Joey Eppard On Unknown Sundays 2024

UNKNOWN SUNDAYS 2024 ON OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL [CLICK HERE]

Wake Pig.  That’s the cover I see with outstretched, oddly shaped hands arms, or is that tree-branches as arms.  Is the band Wake Pig, or is the album name Wake Pig.  Is it both.  This is the used bin in another record store (because, goddamnit, I’m addict, remember), and I’m flipping it one by one, taking each album cover in and calculating the possibilities of what kind of music it just might be sight unlistened, or “unknown” as it fits for this Sunday’s Unknown Sunday.  Okay, what else do I see, well this number “3” in cased in a sticker and on the cover.  The sticker is stating that they’re going for ADDS November 9th, and the suggested tracks to play are 1,3, and 6.  Oh, and a website www.thefamily3.com (so they’ve got a website, and of course in 2004, I’m really not going to be able search anything as I don’t have a smart device at this time).  This is obviously a promo copy, and it’s in the used bin for such a reason, and the price is right, and the songs on the back are short with one being ‘dogs of war.’  I’m finally sold on my three-dollar-and-ninety-nine cents when the record label is Planet Noise Records.  Why?  Not because I know them, or have other bands that I recall on that label.  It’s because it kind of tells me that Wake Pig or “3” are going to be making some noise.  The band is “3” here on Unknown Sundays, but the man I find out behind it has more of signature than expected.  Joey Eppard on Unknown Sunday 2024.

The progressive rock band, 3 (three), was my first foray into the guitar styling uniqueness of Joey Eppard, which is finger-tapping rhythm.  He doesn’t seem to be a guitar pick user from what I discern, playing electric and or acoustic free-hand for the most part, utilizing every inch to the guitar to create the sounds the dominate and fluctuate the sound that is the band, as well as in his own solo record, Been to the Future (2002).  What makes it progressive is that style, the sway into acoustic from electric, elongating the songs into epic proportions.  Also, though, Joey’s vocal, siren-like style is the other added component that puts the music at the progressive rock and even alternative genre.  Wake Pig in 2004 got two releases, one under the Planet Noise Record label, but then it also was released under Metal Blade (which certainly is the bigger name in the bunch, and would be the record label for the band permanently there forward)‘Bramfatura’ into ‘Trust’ is an example of the carefully laiden combination of it all, at least on Wake Pig.  As the band moved forward, they certainly homed that sound and skill set, making larger productions in the 2007’s The End is Begun, the Revisions record in 2009, and the final album, The Ghost That You Gave Me.

Joey Eppard knew how to weave a song in lyric and let his voice work in softer songs, too, which definitely added to the flow and dynamic of recordings, creating the overall progressive feel of the albums.  While the hard hitting alternative progressive rock would be that which would gain attention of rockers, it would be the complete albums that drove the hardline base of fans that enjoyed the progressive nature and characteristics of their sound.  A triple threat, really.  Joey, while his voice isn’t completely unique, it leans much more progressive than pop or rock (think Getty Lee, Steve Wilson, and Dream Theater’s James LaBrie).  In fact, back on the anniversary of Woodstock, the band and Eppard were getting in line with record executives in the likes of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, which is another falling out record executive firing story of delay that was more than common in those days.  But, they were young, and were able to endure.

Joey’s Been To the Future solo album is a slight departure from the overall progressive sound, collecting his musical talents and guitar playing into a more acoustic, singer-songwriter indie-stage with hints of progressive natures that kind of might fall into a little more funk and experimental.  It even showcases a different range of his vocals like in ‘Stranded In A Tree Top.’   The overall delivery of the record was well produced from top to bottom, but obviously it didn’t move a lot of units.  However, we in the music multiverse know talent and appreciate the dedication and exploration of the craft of music, songwriting and audio creativity in all genres.  That’s why we’re here, and Mr. Eppard is a great example of diversified talent top to bottom.

Joey has toured and performed with the likes of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria (which is brother is the drummer of), Opeth, Atreyu, Within Temptation, Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, Scorpions, Heart, George Clinton & P-Funk, Little Feat, Aztec Two-Step, Todd Rungren, Orleans and many more!  Joey is also was a member of the band DRUGS with members of P-Funk, and an original member of Travis Stever’s Fire Duece.  During COVID shutdown, Joey and his wife did, “Staying In With Joey Eppard” which were a pretty big hit.  I certainly like those kinds of performances back then, as I was certainly hoping to hear more of Joey Eppard and whatever inclination of band or solo art might be forthcoming.

While I’m fairly certain Joey Eppard will emerge somewhere, I am very grateful that there is a catalog to enjoy.  He is an interesting guitar player, and “3” (three) was a very unique sounding progressive rock band that during its run was always in my stereo of car or at work.  They consistently made very good music that is worthy of being in your catalog, or at least something you should explore in a music rabbit hole.

Albums of Joey Eppard and “3” (three) in my collection
  • Paint by Number (1999, Planet Noise)
  • Half Life (2002, Planet Noise)
  • Joey Eppard Solo:  Been to the Future (2002, Planet Noise)
  • Summercamp Nightmare (2003, Planet Noise)
  • Wake Pig (2004, Planet Noise / 2005, Metal Blade)
  • The End is Begun (2007, Metal Blade)
  • Revisions (2009, Metal Blade)
  • The Ghost You Gave to Me (2011, Metal Blade)

 

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 3 Part II

Here we are at Part II of Album Review Saturdays Episode 3!  I hope you gave Part I your attention, some interesting albums to enjoy (and of course the additional ones that are on our YouTube Channel version of this episode).  This Part II is going to shake it up again, as I take on the last founding member of The Door’s latest instrumental album, then move to a very quiet, love-intense piano driven soundtrack, and finally tie this entirely instrumental episode up in a bar-rock meaty delivered package.  Sound good?  Of course it does.  Instrumentally, we go!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski discusses these (3) albums + adds more reviews at the end]

 

Robby KriegerRobby Krieger and the Soul Savages

Robby Krieger is best known as the psychedelic guitar pop master of one of the greatest bands of all time, The Doors.  Post career with The Doors, Mr. Krieger has been both reliving the music through live shows with a variety of guest singers, and of course utilizing his guitar skills to make solo records of his choosing.  In his own words, “These guys are world-class players—they’ve worked with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz—they have that great groove pedigree.”  Robby Krieger and the Soul Savages is a trip down the soul and funk avenue of musicianship.  The all instrumental album is true to the form and format with the obvious skill set of the musicians that are employed on this record.  Between Robby’s guitar (as non-psychedelic and pop as it gets) sliding into a funk, soul-blues pocket, and the collaborative on-going union Roth’s incredible hammond organ skills, the genre is elevated and you are the locked in listener who is going to enjoy the audio ride.

Kevin Brando on bass, and Franklin Vanderbilt on drums make up the fabulous funky foursome of the Soul Savages.  The vibe is not unique, but it’s the way it’s balanced and delivered by each of the musicians.  The delivery seems to have a more jazz concept over blues, allowing each musician to truly find their musical take and clever spins on funk with the fat grooves and flawless tones and pace of the record.  There is a stronger element of soul-jazz on ‘Ricochet Rabbit’ as maybe the only track that is maybe not in the particular flow, but still fabulously laid out, showcasing the guitar skills of Krieger (and then some, as he turns it on it’s head a bit) that maybe you might not have a full awareness of.

It is fantastic to have Krieger still bending the strings, and having the Ed Roth tickling the ivories along with him.  There’s plenty of soul for your listening pleasure, and the tightness of the Savages is represented throughout.  A truly enjoyable record from start to finish for any fan of music.

The Band

  • Robby Krieger – guitar, slide guitar
  • Ed Roth – hammond organ, piano, keyboards
  • Kevin Brando  – bass
  • Franklin Vanderbilt – drums

Robby Krieger and the Soul Savages Tracklisting

  1. Shark Skin Suit
  2. Samosas & Kingfishers
  3. A Day in L.A.
  4. Killzoni
  5. Contrary Motion
  6. Never Say Never
  7. Bouncy Betty
  8. Ricochet Rabbit
  9. Blue Brandino
  10. Math Problem

 

 

Joe HisiashiSilent Love

Mamoru Fujisawa, known professionally as Joe Hisaishi, is a Japanese composer, musical director, conductor and pianist, known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.  One of his most well known would probably be Spirited Away.  Silent Love revolves around a mute man who falls for a blind girl and the pair communicate their feelings through the power of touch.  Joe’s piano playing is monumentous to every inch of this movie, as the actors carry their emotions in quite a bit of silent facial gestures, stoic moments, and beautiful contemplative stares.  Without the piano, it’s composition, and the delicacies and balances of it, I am not quite sure the movie’s emotion gets all the way to you.  In fact, I’m wondering how the concept of this movie was even pitched to a producer.  Mute means no sound, and movies are all about sound.  You feel this “love,” because of the piano’s emotive maestro at the helm, and that’s probably why he was chosen as the composer.  The compositions are infused with carefully delivered string arrangements within for added texture and the engrossing feel, which can only be at the careful conduction of Joe.

It’s an incredible, truth-filled situation and set.  There’s nothing elegant or over-dramatic going on, and I can be talking about both the motion picture and the score.  However, the balance of it, and the stroke and weight played on the keys definitely relates the effections flowing through the score and the film.  The situation feels incredible.  It feels of love, and the piano plays a pivotal role in communicating this unbelievable “love,”  and the power of touch.  Quietly and emotionally to wonderful scope and arrangement, Joe, has crafted a simple sound to somehow orchestrate that love and feeling to a degree that might not have been thought of, unless you’ve experienced the motion picture.  This should be a foreign language Oscar contender in film and score.  However, the only drawback could be that there is no track that has an elongated time, so it’s a woven concept.

Silent Love Tracklisting

  1. Opening
  2. Touch
  3. The Quiet Two
  4. Sound of Salvation
  5. Hand of God
  6. Confusion
  7. In the Gentle Wind
  8. Distortion
  9. Intense Passion in the Rain
  10. Anger
  11. Incident
  12. Dirty Hands
  13. Two People Through Acrylic
  14. Scarred Hands
  15. Blue
  16. Silent Love
  17. Touch – Again
  18. Silent

 

One Eyed Moon – The Man With A Thousand Masks

And now for a real surprise that we don’t see too often in the new music multiverse, an instrumental hard rock album that doesn’t try to go all exploratory into progressive or metal, or even folk dimensions.  Maybe it has a stoner vibe, but I don’t get a lot of fuzz on this.  However, it is a concept record (you heard me)!  It just keeps a rock structure, a hint of rock-opera, and a tempo and assurance that might even be confused with a bar band.  An exceptionally good bar band, by the way!  The Man With A Thousand Masks is well-delivered rock instrumental album filled with great timing, well infused guitar riffs and solo-ish compositions, and the strongest attention to a continued hard rock groove that keeps your ear engaged and knee bouncing.

Now let’s talk about the concept of Joseph Campbell’s theory of “The Hero’s Journey.”  The Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, developed in Hero With A Thousand Faces, describes the common heroic narrative in which a heroic protagonist sets out, has transformative adventures, and returns home. It is a useful formula for comparing literary traditions across time and culture.  And it’s definitely useful formula here for One Eyed Moon’s album and the twenty tracks that should obviously be played all at once all together.  The album’s flow is definitely it’s charm to the rock ear, and you can definitely feel the journey, as you enjoy moving to the next transformation.  Now, these transformations are not massive, they are modest flexes in rock muscle, tension and design, and they meld perfectly in the straight line progression of our hero’s journey.  Please be aware that there are tracks I – IV from the bandcamp download are actually tracks 6 – 10 , if you are purchasing download, but on the streaming services that album starts at track 6 (which technically is the starting track, Ordinary World).

This was a cool surprise (wait until you see the band member list) on the list of early albums this year, and there are more albums of One Eyed Moon to explore, so I’m anxious to hear what the preceding albums do in genre and music, considering this really good, late December 2023 album this was!  Hopefully, you will take the journey whether you’re a hero or an anti-hero, as I have a feeling it is good hard rock therapy no matter.

The Band

  • Christopher Moon – One man band here (surprise)!

The Man With A Thousand Masks Tracklisting

  1. Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal
  4. Crossing Over
  5. Supernatural Aid
  6. SOS
  7. Belly of the Whale
  8. Road of Trials
  9. Temptress
  10. Abyss
  11. The Cave
  12. Elixer
  13. Refusal of Return
  14. Brew of Immortality
  15. Magic Flight
  16. Resurrection
  17. Rescue from Without
  18. Master of the Two Worlds
  19. The Road Back
  20. Freedom to Live

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 3 Part I

What do you mean there’s no Album Review Saturdays this week?  (That was last week, right?)  Oh, now I’ve gone and really messed things up by being sick.  You would think that music would be able to sooth my sickened-soul, pull me from the mouth of illness, or lull me into a moment of enough zen to write three reviews.  Truth, it could have.  Bigger truth!?  I run six dentistries as my “real” job, and when you move to static IP — no not Static-X (I wish) — and your router won’t comply, and you’re on the phone for four hours trying to make it work with technical support that’s only qualification is they can answer a phone, be polite, and wait to get the answers from someone else — you suffer time loss that is inescapable.  Dread.  Oh, I was in a foul mood.  I was having trouble breathing, and I certainly was not going to recover.  My apologies, my music multiverse listeners.  So I figured I’d do a back to back, as I don’t want you to miss out on these albums, especially if you’re into something really pulse pounding, riff and rip your ears off!  Oh yeah, there is a four alarm fire on this one.  I’ll let the cover spoil it for it you!  Onward and sideways, as I muttered to myself after leaving the office last Saturday at 10pm (knowing I didn’t help myself or Album Review Saturday’s momentum).  Here’s Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 3 Part I!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski discusses these (3) albums + adds more reviews at the end]

 

 

The American Analog SetWhat Are We Going To Tell Guy?

I was introduced to The American Analog Set in 1996 by Bill of The CD Exchange in Orchard Park, New York.  Bill, would never play anything coarse or hard rock in the store due to clientele, which made absolute sense.  So, why I browsed at lunch time, on the days I was in the office and not traveling for restaurant equipment sales, I would spend time listening to what he was playing.  The lo-key instrumentation, subtle shifts, bendy strings and light alternative electronica was elementally soothing.  There was nothing the same about each song, even amidst the calm being of the music.  Vocals, if included, were always tempered into the mix.  I knew why he played it in the store, but I also know WHY he played it in the store.  I probably put his dogs through doggy college with the money I spent in his store, but he always had his pulse on what he could have playing in the store.  There are stories in that store – galore!

I’m partial to the 1996 and 1997 albums, and I had not heard a new album from somce 2005’s Set Free.  That’s right I missed, For Forever.  Hell, I didn’t even see it come up in my spreadsheet, so that was a true, real miss (I’ll be playing it soon for sure).  So, What Are We Going To Tell Guy?  The set up is still the same.  The electronic carefully minded hum is there with the instruments flowing soft and gentle over, layering the mood, and allowing the songs to shift like they have pretty much always done.  The lyrical content here is sparse and honestly left to repeat rather than inspire or narrate (although they do as the question of the album title).  I feel we’re not in the “know” here on this one.  Or, at least, I am.  It’s still pleasant and soothing, but there’s a much more stripped, weaker presence, which could be absolutely by design, and I just didn’t get it.  The playing of acoustic guitars and organ are lovely (it could even be a flute for all I know – eh, vibraphone maybe), especially on the ‘I’m Too Tired To Shine I.’  There’s melancholy pace that I liken to the possible mental state of an assisted living ‘guy’ adjusting to the habitat, soaking in the pale surrounding, navigating the days enjoying some of the modest luxury of the time, until a light shown in something or someone.  Now, toward the end, this ‘guy’ is finding out the pace might be one thing, but there is a beauty and enjoyment in it because the music here has its place.  Just like ‘guy’ does.

The Band

  • Andrew Kenny – guitar, vocals, organ, electric piano, synth
  • Jesse Lee – bass, tapes
  • Mark Smith – drums
  • Sean Ripple – vibraphone, backing vocals, guitar, drums and percussion
  • Tom Hoff – organ, electric piano, guitar, drums

What Are We Going To Tell Guy? Tracklisting

  1. What Are We Going To Tell Guy?
  2. You Don’t Want Me To Arrive, Do You?
  3. Too Tired To Shine I
  4. Where Did You Come From?
  5. Queen of Her Own Parade

 

 

 

 

Slift – Ilion

Holy shit!  There’s knowing how to play an instrument, and then — there’s knowing how to PLAY and instrument, and get every last drop out of it.  Holy Shit!  There’s knowing how to play in a band, and then — there’s knowing how to PLAY in a band, and knowing how far you can push each other!  Ilion has no concept of fear, no concept of taking a moment to breathe the ether, or turn off their pursuits for progressive metal nirvana.  They are like me, a gorger.  The Toulouse France trio went into the studio, took their creative time, pushed each other at every corner of production and talent, spared no mental expense, methodically and progressively made their metal masterpiece, and delivered it up, throwing down their eight tracks (no not the magnetic-tape sound recording technology that was popular from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s) goring the ears of the listener in one hour and nineteen minutes!  Thrashing them all over the primal landscape of anything they could sonically muster into the macabre (yes, there’s even industrial in this, too).  The elevated musicianship spares no moment.  They remain at this heightened progressive metal, stoner rock. industrial drip sense of sound, dialed in, dialed up, and unrelenting, accept maybe a fading song exit (nope! that wasn’t an exit –  Jesus).

We know the French can bang it out.  You know Gojira, so there’s a model.  However, Slift, makes the gorging elongated, darkly compelling, and beyond musical comprehension in every place on Ilion. It’s a wonderment of conception, song per song, in timing, in dramatic (yet controlled) crescendos that unexpectedly become another monstrous patterns of crushing riffs or rock licks, or metal solos, string tapping or bending or sonic spillage.  I kind of liken this to very dark early Genesis in technical aspects in the weaving of the music, just taken to a much darker and metal based world, and then torchuring it further.  The vocals do not completely share this sentiment (for me).  They know their place, sculpted carefully to contour the exceptional compositions.  There is no way they could compete at the heightened position the music is at anyway.  A lead singer wouldn’t survive.  They would be replacing them after a year of touring after draining their very life force.  To do anything other than the vocal here would never even come close to working.  The harmony in it is like a string arrangement; the only thing anywhere near subtle about the recording.

I feel like the band could play forever, or that they’re playing for the very devil that gave them their talent and joined them into perfect guitar, bass and drum playing flesh.  They either have no choice, are possessed marionettes of a primordial maestro, or they are the new coming of masters of the progressive metal meets sonic industrial!  Dark designers extraordinaire!  Any progressive metal or progressive rock ear is going to be completely drawn in.  It’s unavoidable, and you’ll know it on the opening, title track, and be cataclysmically aware when you ‘Enter the Loop.’  Trust me!  Accept it, like an exploding supernova into a black hole.  France has more than the Paris, The Olympics and Champagne this year!  Viva la Slift (or is it le?)!

The Band

  • Jean Fossat – guitar, vocals, synthesizers
  • Rémi Fossat – bass
  • Canek Flores – drums

Ilion Tracklisting

  1. Ilion
  2. Nimh
  3. The Words That Have Never Been Heard
  4. Confluence
  5. Weavers’ Weft
  6. Uruk
  7. The Story That Has Never Been Told
  8. Enter The Loop

 

 

 

Sean ShibeProfesion

Classical guitar.  The mere mention of it, and I feel ill-qualified to have a review.  Not because of my non-technical expertise.  I’m just intimidated by it.  I mean, could Eddie Van Halen play classical guitar to the works of Agustín Barrios, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alberto Ginastera?  I would assume so, right?  I’m thinking Joe Bonamassa could, considering his performance in Vienna.  But, those names!  They are intimidating, more so, right?  They composed this music in detail and without the help of advanced technology — and in some cases even void of decent lighting.  Still, I’m drawn in.  I love the expertise, the incredible dexterity and calculated manipulation of the thick strings at the sacrifice of skin and nerve damage (okay maybe it’s not that bad).  I am wowed by their command of the delicate wood based instrument and the variety of ways they hold, caress and rub to make it become alive with sentiment and age battled melodies that somehow continue to be a revelation in this day of the swipe and play, scroll and pick that is the recording industry’s measure of success.  No.  I don’t need a cold shower.  Not yet anyway.  Let’s check out Mr. Shibe on the classical guitar.

No, I don’t know Barrios’s “Profesión de Fe” (profession of faith), but after hearing Sean Shibe brilliantly profess his own through Profesion, I’m fairly certain I have a minute grasp of the delicate, commitment required to make sure a profession.  The cover art itself, had that life and devotion kind of look to it, and the picture held true to the maestro’s intention and the musical palette within.  There’s a simple beauty in the Old World, and the strings at his fingers convey it devoutly from within the church that provided the acoustic arena for such sounds to flourish (like the lovely plant growth shown in the album cover).  While Sean is not South American, you might feel that he is, considering the depth of attention and the style capabilities that are probably required, as well as modified within his interpretive concepts.  The opening three tracks are compelling arguments for the beauty and somewhat sonic sounding acoustic flare that is capable in the right place, and in the right hands.  The playing is light, not overt in complexity, but complex in beauty and timing.  There’s a story-telling feel in the “studies” section,.  Yet, the “sonatas” area definitely lets the passion have its way for a bit, intensifying tempos and strumming, but careful to share the original spirit of the record in acoustic beauty.

This is a musical world to explore, my music multiverse travelers.  It is a perfect world to immerse into your background of life, or in the silence of beautiful room, or, if the moment arises, a spiritual or romantic moment thick with beauty and passion.  Sean Shibe came to me via Moon Dog, Louis Thomas Hardin, (yes that Viking dude on the corner in New York City).  He did an album much like Kronos Quartet (that I reviewed last year on Album Review Saturdays) on him, so it’s a wonderful music multiverse of so many degrees of Moon Dog separation!  Whatever leads you to classical guitar.  I hope you appreciate and enjoy in between your usual listening habits.

Profesion Tracklisting

  1. Preludes, W419, A419: No. 3 in A Minor (Homage to Bach)
  2. La catedral: I. Preludio (Saudade)
  3. La catedral: II. Andante religioso
  4. La catedral: III. Allegro solemne
  5. Julia Florida
  6. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 1, Allegro non troppo
  7. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 2, Allegro
  8. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 3, Allegro moderato
  9. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 4, Un peu modéré
  10. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 5, Andantino
  11. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 6, Poco allegro
  12. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 7, Tres animé
  13. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 8, Modéré – Lent
  14. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 9, Très peu animé
  15. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 10, Très animé [ME-1953]
  16. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 11, Lent
  17. 12 Studies, W235, A235: No. 12, Animé
  18. Sonata, Op. 47: I. Esordio
  19. Sonata, Op. 47: II. Scherzo
  20. Sonata, Op. 47: III. Canto
  21. Sonata, Op. 47: IV. Finale

The Devlins On Unknown Sundays

UNKNOWN SUNDAYS 2024 ON OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL [CLICK HERE]

Since we have St. Patrick’s Day coming up, and we’re in the spirit of Ireland, Dublin and all areas within and in between, trying to pick some of the best rock, punk, jazz, and folk ever to grace the music multiverse, we thought we would let Unknown Sundays pluck a clover from the luck patch that is good and green across the pond.  The Devlins On Unknown Sundays seems like a most excellent, noble choice to lift a wise pint of information in honor of!

We have all seen the list of top Irish artists and bands, the likes of Thin Lizzy, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Snow Patrol, The Frames, The Cranberries, Damien Rice, My Bloody Valentine, and U2, which remains the unanimous choice for number one. We would like to take you to 1992-1993, and into the studio of Daniel Lanois, where in this case, the maestro himself brought out the musical “Devil” ins that would strike a bit of adult alternative music gold.

It was pure coincidence when looking back at this band, that their debut record, Drift, was born out of Daniel Lanois’ studio in New Orleans. Oh, the list of great records born, bread, and released out of that magical place! The Devlins, Colin and Peter, alternative rock-duo (if you will) have a crafty, unique way of delivering a mood and hook laden sound and lyric. The minute you hear it, you realize the intent, but fall in love with the underbelly of lyrics and melody, flowing like a mystic Irish river.  Perhaps this is why much of their music seems to find a way to television and film, such as “Six Feet Under,” “Closer,” as well as the background music for HBO entertainment promotions (that’s Royalty in a completely different way there).

The Drift (album) received a four star rating in Rolling Stone magazine, and with their follow up record, Waiting (in 1997), the Ireland boys were generating a bit of great buzz worthy of attention that could strike U2-like attention.  I had first discovered their debut record in 1994 while hunting through a used bin at local record store, which might have been one of the best $3.99 purchases ever.  What did an American record store know, right?  It’s true, unfortunately.  I quickly snatched up Waiting in 1997, when I saw it on the new release wall.  In the four years time between records, The Devlins had harnessed their talents again and delivered a stylish and lyrically deep record.  It was great to hear them again, and get sucked in–all over again.

The Devlins would release two other records; Consent in 2002 and Waves in 2004, which continue along that familiar river and its adult alternative nostalgic edge.  They are both very good records, and worthy of those nights when you wish to curl up with something deeper in mood and lyrics with just a hint of clever hook.  Their records listen (if you will) like short carefully told novellas around a much more impressive camp fire–complete with moody hooks and imaginative melodies that let the ear have its way with you.  Even the likes of Bruce Springsteen (wanted signed backstage copy of their album), David Grohl, and James Iha (both have gone on pub crawl with) are smitten with the talents of Peter and Colin Devlin.

Colin Devlin lives with wife (Irish actress Sonya Macari) and two kids.  He is still very active in music.  His solo record Democracy of One from 2009 is a terrific effort, as is his soundtrack for the movie The Killing Joke.  He was nominated for a Grammy for songwriting on “Love Wins Again” for Janiva Magness.  Peter Devlin has three kids and is married to TV Actress, Lorraine Keane.

There is/was an album in the works with Pierre Marchand, who worked on their second album, but it has yet to surface, which is unfortunate, considering the great song “Julian” (below) released in August of 2011.

 

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner.  When it strolls around the corner, hopefully, if you didn’t know the band, you will remember this article and pick something from The Devlins’ catalog to enjoy a pint or two to, when you’re tired of the same-old song list.

 

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

The Devlins Albums in my collection:  Drift (1993), Waiting (1997), Consent (2001), Waves (2005)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on March 19th  2017.  The article above has been modified to work as a current dialogue to some degree.  I hope you do explore their unique, soft rock, indie-rock delivery and structure of song-writing, as it is very good, very under-appreciated in the region it came from.  The gorgeous tone, melodies and dark-bounce is worth the rabbit hole.  The solo records, Democracy of One (2008) and High Point (2018)  for Colin Devlin do share some similarities in sound, but there is definitely a more modern progression of musical development while maintaining the poignant lyricism and themes.  I still hold out for maybe something…and I just discovered a “Live Bait and Dead Bait” EP, but haven’t listened to it yet, but I won’t keep it ‘Waiting’ much longer.  – Mark Kuligowski  [January 21, 2024]

Guy Garvey On Unknown Sundays 2024

UNKNOWN SUNDAYS 2024 ON OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL [CLICK HERE]

On this “Unknown” Sundays (which comes from our old site and blog from 2017), we’re Courting the Squall of Guy Garvey and Elbow for you!  We apologize in advance to our friends across the pond, who already know just how known he should be–as well as his band mates.  They and he give meaning to “Manchester United!”  Whether it is the long catalog of Elbow, or his debut album, Courting The Squall (UK in 2015, US 2016) there’s unencumbered musicianship that will fill that void you’ve been experiencing, as well as lead you into a musical field you can get lost in, if you let it.

This “squalling” album has the heart, soul, and tripped-out fantastical coming at you, as well as the sentimental sophistication that you would expect from the humble-yet-pertinent lyrical deliveries of Guy Garvey.  I don’t know if this was the “Elbow” album that would have been, or truly an act of Garvey’s request for solo-ism, but it just proves the hidden gems, mysteries and cataclysmic goodies that surround this true alternative rock band and their vocalist.  Garvey has a very unique vocal style, and he is an absolute master of making odd, emotional lyrical connections to the simplest of life’s places, pleasures and times.  The way he weaves the lines, pontificating eloquently, and then smoothly delivering as the charismatic observer, the storyteller, or even the memoirist.  Not to mention, he understands and appreciates clever language tricks, metaphor, and finessed alliteration, which will always fascinate us her at Beyond Your Radio.  Yes, we’re going to call him the next, Sting (it’s not that far a stretch)!

From the opening moment with “Angela’s Eyes,” Guy is putting you on notice that there’s going to be a relentless sound pursuit through a variety of instruments—both low key and right in your ear’s face. Even when the title track takes the tempo down a tick or two, there’s a harp piano collaboration that flutters along like a butterfly with Garvey’s vocals. The final work is worthy of one of the best over-looked solo records of 2016 in the United States for sure.  Don’t believe us, go back in that year, and you will understand our comment.

So, why am I talking about Guy Garvey here on “Unknown” Sunday?  Because, for some reason, the United States audience still does not get it.  Elbow opened for Radiohead!  You think that was some record executive mismatch?  No!  In fact, this band (in the likeness of the creative musical spirit) has been pushing envelopes, disintegrating genres, and bellowing lyrical greatness ever since!  Guy Garvey has a style all his own in song-writing of which the entire world has really never experienced beyond the well scholored English music listener (much respect there — represent), and a delivery that has punctuation nearly unheard of in the music business today.  So, here begins my music multiverse experience shouting out loud for all to hear!

Let’s start with the brilliant evolution of a band that is Elbow. Asleep at the Back started it all in 2001, which in actuality was not their first release (albums of material scrapped by the band a year prior–after they were dropped by Island Records during a sell out to Universal).  These EP(s) called “Noisebox,” “Newborn,” and “Any Day Now” from said scrapped recordings got the light of day, but really the rest of us were already becoming ear witnesses to full on, impressive albums: Casts of Thousands, Leaders of the Free World, The Seldom Seen Kid, Build A Rocket Boys!, The Take Off And Landing of Everything, and the just released Little Fictions (reminder: this article was written back in 2017).

Whether it’s the clever charisma and lyrical genius and harmony like “Grounds For Divorce” from the brilliant The Seldom Seen Kid, (which also has a live album, too), or the ever-changing landscape of orchestrations which exist in every album, right down to the brilliant alternative philosophic ballads like that is “My Sad Captains” from The Take Off And Landing of Everything. Sixteen years later the band continues to steam roll, surprise, and flourish with the recent Little Fictions.

Pick up the entire Elbow catalog, and dig into Guy Garvey‘s exploration into solo-ism.  The forces at work will astound.  To listen — is to regularly flirt with emotional danger!  The pay off — is you feel so alive!  Alive and real!

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Elbow Albums in my collection:  The Noisebox [EP] (1998), Asleep in the Back (2001), Cast of Thousands (2003), Leaders of the Free World (2005), The Seldom Seen Kid (2008), Build a Rocket Boys! (2011), Dead in the Boot (2012), The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014), Lost Worker Bee [EP] (2015), Little Fictions (2017), Giants of All Sizes (2019), Elbow Rooms (2020), Flying Dream 1 (2021)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on March 13  2017.  Since then Guy Garvey and Elbow continue to be one of my favorite international bands and singer-songwriters.  There are countless interviews with the common place, Guy, which continues to impress me, both in humanity and in the talent he has.  I continue to be perplexed by the simplicity and then sophistication and then the bombasity of the creative process that surrounds the music and the writing.  He can go from subtle to over-the-top ramba jazz and complicated genre splitting riffs and bends to always make something completely unique and engaging.  Why this is not the world’s band is the final mind bender.  Any music lover from classical to pop to alternative should have a vested ear and interest in Guy Garvey and Elbow.  If Radiohead can be, then — I say to you, all, — I can keep doing this like, God, leave you in the “Belly of The Whale” and keep spitting you back up at this very point, until you finally get it!  – Mark Kuligowski  [January 14, 2024]

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 2

It’s a heavenly time of year for the excitable listening habits of hip music listeners!  The year’s just starting out, and while there are not hundreds of records being hocked, we are still kind of in a hungry holding pattern.  We’ve been hurried in preparing lists, checking out heaps of sites that are predicting album release dates, and hunting for the best prospects to put into our headphones.  This week, while we searched for worthy 2024 releases, we honestly found albums that seemed to be brought in part to us by the letter “H” (as if Sesame Street was sponsoring this Album Review Saturdays)!  Ha!  Hilarious, right!  Oh, heavens, I’d better halt this hideous happenstance!  On with the…hearing!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski discusses these (3) albums + adds 3 more reviews at the end]

 

 

HarpAlbion

Harp is the married duo of Tim Smith (ex Midlake singer, guitarist who had actually made Harp back in 2012 causing that break) and Kathi Zung (multi-instrumentalist and puppet fabricator).  It seems like Harp was lost for quite some time, from what I can read and hear, considering that time table I just gave you in italic.  While I will spare the details of the missing 8 years of Harp, as a band that he had conjured, I will say that his absorption of life, other musical influences and fans of his seem to have been a great catalyst in this album’s long-time-coming moment in December of 2023.  I think a voice of his nature, melody and dramatic weight is good to hear and see continue, especially under a different, more progressive light and design.

Albion is a light, melodic Canterbury recording that is superbly delicate and exquisite in a lot of design areas like ‘Seven Long Suns’ and the intricacies of the playing, plucking and melodies of voice and background accompaniment musicianship from Zung.  It does seem, considering Smith’s prior band and musical experience, that Zung is the unique flip to the sounds that are really making this a lovely, tight, and absorbing recording.  I know those are probably drum machine parts, but they’re not overstated, and they hold so well against Smith’s ability to carry melody, tone and reach within the lyrics.  His vocals are extremely confident and emotionally attached to every moment.  He has a true passion and articulate way of giving this genre a hint of haunt, a smidge of ballad, and an old school approach to delivering Cathedral-like folk-prog in this era.

At first listen, you’re going to wean a bit, if you’re not a true progressive-folk light lover, but if you hang in there, you will find some fantastic embraceful moments, especially as it moves on.  The closer ‘Herstmonceux,’ is a perfect departing picture of a centuries old village in the landscape and soundscapes created so delicately by the duo’s details of musicianship.  Harp is definitely outside the mainstream of what is usually going to direct one’s attention in audio, but in 2023, we can honestly say it’s sound was a distinctive, lovely listening pleasure.

The Band

  • Tim Smith –  Vocals, Guitars (acoustic and electric), Keyboards
  • Kathi Zang –  Drum Machine, Mellotron (maybe), Keyboards (maybe)
  • Paul Alexander – Bass for ‘Silver Wings’ and ‘Throne of Amber’
  • Max Kinghorn-Mills – Guitar for ‘Seven Long Suns’

Albion Tracklisting

  1. The Pleasant Grey
  2. I Am the Seed
  3. A Fountain
  4. Daughters of Albion
  5. Chrystals
  6. Country Cathedral Drive
  7. Shining Spires
  8. Silver Wings
  9. Seven Long Suns
  10. Moon
  11. Throne of Amber
  12. Herstmonceux

 

 

Haiku HandsPleasure Beast

When you think of Melbourne and Sydney Australia, I don’t think you’re believing their main export in music comes in the form of alternative groove electronica dance-pop with thriving club beats and clever, cunning linguistic approaches.  It’s not like they have an outrageous bunch of cities where these type of bands can dominate a large club scene.  It’s not London and certainly not a fast train to the rest of Europe (or anywhere for that matter).  If you’re looking for a female led, fun-gasm of an alternative dance rock album pushing clever Lords of Acid, Prodigy, Doja Cat, sprinkled with Garbage groove and outrageous lyrics that’ll make you scoff and gaff.  But, yet, here we are, January 13th, 2024, and I’m doing this review of a very catchy, overly produced madhouse releasing this band’s ‘Beasts’ if you will all over the place (like a cheap brut in a not-so-lovely hotel room, after a drunken-bender-club rager).  Boom, here we are!

The band members, which seem to be comprised of two siblings, Claire Nakazawa & Mie Nakazawa, along with Beatrice Lewis, and a performing member, Mataya Young are probably chief writers and vocalists by the term of artists.  While, I’m not schooled in the art of electronic-pop alternative dance, I have to consider that there is no instrumentation breakdown, and it’s guided heavily by the “producers,” which they are also credited on.  So I will assume the tracks all come from demo(s) and usage of material mashed into a board, computer or some other production sound device of the 21st or even 22nd century (oh we won’t go there yet, AI).  While it seems they are their own animal, they’re not creating from a vacuum, and that’s honestly what I love about the album.  They site Dave Sitek in conversations and studio time that was completely jaw and mind dropping, and I can hear that!  The ladies here are certainly in fine tune with their inner and outer beasts, and they just want us all to realize and come along for the ride, the show, and the aftermath.  Cool!  I’m signed up!

Whether it’s ‘All Around the World’ kick off, or the spicy and retrospective ‘Grandma’ or the completely catchy, sassy urban club slayer, ‘Nanchuka’ featuring (feat. Ribongia), the treats are vast and the pleasures are all over the place.  Sorry.  No, not sorry (wink to band)!  This is an absolute blast!  Go ahead ‘Geddit’ and put it on.  You know that part in the movie, Begin Again, where James Corden puts on record and says, “I defy you not to dance to this song” , well…this album is all that moment!

The Band

  • Claire Nakazawa
  • Mie Nakazawa
  • Beatrice Lewis
  • Mataya Young (performing member, which I assume means only in live shows?)

Pleasure Beast Tracklisting

  1. Pleasure
  2. All Around the World
  3. Cool for You
  4. We’re Gonna Be the Greatest
  5. Paradise
  6. Elastic Love
  7. To the Left (feat. Jamaica Moana)
  8. Geddit
  9. Grandma
  10. Feels So Good
  11. Chito
  12. I Am Nothing
  13. Ma Ruler
  14. Nunchucka (feat. Ribongia)

 

HealthRat Wars

Why not!  Let’s associate the word “health” with a sonic, somber-mosh of industrial dark rock that might, well, probably not equate anywhere near to the health of the following body parts; your ears (duh), your mind (it’s going to cause it to struggle and over-compensate), heart (yeah, it’s like hitting it with defibrillators – in some cases more than one at a time), and then there’s your nerve endings (good luck there).  So why?  Once you get over the loss of your health (did you really care when it comes to the music experience, or are you Barry Manilow all the way? – not that there’s anything wrong with Barry), you’re going to start sucking up the marrow, the carb, the fat of the music like you’re your own loaf of cardiac arrest bread.  Don’t believe me?  Okay, let’s have a go at Rat Wars!

Industrial fans, like those of Godflesh, Nine-Inch-Nails, and Ministry, I know you’re all in.  You probably won’t read any further.  For those that are giving it the ol’ college try, let’s talk about the definitive sound that makes something industrial.  The keyboard!  Yes, this isn’t Bach, sorry.  This is an electronic, down-troddin’ banging of the keys as a relentless march to the macabre, that pulses along with the synthasized beat provided either in computer/drum machine, or an actual maestro drummer in the genre.  Here it’s the latter.  Then drop in the vocalist, or the gutter-roar, or screams (if you’re Filter inclined).  In Rat Wars, Health takes a great deal of time and space to develop quite a bit of variety in their industrial drive and haunts, which really make this record a very good spectacle on the scale of intriguing and beguiling dark industrial rock.  ‘(Of All Else)’ is the absolute devouring note on this scale!  Health knew what they had, and layered and soundtracked this bad ass song 2:31 of a song, making it feel epic.  And, that comes back again and again, on this record — epic in non-epic lengths.

We’ve got slow driven industrial grooves, and then we’ve got demon speeding madness.  The guitars don’t hide.  They trash and collide with the sound, creating a speed ball of noise rock and blistering grind when you — well — require, right!?  Not only that, they reek wonderfully of old metal thrash, and relinquish back into their hole-in-the-wall (Rat reference, keep up).  It’s clever, really!  It’s been done before, but it’s like you’re in a horror film waiting for the jump scare, which is really present in ‘Children of Sorrow.’  Lyrically, the somber and dark feel doesn’t seem forced — kind of genuine to the vocalist, harkening away from a storybook vocal like Depeche Mode, forcing the listener to probably strain to hear on the first and second listens.  Am I knocking it?!  No.  I’m saying that the audio intent seems to be the overall production of the industrial sound and the noises and the instruments, and the vocal is a pattern meant to be within, not rising above.

Six albums in, and this is far and away, for my ears, the deepest dive for the band.  The engagement, sophistication, and the patterns are solid throughout.  And, while I’m sure this is not the ideal Health chosen by certain professionals, I am certainly one to throw audio caution to the wind and partake of the necessary darkness and unhealthy listening pleasures that the music mulitverse can throw at me.  Great job!  Here’s to your HEALTH!

The Band

  •  Benjamin Jared Miller – Drums
  • Jake Duzsik – Vocals and Guitars
  • John Famiglietti -Bass and Production

Rat Wars Tracklisting

  1. Demigods
  2. Future of Hell
  3. Hateful (featuring Sierra)
  4. (Of All Else)
  5. Crack Metal
  6. Unloved
  7. Children of Sorrow
  8. Sicko (Sample: “Like Rats” by Godflesh)
  9. Ashamed
  10. (Of Being Born)
  11. DSM-V
  12. Don’t Try

 

Atomship on Unknown Sundays 2024

UNKNOWN SUNDAYS [NOW ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL] – CLICK HERE

Naming one’s band is like naming a child. We have had this discussion before in many other articles, for those that are religious followers of our little corner of the music multi-verse, and that is not exactly where this article is headed. But, sometimes we know why their named the way they are, and others are a bit unknown. What’s even more “unknown” is the concept as to their attention getting, and how they become extremely popular or completely forgotten, which is probably like most things of this once-on-a-lifetime kind of profession (ie: Novelist, Actor, Actress, Writer). The only problem with naming one’s band against naming of a child, is there is no room for duplication…and there in lies some serious originality and marketing soul searching.

I always think of bands naming themselves, and kind of going through that loud speaker stage announcement like this: “Ladies and gentlemen…Liquor Puppy!” No. “Ladies and gentlemen…Got No Name.” No. “Ladies and gentlemen…The Roofers!” Hell, no! “Ladies and gentlemen…Unknown Sundays!” Hmm, that does have a ring to it, right?

Anyway, that leads us to today’s band, Atomship, or is it AtomshipDown, or is it Watership Down? Not that it really matters to me in the grand naming scheme of things, but in my marketing profession it is always necessary to stick with your name. Stick with your slogan as far as you can take it. Get the message out. Push it all to the limit. Perhaps that’s what they did, when forming Watership Down back somewhere near 2002 (could have been earlier). The band’s name comes from the classic tale by Richard Adams about anthropomorphised rabbits possessing their own culture, language and well, just about everything that makes us all human. I dig it! And that album cover, that would eventually come to be The Crash of ’47 (which is a reference to the Roswell New Mexico alleged UFO crash), definitely brings home the interesting nature of the band and an intelligence factor that got my attention immediately in May of 2004.

The three piece rock alternative band delivers The Crash of ’47 with such an alternative, professional vigor and tenacity I had no doubt that the album and band would be another Wind-Up, record label, smash in the genre. From the opening song, “Day of the Daze” to the superhero-rock-theme “Mothra” to the radio played “Pencil Fight” and into the final “Plastic People,” you really knew they meant it when they said, “Let’s Play!” There are technically no dogs on this recording, and that’s pretty hard to accomplish for an off the radar, struggling alternative band. And so, critically, it was well received and there seemed to be a steady fan base, but record sales were not encouraging, and they were dropped from Wind-Up. The band even disbanded the year of the release (apparently).

And so, a band, which could have been held with the likes of other bands releasing and playing at the time, like Audioslave, Staind, System of A Down, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Perfect Circle, Chevelle and Muse, somehow moves to obscurity, falling on deaf ears in the alternative rock world–not entirely.  What you didn’t know, but probably needed to know, was that original vocalist and chief writer, Pardoe, could not continue during the recording and promotion of The Crash of ’47 because of anxiety issues and the stand in vocalist, Culver, had kind of taken over. But, that eventually fell apart, hence the disbanding the same year as the release. Pardoe managed to get it all back together in 2006 (two years later), but under the original name AtomshipDown without Culver (more than likely for legal purposes).

There was a hope in 2007, after an announcement of a double recording directly from the camp, as well as some self-recorded demos, but there would come a death in the family, Nathan Slade, lead guitarist. Then the return to WatershipDown, the band’s original name (we can assume more so out of respect to Nathan Slade). The album, which was called Let Us Sleep A While, has not made it to the light of day to this point, as I’ve eagerly searched for how to purchase. There was a Tweet back in 2010, and that was the only one, while looking for a drummer. Then a note that there was a release in 2013, but I do not see any material evidence of such, just YouTube “Seven Months” which was slated to be on that record (Pardoe paying tribute to Nathan Slade) which was loaded back in 2009.

I still hold out for the possibilities of hearing a next album, but it seems the Atomship and or Watership might be truly down. I encourage those that have not heard The Crash of ’47 to partake of it, and understand just how hard it is to name a band, keep it living and breathing as it was formed and known or unknown as–you never know when it’s going to be dead, or how it’s going to possibly resurrect itself.

Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 1

Welcome to the New Year on Album Review Saturdays 2024! Obviously, the new releases are not that plentiful in the beginning of January, but there was a few, and there were two that we were desperate to get to from the previous year, and we finally had the time to. The last two weeks of the year were amazingly packed with shows on the channel, panelists live visits, and our New Year’s Eve “Meal To Music” Special (still being edited at the time of this posting). So, let’s kick 2024 off here on Album Review Saturdays with an absolute fusion blast from an accomplished drummer, YouTuber, and music officianato that we truly respect, and couldn’t wait to get our ears on! Then, well, we tap into alt hip-hop rapper reflecting on his age and times, and finish up with some garage punk from Dublin that actually did take the risky release first Friday of the year! Good for them — and ridiculously great for us!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski discusses these (3) albums + adds (5) that dropped Jan 1 2024 by (who?)]

 

Andy Edwards – Forbella

If you don’t know Andy Edwards, well, it’s okay. We took some time to figure out the lineage of awesomeness he is besides his great YouTube channel. The well known English drummer (and multi-instrumentalist) started out with rock-god turned solo artist, Robert Plant in his Priory of Brian, and then on to progressive status with bands like IQ and Frost, as well as that rather simple yet utterly informative 2021 YouTube channel bearing his name that we are subscribers of.  So, enough about him, let’s talk about — oh him, and his new album, Forbella, which is only available in digital format, and he seemed to have conceived from like May to September somehow!?

To describe this album as anything other than utterly all-in progressive fusion avant-gard-uoso international would be under describing the complexity, impressive musicianship, and miraculous melding of instruments, emotive ambient, and gorgeous and spastic mixing that produced the feast of Forbella.  But, apparently, it all started from the request to write music for a someone’s dance piece that explored the mystery of BELLA and THE WYCH ELM (okay now we have to do some research, or we just listen to the music — your choice), which is interesting in its own right because that request, according to Andy himself was May of 2023.  That’s right, after you listen to this wicked recording, plus the 30 minutes of additional music if you purchased, you have to wrap your head around the process only being May through September (and even probably less than that considering the release date).

We’re going to drop this like a Mole Sauce recipe, okay.  The ingredients of this list to follow, can only be accomplished by the most dedicated and skillful hands and minds of improv maestros! One quart of heavy whipping progressive rock, two cups jazz, two tablespoons of funk, a cup of electronica half-n-half, two tablespoons of African spice and Latin peppery guitar rock solos, a tablespoon of ambient salt, and set aside sprigs of bells, organs and strings to decorate the digital black circle (plate).  Okay, so I’m not a trained musician at the caliber of Mr. Edwards, but I certainly can understand and appreciate the ingredients, the passion, and the plating of it all!  Comparing him to a chef, and the album to a meal just seems appropriate considering the depth of flavors throughout.  Just consider where ‘Tanggula Station’ starts off with vocal and modulated sound and strings, as it gets slowly churned, paced into a mid-eastern whip, yet still grooved until it’s sprinkled in with Santana-esque guitars and incredible toms (maybe they are) and symbols and electronic drum pads and xylophone?!  Yeah, there might even be some Arabian flute via synthasizer (maybe it is).  Oh, come on, Andy!  Help a music lover like me out!  Come on the program and give us the real recipe.  I’ll give you an hour to explain all of this (to our fifty four subscribers, there’s some incentive — NOT).  Seriously, though, the work, the sounds, and flow fits the man and aptitude for creating and listening to music that we’ve been watching on YouTube, knowing we could not hold a candle to something he mutters, matter-of-factly, on any of his shows.

He’s probably not going to read this, but this is a complicated digital spin, and not only did we appreciate and love it.  We wanted to engulf it!  But, instead, we took our time, like he did (or did he, considering the time table), and savoured it all!  Yes, we’re going back for seconds, when we purchase Forbella for download along with “The Story of Forbella” digital booklet and the extra 30 minutes (which we can only assume is the super deluxe mole recipe)Forbella is definitely a severe miss on our part last year, not getting to it sooner, as it is definitely a Best of 2023 listen in not just the progressive world, but a universe of genres!

The Band

  • Andy Edwards – Drums, and everything else that isn’t happening below.
  • Grace Edwards – Vocals
  • Jack Jennings – Guitar Solo on Tanggula Station
  • Phi Yaan Zek – Guitar Solo on A A
  • Roy Marchbank – Guitar Solo on Sarmouni

Forbella Tracklisting

  1. High Phi
  2. Tanggula Station
  3. A A
  4. Forbella
  5. Sarmouni
  6. Tryptych Part I: Affirmation
  7. Tryptych Part II: The Denial
  8. Tryptych Part III: Reconcilliation

 

 

 

Danny Brown – Quaranta

Danny Brown’s style and beats feel like they never get old, rehashed or complacent.  Quaranta, his newest album, which is a reflective alternative hip-hop, rap-tro-spective is another confirmation that his skill set and attention to having “a beat that’s def” (to quote Tone Loc) are not only completely unaged or damaged by his past, but completely void of the easy shitty trends surrounding the genre.  Even when he uses a loop, it fits what he’s throwing down.  And, throwing it down he is!  With all kinds of bass depth, uncontemporary sampling and looping, allowing the grappling to rise and flow with his voice and the incredible beats and music genre inclusions that give it alternative edge in this 33 minute wallop.

Again, I’m going to reiterate the commitment to the beats, deep and very rich and telling.  They wrap around his rewinding memories, contemplations and vocal delivery like panther skin at times, or in others like leather coat on a dank, dark and cold Detroit night, and in other instances maybe a bullet-proof vest.  Any which way, the sound moves you and compels you your attention to lyric as well as pace. His vernacular hits the spot and hangs on a little of that old-school approach, leaving the vulgarity to where it needs to be — not for repetitive effect.  This is not a dumbing it down album to be digested easily by the soul-sucking masses that have temporarily stunted this genre of music.  Danny Brown respects the process, the life, and realizes; while rap saved his life, he is able to combine (not separate) his life and his passion.  This is his style, cultivated hip-hop/rap piece that he and others that listen to can be proud of and know it has a true feel.  At 40, he’s got one of 2023’s best hip-hop records, hands down, and I’m ‘Down Wit It.’

The Band

  • Danny Brown – Vocals, Beats, Lyrics
  • Bruiser Wolf – Vocal on Y.B.P.
  • Kassa Overall – Vocal on Jenn’s Terrific Vacation
  • MIKE – Vocal on Celibate

Quaranta Tracklisting

  1. Quaranta
  2. Tantor
  3. Ain’t My Concern
  4. Dark Sword Angel
  5. Y.B.P. (featuring Bruiser Wolf)
  6. Jenn’s Terrific Vacation (featuring Kassa Overall)
  7. Down Wit It
  8. Celibate (featuring MIKE)
  9. Shakedown
  10. Hanami
  11. Bass Jam

 

 

SprintsLetter To Self

The Sprints Letter To Self has this beginning that’s not for the anxiety ridden – trust me.  And once you hit the 2 minute mark and the song finally kicks off, you know the garage rock-punk angst and fever you are in for.  The question is, are you ready, were you prepared.  Letter To Self is perfect for the world we’re in, the pace, the need, the want, the desire, and the impossibilities we all feel weighing on every moment.  ‘Heavy?’  Well, hell yes!  That’s the second song, and it is exactly that!  A world go ’round kind of song that’s catchy and sonic.  Perfect for when your daughter in the hotel room can’t sleep because she’s got a big try-out in sports and is blaming your breathing, walkers in the hallway, and/or the room’s lack of utter darkness for her inability to fall asleep.  Her pain becomes — just became yours.  Welcome then to the lobby –  pal!  Good thing you’re now listening to ‘Cathedral’ and asking yourself the same question “Is anyone happy?” as lead singer Karla Chubb asks.  This is their debut album, on the very first release day of 2024, and it’s a brutal, flickin’ thing of beauty!

So in answer to her question, “Is anyone happy?”  I can reply, yes!  This album’s pressure pot delivery, pointed lyrics, and perverse realism is massive in minutes, and it drops the mic.  Then your ears are aware of the silence, the questions, and lingering need to go at it again, whether it’s a living nightmare reminder or just a fun romp in the train wreck of a life.  You ‘Can’t Get Enough of It’ is exactly right!  And upon the second listen and third listen, you are now pulling out the clever musicianship in the simplicity of it.  You are hearing the subtle vocal shifts in her voice, the undercurrent in her under her breath lines, the screams that start to beautify the angst, and the harmonies are suddenly in the forefront, spitting to you louder than you heard before.

It’s an all out winner on the very first release day of the year!  And, I for one, can just audio-imagine how cool this is going to be live.  They’re going to take that angsty energy and it’s going to kick the crowd’s asses at every show.  They’re going to make the stage a one night stand — like it should be, hot and heavy. ‘A Wreck!’  Letter To Self, Hello self, buy this album, see this band, engage in life at an all-out pace, repeat! I am alive!

I gotta go the devil’s knocking at my door. I think he wants me to turn that shit down. He’s an asshole!

The Band

  • Karla Chubb – Vocalist, Guitar(s), Songwriter
  • Colm O’Reilly – Guitar(s)
  • Jack Callan – Drummer
  • Sam McCann – Bassist

Letter To Self Tracklisting

  1. Ticking
  2. Heavy
  3. Cathedral
  4. Shaking Their Hands
  5. Adore Adore Adore
  6. Shadow of a Doubt
  7. Can’t Get Enough Of It
  8. Literary Mind
  9. A Wreck (A Mess)
  10. Up and Comer
  11. Letter To Self