Showing posts with label Rock Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock Review. Show all posts


Vancouver based songwriter Rich Chambers releases indie single 'High School Can't Last Forever'

Vancouver, Canada based artist Rich Chambers has a musical story unlike any other. Redefining soft rock and 60’s rock to create his innovative signature sound, Rich resides in an ambitious indie-rock meets alternative limelight that will instantly leave you wanting more. Returning with his latest release, “High School Can’t Last Forever,” the rocking new single merges the sounds of Buddy Holly and Green Day to explore the notion of what really constitutes youth and innocence.

Sharing his thoughts on the release, Rich Chambers explains, “High school often seems to represent that moment in our lives where anything is possible. It is our launching pad to life, so to speak. From that point, we all start to make decisions (or don't make decisions) that ultimately start each of us off down our own unique life path. “High School Can’t Last Forever” is a song that tackles this defining moment in our lives. It begs the notion that those who follow dreams or take chances to go after something often live without regret; whereas, those who are never willing to take a chance or squash their dreams (for whatever reason) often live with regret and find themselves looking back to life's launching pad (high school), wishing they could launch again. It does this to the backbeat of an under three minute, timeless, rock n' roll soundtrack.”



Prog/Cinematic Rock Review: Esthesis-The Awakening

Release Date: November 14, 2020

Label: Autoproduction



Esthesis is a French project formed by Aurelien Goude (keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass) and inspired by 70’s British Rock, especially prog rock. In collaboration with three other musicians, Baptiste Desmares (lead guitar), Marc Anguill (bass) and Florian Rodrigues (drums), the four-piece band have released an EP, Raising Hands, in 2019 and a full-length debut album, The Awakening, in November 2020.

I chanced upon this band by accident, and count myself very lucky to have done so, as I was instantly transfixed by the stunning music found on the full-length debut. I was lucky enough to get hold of one of the limited-edition CDs initially released as they sold out fairly quickly, but the band have now issued a standard CD to allow for the increasing demand for the bands' music.

With repeated plays, it is possible to detect very specific influences, such as Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree from the UK, Rick Miller (another great discovery I came across late in 2020) from Canada and those Norwegian giants, Airbag.

The Awakening is a six-track release with a total playing time of just shy of 60 minutes (59:39), with the opening track, “Downstream,” the longest at 16:31 minutes and the penultimate track, “The Awakening,” the shortest on offer at 6:26 minutes.

To start a debut album with “Downstream,” a 16+ minute epic, shows the self-belief that the band carry at the moment. An atmospheric start leads to guitarist, Baptiste, gets to show his bluesy side before the vocals of Aurelien appearing, smooth and understated, but so fitting the music. The track progresses with instrumental sections interspersed with those vocals and that blues styled guitar very much the central feature. The band even manage to fit in an atmospheric whistling section, which reminded this reviewer of the whistling section in the “Wind Of Change” track by the Scorpions. This opening track gently transports the listener along on a very subdued, laid back journey. During the journey, the piano of Aurelien, the guitar of Baptiste, the soft gentle vocals of Aurelien and the tight power unit of Marc (bass) and Florian (drums), flow effortlessly. At around the 9:30 minute point, there is a change in tempo increasing the urgency of the track, but the superb guitar playing maintains the atmospheric soundscape. At 11:30 minutes, another change reinstates the piano as the main instrument with the guitar slotting into the background but exerting a huge influence. A bit of vocalization adds to the aural picture the band are setting out for the listener. Entering the last 2 minutes, the track starts to drive toward a finale. Some more aggressive playing takes the track out and sets the listener up for the rest of the album.

“No Soul To Sell” (8:33) track 2 on the album is a very different style and hints at the wide-ranging ability of the musicians. With a chunkier guitar riff, more "in your face" drumming and a superb bass produce a total style contract to the opening track of The Awakening. A heavier riff-laden section fades and the bass reappears away in the distance as the track moves into an atmospheric meander, leading to an acoustic guitar passage before the organ, bass and guitar drive the track to completion.

“Chameleon” (8:06), and the fourth track, starts with an acoustic guitar riff before being joined by the smooth vocals and then some vocal harmonizing. The sound continues to be “fleshed out” by the presence of the bass and drums and ultimately, the organ appears swirling away in the background. Just before the 3:00 minute point, that bluesy style guitar soars over everything before disappearing as firstly the voice takes over and then the organ. A chunkier section of the acoustic guitar then gives way to a simple but sublime organ passage and a little more of the harmonizing vocals. An interesting change of sound style just before the 7:00 minute point ushers in a swirling heavier sounding organ that escorts the track out.

The Awakening is an amazing debut album by Esthesis which is a pleasure to listen to. From the smooth vocals, intense drumming, intricate and chunky guitars, superb bass lines and beautiful piano plus swirling organ, the members of the band grab the attention of the listener at the album outset, take them on a 60-minute journey of discovery before gently returning them as the last few notes fade away.

My simple advice is to grab a listen to The Awakening and then add it to your collection.

By the way, Esthesis has just announced that a trip-hop version of the closing track, "Still Far To Go" will be released on Bandcamp on March 5th 2021.

Jim "The Ancient One" Lawson Prog Rock Music Talk Staff
February 26, 2021

1. Downstream (16:31)
2. No Soul To Sell (8:33)
3. High Tide (10:35)
4. Chameleon (8:06)
5. The Awakening (6:26)
6. Still Far To Go (9:28)


Rock Review: James Williamson and Deniz Tek-Two to One

Release Date: September 18, 2020

Label: 2020 Cleopatra Records


James Williamson and Deniz Tek find themselves in a fully-loaded, revved up new music venture, Two to One. The Stooges’ guitarist James Williamson and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek team up once again from 2017 and Tek’s 2011 special guest appearance from Iggy Pop and The Stooges’, to unveil a new progressive-rock, garage-punk blend album that is sure-fire to get you rocking out in your garage like the olden days, or on the next neighborhood block party. Coming September 18, Williamson and Tek team up to bring you an album that takes the seriousness out of your everyday life, even if it is just for a moment.

The album explodes onto the scene with “Jet Pack Nightmare.” With its ZZ Top sound-a-like guitar riffs, the song is a great starter. If you listen close enough, it sounds like a timed race of revenge on someone before the person seeking the retribution wakes up. “Progress” sings of being forever in the moment. Where we are recognizing our faults of personal history, we also acknowledge that “tomorrow never comes,” meaning, time is just a construct to some and we will rectify our issues when we feel it necessary or imperative.

“Take a Look Around” is a slower touch of ‘90s ska/alternative music, with a representation of calling out modern-day civilization. It says to observe what is right in front of us, admiring the completely wrong ideals and lifestyles, rather than maybe focusing on our self-improvement and growth. “Good as Gone,” writes itself in its lyrics. A man who has reached his point in tolerating the other party in question. He sings as though this person has pushed him to where nothing can justify him trying to mend the relationship.

“Stable,” is the lead single off of Two to One. The lead singer claims to be in a sort of freefall where nothing anyone does can save him. From when others around him first met him, his character or personality is slowly cracking with imperfections. He feels as though no matter what someone tries to do to help him, it will be nothing but failed attempts. “Climate Change” is a bit of a random tune. While it certainly does call attention to the modern-day debate of ‘climate change’ it seems to be a play-on mockery of the topic. Some of the hypocrisy, and an old vs. young them, provides comedic relief that is subtle but funny.

“Birthday Present” starts with a smooth guitar lick, and the title lends the listener to think it will be something positive and uplifting until the singer begins singing. The song is based in a darker-than-expected tone and a very scattered concept of a celebration, more like the ending of one messy party. “Small Change” begins as a bit of an Americana-rock styled song. For a sudden shift, “Small Change” hints at glimmers of positivity and subtlety peaks at how emotion can increase the effects of the changes in life. A “big heart,” to this singer is key to morphing your life to the way you desire it to be.

“Liar” calls out the singer’s significant other straight to her face. He proclaims what a lot of us feel when we’ve hit the end of the road with someone. “Except the diamond in your ear, nothing last forever” is possibly the boldest claim to how far tolerance can take a person. This woman cannot see right in front of her the actions that led up to the separation about to occur. “No Dreams” is a spiral. The singer is lost within himself, trying to find something to connect to on a physical level of which, unfortunately, failure strikes him at every turn. The song is a fantastic way to represent how our psyche can easily be manipulated and played with. Ending out the album, “Melissa Blue” is of a seductive lady who has an aura of mystery about her, only to end in heartbreak. The song tells of a whole tale of meeting up, a small dose of adventure, and inevitable heartbreak as the two, part ways.

Key tracks include: “Good as Gone,” “Stable,” and “Melissa Blue.”

Gregg Keniston - Staff
August 15, 2020

Track Listing:
01. Jet Pack Nightmare
02. Progress
03. Take a Look Around
04. Good as Gone
05. Stable
06. Climate Change
07. Birthday Present
08. Small Change
09. Liar
10. No Dreams
11. Melissa Blue (Bonus Track)



Pink Fireball Release Wild Rock Single 'Cool Rider Crunch'

Pink Fireball are a four-piece rock group from Paris, reviving classic rock whilst introducing several of their own idiosyncratic twists.

Their previous single ‘Turn Around’ was a chugging rock anthem that incorporated trumpets accompanied by a fun rollercoaster-themed music video. Now the band are back with this new guitar-driven single ‘Cool Rider Crunch’. It features some big vocals, breaking into a mean guitar solo for the second half of the track.

The music video is equally exciting and sees the band riding a 1965 Ford Mustang. The video also features appearances from Moulin Rouge dancer Chloe Alexandra Atherton and models Aline Tran and Petula Goldfever. 



Review - Exhilarating Belfast Rock Band 'Irontown Diehards' With Their Self-Titled Album

With all players having played in top rock and metal bands of Northern Ireland they aren't to be taken lightly. Their albums lead track "Fly High" displays their experience and immense ability to utilise their past experience to create a new sound that possibly even has Alter Bridge (one of their influences) running for their money. With a full yet spacious introduction the tracks grows to an uplifting and heavy chorus with a particularly strong vocal line soaring over the top of some fantastic guitar.
With their Victorian-esque outfits, theyre definitely an original band breaking out of the conventional rock/metal aesthetic, perhaps inspiring a new generation of musicians to branch out beyond the current revival of vinyl sales.


Watch/listen here:


Rock/Blues Review:The Allman Brothers Band-Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theater 1992/Live At Great Woods (DVD)

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Label: Legacy

The Allman Brothers Band have gone through several incarnations over the years and they are set to go through yet another one with the departure of longtime percussionist Butch Trucks and guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes. Somehow Gregg Allman will find a way to restructure the band just like he did when he lost his brother Duane tragically to a freak motorcycle accident in the early years of the band.

Part of their resurgence after an extended breakup was the reforming and performing at The Beacon Theater in New York. The other factor was getting Warren Haynes into the fold to give Dickey Betts a run for his money. It worked out very well and the chemistry was clicking. The performances at The Beacon were so successful that the band became permanent residents and had annual concerts that ran for several consecutive days. All of this is now history and the performances are legendary.

There are two recent releases that document that time frame in the 90s, when The Allman Brothers Band was on
fire again. A 2 CD set titled Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theater 1992 and a DVD Live At Great Woods.
This band served as the blueprint for jam bands going forward. With three percussionists, two guitar players, keyboards, bass and three capable lead singers, their excellence at every station was their conduit to a foolproof performance regardless of where they played. Both sets bring this to bear in the most superlative fashion. You hear it straight on through the CD set and see it happening before your eyes on the DVD.

At the very top of the mountain is the phenomenal track tailor made for an in concert jam titled “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” which proved to be their trademark jam session clocking in at over 20 minutes. Anyone that is fan of the band is very familiar with the track and will certainly agree that the music becomes more compelling and expansive in a live setting. The ABB have been able to successfully meld rock, blues and jazz and come up with an explosive sound reaching many splendid apexes. In turn they could also slow it down and show a softer acoustic side when they wanted as witnessed by the mini acoustic set they performed at Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts (check out the provided video of the classic “Midnight Rider”). The curtain closer on the CD set “Whipping Post” is reminder of how the ABB have reigned supreme as a headliner for so many decades. Their resiliency and wherewithal is something to be admired.

The most enjoyable factor with these two sets is that you get the best of both worlds, the audio and visual experience. Every aspect of the ABB is on display throughout these releases and a must have for any fan to add to their collections.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Midnight Rider, Whipping Post

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

March 17, 2014

Disc 1
1. Statesboro Blues      
2. You Don't Love Me   
3. End of the Line
4. Blue Sky
5. Nobody Knows
6. Low Down Dirty Mean           
7. Seven Turns
8. Midnight Rider
9. Come on in My Kitchen

Disc 2:

1. Guitar Intro / Hoochie Koochie Man
2. Jessica
3. Get on With Your Life
4. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
5. Revival
6. Dreams
7. Whipping Post

Live At The Great Woods DVD

Track List:

1. Statesboro Blues
2. End Of The Line
3. Blue Sky
4. Midnight Rider
5. Going Down The Road
6. Hoochie Coochie Man
7. Get On With Your Life
8. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
9. Revival
10. Jessica
11. Whipping Post

Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Rock Review: Augustines

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Label: Carloline

First they were Pela. Then they became We Are Augustines. Now, they are just Augustines. There is plenty to talk about in regards to how this all happened and how this band almost stopped entirely. I recommend you read up on this if you enjoy this band. Their story is a whole article in itself, but it will make you appreciate them all the more. That said, the important thing is that the current lineup is still making music, the latest being the self-titled release under their latest name, Augustines.

Augustines picks up where Rise Ye Sunken Ships left off. This makes sense as the same lineup was used on both albums despite the name change. It’s pretty safe to say that if you like what you heard previously, you should like their latest stuff as well. It still has that modern Springsteen feel to it, especially with Billy McCarthy’s scratchy vocals.  Augustines has a bigger sound then previous work. It is more ambitious, but it is still full of the passionate blue-collar rock sound that makes this band so good.

A track like “Cruel City” falls right in the bands wheelhouse. It is just what you expect given what was good about their previous album. On the other hand, “Walkabout” gives you an example of the bands ambition with this latest album. It’s an adventurous track that displays the bands desire to branch out and aim for stages bigger than they’ve graced to this point. Still, I found that “Kid You’re On Your Own” was more reminiscent of Pela. As I still prefer the Pela album to the two “Augustine” releases (though I am still  as much a fan of them), it was a pleasant surprise.

Augustines makes it pretty clear that Augustines have plans for larger things ahead. Compared to their previous releases it shows hints of the arena-sized sounds of bands like Coldplay. Having seen this band before, their songs do take on a whole different dimension when performed live and they can certainly accommodate an arena. While I like the growth and improvements from Rise Ye Sunken Ships, I also find that it may be trying to be a little too much too soon. I do think the result will be favorable for Augustines in expanding their reach, but I think that splitting the difference would likely have made for a bit better of an album at this juncture. Regardless, Augustines have made another rock album that should earn them the attention they deserve.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Cruel City, Walkabout, Kid You’re On Your Own

Kevin Kozel

February 21, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review