BANG, ZOOM, CRAZY… HELLO

cheaptrickbigmachine

Background
Cheap Trick is an American pop-rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973, now consisting of Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), Tom Petersson (bass guitar) and Daxx Nielsen (drums). In its forty-three years of existence, the band has remained true to its musical agenda i.e. a blend of pop, punk and even metal in a way that is instantly catchy and recognisable. This LP is the band’s first without longtime drummer Bun E. Carlos.

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BOOK REVIEW: CHRISSIE HYNDE – RECKLESS

Chrissie Hynde photographed this month for the Observer New Review by Dean Chalkley.

To be absolutely honest, Chrissie Hynde was one of the first female rock ’n’ rollers I seriously got into at the very beginning of the 1980s. Considering the times, she represented something very different in rock ’n’ roll for a female performer and fronted an amazing band in Pretenders.

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ALBUM REVIEW: SUEDE – NIGHT THOUGHTS

Suede-Huge-Press-Photo

The “difficult sophomore album” is a well-worn trope in popular music. It’s the rite of passage that proves that an artist’s early success was no accident. It’s proverbially difficult because it has to sound like the first album, yet different; it has to written in a shorter amount of time, yet be more expansive.

Most bands only have to go through this ordeal once. Britpop stalwarts Suede, however, have had to do it a second time.

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7 AND 7 IS – EIGHTIES CORPORATE ROCK STILL RULES!

Van Halen

Back in the early 90s, when Nirvana were top of the charts, alternative rock became the ‘in-thing’ and suddenly, the so-called ‘corporate rock’ of the 80s was something to be disdained by the grunge generation. Despite being critically reviled, here are seven examples of great rock songs that deserve a revaluation.

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ALBUM REVIEW: KURT VILE – B’LIEVE I’M GOING DOWN…

Kurt Vile

The name Kurt brought me back 18 years where Saturdays were spent jamming to “Aneurysm” and “Lithium” at a run-down studio in Yishun. I have always associated Kurt with the frontman of Nirvana but today, I was looking at a different Kurt.

B’lieve I’m Going Down… is Kurt Vile’s fourth album with Matador Records. On the cover, he shows off the bountiful hair of a metalhead, poses like a gypsy guitar virtuoso and wears a pair of skinny jeans too tight for comfort.

I did not know what to expect.

The first song “ Pretty Pimpin” starts with an acoustic guitar picking before he sings about the struggles of self-recognition, in a manner highly reminiscent of Elliott Smith. Shifting into a lower register Lou Reed-like voice for much of the album, he sinks you into the depths of relaxation with lyrics like, “When I go out/I take pills to take the edge off/or to just take a chillax/man and forget about it”. Vile has got good writing chops if you can ignore the ‘stoner’ vibe and dive into his words. In this sense, the album’s chillax direction may work against him as new listeners might let his words drift by .

Overall, this album speaks about finding oneself by being more emotionally aware and going with the flow. Though I feel that Vile himself is in no hurry j – “Give it some time/Give it some time” on his last song “Wild Imagination”.

A good lofi indie rock/folk spin for your weekend.

(Brenton Huang)

Brenton recently completed my WRITING ABOUT ROCK MUSIC course. Find out more from KAMCO Music

ALBUM REVIEW: DAVID GILMOUR’S RATTLE THAT LOCK ONLY WORKS WHEN HE REMAINS TRUE TO HIMSELF

David-Gilmour

Ex-Pink Floyd singer-guitarist returns with a new solo LP that follows last year’s pointless Pink Floyd release – The Endless River – and Gilmour’s previous solo work, the magnificent On An Island (2006).

Sadly, Rattle That Lock – despite the promise of the excellent title track – is not a patch on On An Island and finds Gilmour trying out (rather unconvincingly) different musical styles that are far removed from his solo and Floyd work.

All of which is frustrating because on tracks like the instrumentals “5 A.M.”, “Beauty” and “… And Then”, Gilmour’s trademark guitar stylings shine through and all is well. Elsewhere, the choppy dance rhythms of “Today”, the anti-war balladry of “In Any Tongue” and the sprightly blues-romp of the title track remain the highlights.

Sadly, there are at least four tracks – “Faces of Stone”, “A Boat Lies Waiting”, “Dancing Right In Front Of Me” and “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” – where Gilmour’s attempts at eclecticism somewhat fall flat. Especially on that last named track where Gilmour fancies himself to deliver a pseudo-jazz standard with appalling results.

Presumably, Gilmour wanted to demonstrate his songwriting versatility but only emphasised his paucity in this department. Sobering to realise that it took Gilmour almost a decade to come up with enough songs to produce a new album. Floyd fans will enjoyed the highlights previously mentioned, which makes Rattle That Lock somewhat half-baked overall.