On 10th October, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside will be releasing their debut album, Dirty Radio via Fargo which is a raw, sweet, crisp, clear gem of rockabilly and blues.
Sallie Ford comes into the Imelda May league, very distinctive and powerful with a voice to fill a room without doubt. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, and now based in Portland, where the band earned major fans in The Decemberists and The Avett Brothers”, you really get a live feel from the album all the way through.
Slow dark beginning on ‘I Swear’ much like a dark scene in a western movie then, like a rattle snake coming into view, Sallie’s vocals pierce the air and grab your full attention immediately.
SuperHeavy; A new group with a guy who knows his reggae, a lady with a fabulous voice and vocal range and a man who should really be fronting a rock n’ roll band with, his raw intensity, as he spits out the lyrics. Actually not so new, after all, the Super group that is SuperHeavy is Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, A. R. Rahman, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley but for a moment, disregard the heavyweight members and give the music a listen.
A record packed to the brim with music, nothing wasted or lacking in the production, musicianship or presentation. There is a budget here but, with that budget comes pressure. These guys could has just as easily tripped themselves up and produced a lemon, but this record has all come together.
For her third album of intricate pop songs, Annie Clark recruited John Congleton as producer, Beck keyboardist Brian LeBarton, and Midlake drummer Smith to record in her hometown of Dallas, Texas. The result is a very classy album, in fact the finest solo record yet that St. Vincent has delivered.
The record is quite spellbinding and never drops its interest for the listener throughout its entire length. With numerous twists and turns both lyrically and musically, the album has a freshness with every play. It is an album that will leave people out there who download just a few random tracks in a quandary because the style changes so much throughout the album. If you are one of those guys, sorry but you will need to download the whole record!
This is not an album you leap to put on when the sun is out and you feeling up, without a care in the world but this is actually, an album you may well readily put on first thing in the morning (idea for that early morning dazed train commute) or, last thing at night or just perhaps, when everything is not so rosy in your Garden.
Ex-Sparklehorse musician Adam Wiltzie, and composer Dustin O'Halloran are A Winged Victory For The Sullen. They have produced a solemn even reverential recording of beautiful music, piano, strings, an ambience woven into a spider’s web of contentment.
I have been giving this album a few listens over the past 3-4 weeks and actually gave it a break and then went back to it, just to see if it had some lasting power. It does!
This record is a ragged blues-fuelled classic, with a modern twist. The guitar lines cut like a razor blade on opener 'You're in my blood', and 'Heart rested with you' is pure classic Rock. Thunderous stuff!
The new record follows their eponymous 2009 debut which was filed under the nu-folk bracket. If that was the case, then the record that you could soon be holding in your hands is a seismic change.
Since 2009, Kill It Kid have been earning their spurs via relentless touring, inspired by the old blues warriors, although the band actually hails from Bath. Still, that was the home of the famous Blues festival of 1969/70 so there must be something in the water.
A delightful five song taster of a lot more to come hopefully from Diagrams and Sam Gendes, an ex stalwart of hip folk collective Tunng.
The songs are very varied on the ep from the opening of ‘Night All Night’with an acoustic base and honey rich vocals, a lovely song , to the second songwhich adds brass and strings and just about a much fun as you can have with a song, that’s the free flowing ‘Antelope’ .
Hill brings in some electronics and yet another change of pace.‘Woking’ again a nice song this time, with a big ‘Elbow’ feel. Final song Icebreakers is just plain beautiful in a folk groove, with added thunder.
So in conclusion a superb ep that certainly leaves us eager for more.
Diagrams play the End of The Road Festival this weekend and the physical EP still seems to be on Amazon, so get it while you still can.
From the opening cords and blast of horns we are comfortable, warm, cosy and happy in familiar territory. ‘A Candle's Fire’ the opening song is pure and simply, sublime.
‘The Rip Tide’ is (as usual with Beirut) short at 33 minutes but, I guess as the saying goes, "always leave them wanting more"
Santa Fe is equally impressive as the opener, pure joy. ‘East Harlem’ is a change of pace to Zach Condon’s delicate side. ‘Goshen’ has beautiful piano set against Zak's vocals and that ever present brass chimes in.
On ‘Paynes Bay’ the horns (is there a clarinet there?) are heart wrenching at the start before the song catches pace and the title song, The Rip Tide' is an epic.
Like the early autumn chill that has been affecting the UK in recent days, you may well have been grabbing that jumper out of the cupboard for extra warmth; that's exactly what The Rip Tide offers.
I'll leave the rest of the album for you to discover because, every home should own this album and yes after the final song 'Port of Call' we are left wanting more!
I listened to this album a lot on my summer holiday, so it’s good to know that it sounds as good on a wet Tuesday in London as it did on a sunny beach in Italy. I recently described this album to someone as ‘early Pink Floyd visits The Beatles on a journey via Sly Stone’, and although that doesn’t cover all of the influences on display here, it should give you some idea of the type of sounds you’ll hear within.
Album opener ‘Ffunny Ffriends’ is the first track I heard from the record (as is often the case it came from the Tom Ravenscroft show on BBC 6music). It’s a good introduction to the band, with shuffling drumbeats, a catchy guitar line and melodic but slightly fuzzy vocals. ‘Bicycle’ (a sequel to Pink Floyd’s ‘Bike’ perhaps?) feels almost like The Kinks musically, although the lyrics - ‘All of you can eat my dust’ - are decidedly modern. Next track ‘Thought Ballune’ opens with some guitars stolen from The Beatles, and matches them with an equally Beatles-esque chorus.
‘Jello and Juggernauts’ is a slightly more mellow track with some typically psychedelic words, while ‘How Can You Luv Me’ ups the pace, with a funky bassline (particularly in the Disco middle eight!) and some equally rhythmic drumming.
Next up is ‘Nerve Damage’ which starts and ends with some annoying Peter Frampton / Bon Jovi guitar/voice tube sounds, but in between becomes the punkiest thing on the album, very much in the Stooges line. Meanwhile ‘Little Blu House’ is one of the most melodic tracks, a 60s tune fitted to a simple drum machine which comes in at exactly 3 minutes – the perfect length for a pop song. Then ‘Strangers are Strange’ brings the funky bass back.
‘Boy Witch’ brings back the ghost of Syd Barrett – it’s very Floyd-influenced and could easily be a track from their first album. On the iTunes version of the album there are a couple of bonus tracks – ‘I Want To Be Left To My Own Devices’ and ‘Cyrus’ Theme’. The former is a distorted acoustic ditty, while the latter is an engaging instrumental.
Overall then, an album that draws its influences from each of the past five decades, and wraps them up in something that’s both comfortingly familiar and enjoyably unusual.
Fancy a trip in a time machine? It only covers two decades, 60’s and 70’s and it will take you to a hot steaming small bar in any U.S. city. It’s packed, low ceilings, sticky floor, beer in hand (the last one, went all over your shirt from the crush). On stage, as the sweat drips off, the walls, Night Beats are thrashing through their debut self titled album..
It’s full of Physch guitars, distorted vocals, garage rock roots, It’s reverb drenched, glorious Rock n Roll played at ear splitting volume.
Outside after the gig, sweaty, dazed and fantastically (on a musical) high, you stumble back to the time machine and head home.
Waking up next morning with a sore head and in desperate need of a shower, memories drift back. You were at a gig, it was brilliant, and who was that band? But wait, there, in 2011, in your hand, is the psychedelic covered album by Night Beats so, it was true! You can now relive the Rock n’ Roll dream over and over every night!
Nights Beats are Danny Lee BlackwellGuitar/Vocals, Tarek WegnerBass/Vocals and James Traeger. Drums/Vocals. They hail from Seattle, Washington. Let’s hope they hit the U.K. soon!
This man stood on the stage at Woodstock with the legendary Mountain and from then on rock stardom and respect was guaranteed. Unlike bands like the The Who and Santana for example who amongst others went on to Stadium filling outfits. Mountain remained a heavy rock purists dream.
Now aged 65 and recently loosing the bottom half of his right leg to amputation following complications from diabetes. Leslie West returns, accompanied by guest appearances from Slash, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Zakk Wylde, Toto's Steve Lukather and Joe Bonamassa, with, Kenny Aronoff playing drums on ‘Unusual Suspects’.
The album is pure blues rock this time around and was completed before Leslie’s operation and with those aforementioned alumni of guitarists adding a helping hand.
Nice piano and Steve Lukather‘s (Toto) acoustic guitar combine with Leslie on the opening blues boogie work out of ‘One More Drink for the Road’. Low down and dirty, ‘Mudflap Mama’ features Slash. Two songs in and already sparkling guitars!
‘To The Moon’ is just Leslie with the band and it’s a smooth rock song, that explodes into an anthem. Straight back to the special guests with Billy F. Gibbons. ‘Standing on Higher Ground’ was recorded standing toe to toe in a Los Angeles Studio. It has Gibbon’s trademark guitar all over it. (ZZ Top got one on their first major breaks supporting Mountain on tour, way back when) and is a real rocker.
Willie Dixon and Eddie Boyd’s blues standard Third Degree is re-recorded for this album by Leslie and this time with Joe Bonamassa along for the ride. It’s a stunner. Zakk Wylde appears on Nothing Changed and again the blues ferocity drives the song.
The power house behind all the songs is drummer Kenny Aronoff and with half the songs on the album ‘guestless’ is gives the album great contrast.
Whist the cover of ‘I Feel Fine’ does not really add anything to the song, the matter is soon put right with a superb rendition of Willie Nelson’s ‘Turn Out The Lights’ with West,Wylde and Slash on acoustic and electric guitars. It’s a gem.
It’s been a long road for Leslie West and with recovery and health going forward it’s gonna just get longer.
1. One More Drink for the Road
2. Mud Flap Momma
3. To the Moon
4. Standing on Higher Ground
5. Third Degree
7. Nothin's Changed
8. I Feel Fine
9. Love You Forever
10. My Gravity
11. The Party's Over
12. I Don't Know (Bonus)
13. The Beetlejuice Song
Unusual Suspects is released by Provogue Records on 19th September.
Released on the new Angry Badger Records from Southampton, Kodiak Jack deliver no nonsense, no holds barred, classic rock in fine style. ‘Wasted Youth’ actually features on the cover CD of Metal Hammer magazine (No.222) this month.
The band are not ‘metal’ though, this is ROCK in a Bad Company, Montrose and Def Leppard kind of way. It’s actually quite refreshing to hear an older genre of music in such a clear, crisp and concisely powerful manner.
Made up if Bryn Roberts (Vocals), Matt Forster (drums). Kev Farren (Bass) Jeff Arnold (lead guitar) and Jon Karp (guitar & vocals) the power of this five piece band is there to deliver so rock to your ears!
The album opener, Crossfire conjures up a vision in your mind of floating long blond hair and flying V guitars, with added rock poses, (although I don’t think that is how the band actually look so stage).
Slow Burn, has a slow burn vocal that quickly progresses into a KISS style rocker. ‘City to Burn’, unfortunate title in the UK at the moment (not that anyone could have foreseen that) but classic guitar powers the song along.
The album rocks on, Anthem for the Underclass, actually powers like an express train. ‘My condition’ is the token ballad after which the album is all guns blazing to the end.
This is an album for the ‘Classic Rock’ market and should certainly appeal to devotes of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake et al. A fine debut and a great future should lie ahead for Kodiak Jack.