Drew Wardle is currently located in Saratoga Springs, New York. Back in 2017 he released his first EP entitled Suicide Tuesday which we did review. He is back with his sophomore effort entitled Dogs of this century.
This release features seven songs and is fairly diverse in terms of musical instrumentation. His vocals are the focal point and he has some range here as well. Take for instance the impressive opener called “Truth belongs to the deadly killers” where his smooth vocal delivery might remind some people of Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. I happen to love Cocker and really enjoyed this song. The music revolves around guitar, drums, a fuzzy bass, violin and even synth.
He has more success with the infectious “The Mirror.” This whole song is hypnotic but that chorus is just killer. Wardle weaves an interesting story about yearning for love. “New Generation'' felt like it could have been straight from the late ’50s. The vibe here reminded me of early songs from The Beatles mixed with a little spaghetti western. I loved how loose the song felt. The Instrumentation feels like at any any second it could fall apart and the beauty is that it doesn't.
He has a similar approach with “Gone” which is led by a saloon like piano. There are bells and some loose percussion as well and I thought the sparse approach worked really well for the song.
“Dressed in Red” is an interesting mix of elements. At its core is acoustic guitar and vocals but there are these dissonant vocal harmonies which give the song a unique vibe. The guitar picking is often very beautiful in this song. “Black-eyed” might be his best vocal performance yet. This song also makes the organ a prominent feature of the song. He closes with “The Mad men (song for Andrew)” which is a little '50s pop and a little bit Velvet Underground.
This is a raw release where everything felt live and visceral. It comes across as very pure and honest music. Recommended.
Threering is an American progressive metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. The band recently released My Last Words which is the band's fifth album. They said, “This is our fifth album, and we're trying to make a little bit of a departure from the heavier sound of the last record.” On that note this album is exactly light. There is plenty of rocking out to go around.
I remember hearing their previous release and was impressed. I’ll admit I was a big fan of metal bands in the ’80s and early ‘90s like Guns N' Roses and Mötley Crüe so it was an easy album for me to enjoy. There is just no denying if you are a fan of the era of rock you will most likely be a big fan. The band just has that sound from the vocals to rip roaring guitar solos.
The band gets rolling with “Dying Light.” They play into a dramatic intro with piano, atmosphere and heavy lead guitar. The band starts to rock heavily if you ask me but they bring it down just as quickly. Once the vocals came in I was thinking of those rock operas they used to have back in the day. The vocalist sounds like he’s from a different era.
“Eleven” is a little more straightforward all things considered. The band finds an infectious chorus and thoroughly rock out for most of the songs besides the breakdown towards the end. As the album progresses the band is consistent. The songs don’t disappoint. That being said I thought there were some highlights such as “Black Letter.” I would say there is only one song that felt like a ballad and that was the last song “The Fifteen.”
The band definitely goes for epic rights on this release. There are some soaring peaks here that the band reaches on a musical and emotional level. Take a listen.
Become A Fan
Cafaco is a one person bedroom artist from Dallas, Texas, who released Nice to Meet You. The artist has only been playing instruments like guitar for a couple of years so this is his first effort. His music is distorted and often feels kinetic.
The title track “Nice to Meet You” is a whopping eleven-plus-minutes long. It starts with a fairly simple beat from a drum machine and single note delay guitar. The bass comes in and the timing was off and eventually things start to coalesce to a fairly hopeful sounding garage rock riff. Distorted vocals come into the song and they are in fact so distorted you can’t make out any of the lyrics. The song gets a little experimental and seems to implement effects like a bit crusher as the song ebbs and flows with energy.
Up next is “Sunset.” The song is a slower and he seems to be lamenting most of the time. His vocals are more distorted than ever. At its best there is some resemblance to early TV on the Radio.
“False Start” sounds like the title. You start to notice similarities in his palette by the time you get to “Mellodrama” which is a good thing because it forms a signature sound. “Mellodrama” was an undeniable highlight. The vocals are infectious and I thought the elements in the song worked really well together.
“Omae o Zutto Aishiteiru” is a little too intense for me. It sounded like the whole song was mostly phaser and distortion. “Mirrohead” and “Neptune'' have their moments but the more gothic “Fly on the Wall” is a highlight. He closes with an ambient piece entitled “How it Feels to Drive” but it sounded like it belonged on a different release.
Overall, I thought this was a solid bedroom release. I’m interested to hear where he goes from here.
The Mayfly Scheme is a five-piece band that consists of Matias Kilpiö (vocals/acoustic guitar/ trombone), Aleksi Heino (bass), Ville Lapinsalo (guitar/backing vocals), Timo Antikainen (drums/percussion) and Taisto Väisänen (keys). The band formed in Helsinki, Finland during the summer of 2018. The Mayfly Scheme is releasing their latest EP entitled Welcome To Dada Town.
Their sound integrates a wide variety of styles. From psychedelia to folk revival, jazz, country and much more, the album mixes a broad array of categories that show their penchant to be genre-bending. Their eclectic tastes move the entire record. A four-piece EP Welcome To Dada Town showcases their range when combining their varied signature sound. A cohesive undertaking, The Mayfly Scheme has set a solid foundation with this brand-new recording.
The EP opens up to “The Devil (In The Shape Of A Man)” where a smattering of drums and the energized, amped sounds coming from the keys start off this track. The song has a spiritual revival vibe reverberating with a carefree cadence. Groovy harmonies fill the backdrop of this impressive track bursting with energy.
Following is “The Residents Of The House” where a melodious piano tune paves the way in the beginning of this song. The melody is bright and catchy. The band brings it up a notch with a slow sauntering drumming beat that contains a jazzy undercurrent. The arresting sounds of the piano settles in. The vocals are simmering, brimming with a slow groove. This track is a slow burn. A strong sense of urgency underlines this song. A dramatic cadence unfolds.
A country-bent vibe is ill-contained in the start of “Yours Are The Eyes.” The track has a nice flow to it. Listeners will be swept by the very ebb and flow of this music. A lament for the one who got away, the country-blues ties are vibrant with a slow sauntering groove.
On the closer “Keep Cool And Thank The Skies” an acoustic guitar melody enlivens this song. A simply rendered track with just the sole sound of the acoustic guitar supporting the vocals, this is a sprawling acoustic song that is eventually joined in by drums and background vocals. This is a warm and heartfelt number. Percussions add in an amped appeal. A soulful and groovy concoction that reverberates from deep within, cadences of the organ sounds off on this country-twang track.
Filled with an ill-contained energy, a vibrant and exuberant spirit sets the tone to the start of The Mayfly Scheme’s latest release. Brimming with a wild and carefree vibe, psychedelic undertones with hints of a big banging revival could be heard at the heart of the fully charged track “The Devil (In The Shaped Of A Man).” The remainder of the EP is equally exhilarating and celebratory. Hinging on a singer/songwriter mode, these tracks have been written and composed by Kilpiö and fleshed out by the full support of the whole band. Indicative of their live sound, these performances on the album are bursting with on-point vocals and deft musicianship from the band. The Mayfly Scheme shows they have chemistry on the record as they perform with enthusiasm and gusto. Welcome To Dada Town demonstrates their camaraderie as they jam out with imaginative flair.
There is certainly nothing lackluster about The Mayfly Scheme. They play with tons of panache. And when the track elicits it, they slow it down to provide the slow grooves with their signature showmanship and theatrics. Kilpiö shapes these songs with his evocative songwriting and the band backs him with their full-on sound. Touching base with everything from dream and imagination to urban desperation and how life is a continual search for balance, these tracks are filled with wonder and inspiration. Illuminated by an inner spark, these jazz-infused country-blues rock tracks are alive with a vitality and verve that simmers from deep within. Be sure you have a listen today!
Boulder, Colorado-based Ty Gallaway brings us his debut the EP Unwind, recorded as Ty Himself. He wrote and recorded the music while working in a Wyoming oilfield, and has channeled his day-job frustration and exhaustion into a taut, dark, guitar-laden three-song EP.
Gallaway starts us off with “Blind” an airy, layered track featuring reverb-heavy guitar set off against a big beat with pop sensibilities. He sings, “I’m tired all the time / Please, wake up my mind” which pairs well with the underlying music. The tempo picks up into the end, as if trying to wake up his mind, but we don’t get there: the song finishes with an unresolved conclusion.
The beginning of “Unwind” evokes Edie Brickell, though Ty Himself is murkier. The track is driven by a pulsing bass, offset by spoken, chant-like vocals. The outro features some very nice guitar leads. The last cut “Slow” is the pick of the lot, and offers some rays of redemption.
It’s a minor-key love song, with jazz guitar voicings against a slow rock beat: John Mayer fans will find this familiar. “Slow” feels like it should be in a film, underscoring the candlelit dance before the steamy sex scene. Once again, Gallaway gives us some tasty guitar licks on the way out. Yum.
Unwind is a just-right first release. It’s dark and brooding, and clearly channels his frustration, but Unwind is not overbearing or depressing. He evokes empathy, not a suicide pact. Gallaway says he has another EP ready to release, and I look forward to the next set. In the meantime, enjoy a little time with Unwind.
Joshua Baumgarten (vocals), Mishal Zeera (bass), Lars van der Weiden (drums) and Tom de Haan (sax/guitar) are The Irrational Library. The band recently released Everything at All Times and All Things at Once.
This album by all accounts felt punk rock to me in attitude. This reminded me of older punk bands like Minutemen that seemed to be pissed but also had a lot of levity. The music is great throughout but make no mistake about this, it is about Baumgarten’s expressive vocals which cover contemporary issues and much more. I found his spoken word/singing a perfect mix of anger, absurdity, humor and levity. There isn’t an ounce of pretension and it is all the better for it.
The album starts with “To Know That You Know Nothing” and that bass line had my number. They combine that with some slick percussion and horns and I was loving this groove. Baumgarten delivers the goods here. He’s all over the place sometimes singing sometimes speaking and all of it works.
Things get arguably even better with “Social Media Circle Jerk.” This is the first song where I actually laughed while listening. Baumgarten more or less tells everyone to fuck off and it’s beautiful. There are some clever anecdotes and no one seems to have a safe space here.
“Just Do It” was another song that made me laugh numerous times. When he says “What!?” I was dying. As the album continues that is a mix of absurdity, humor and so much more. “Palestinian Pulled Pork” is a perfect mix of non-sequiturs that David Lynch would be a fan of. There are some twists and turns as the album progresses. The jazzy and lounge like “Jager” and the closer “Everything at All Times and All Things at Once” might be standouts but I liked all the tracks.
The album is thirteen tracks but is only around 40 minutes which is good for a punk rock album. I became a big fan. Recommended.
Kaleido Bay is a band from the UK comprised of Ben Kay, Jake Gribben, and Harry Grace. The band mentions that they combine elements of progressive rock, post punk and alternative rock. They recently released “Liberation” and as they put it they were “Inspired by the frustration of societal structures molding the majority of us all into a certain way of life. Anger at the system and how it trains us to accept a mundane way of living with little to no hope.”
Kaleido Bay is a band that is young enough to pull off this type of music. I remember in the ’90s being drawn to bands like Rage Against The Machine. Their anti-establishment was appealing to a young mind. Eventually, you have to grow up, get a job, possibly find a way to provide for a family and you are inevitably a cog in the machine. I was just debating with my friend recently that this type of anger and anti societal structures just sounds better coming from a younger generation. It sound more vital, urgent and more often than not sincere.
Musically, “Liberation” is a rock song that fits in a good amount of different influence. The song starts with a barrage of tom drums, bass and distorted guitar. It quickly breaks up with a danceable bass line. The vocalist then sings “you’re a slave to contradiction / you’re engraved with false freedom.”
I was digging the rise around the one-minute mark which leads to a pop oriented chorus. As the song progresses the most unique moment might be the vocals after that which sounds like a play. The Eastern modes the band plays is also very cool. The song has an instrumental section where the members are jamming out. They do some effective rocking out with solid guitar solos. The band slides back into the chorus one more time.
I’m more than happy that a young band like Kaleido Bay is still angry and is able to shift attention to these types of issues. Take a listen.
Miranda Taylor and Larry Ragone are Exmaid. The duo from New Jersey recently released Sorcery. The band says, "The album is largely about the inexplicable and otherworldly connections we can feel with one another," as well as "about relationships beginning and ending." That’s a broad concept that’s filtered through distorted rock.
When I was in high school in the mid ’90s I was a big fan of heavy grunge bands like The Melvins and Mudhoney. Exmaid felt like a band I would have gotten into all those years ago. The band delivers a good amount of crunch and rocking out which is juxtaposed against the much more softly delivered vocals. That being said Taylor doesn't feel reserved in her vocal approach. There are certain songs where she belts it out more.
The album starts with “Mary” which is a solid opener but a bit of a slow burn. It revolves around guitar and vocals for about the first three quarters of the song before some rocking out occurs.
“Moth” felt like a highlight. This song in particular soars and combines elements of shoegaze as well as ’70s inspired metal. I liked the way the song builds - the vocals, and drumming worked together to create epic crescendos. “Lite” is an infectious song. There is no denying that vocal melody is memorable. “Dead” and “Swim '' continue to deliver the goods with fairly straightforward songs that are really well delivered and written.
“Moldy” has single written all over it. It’s a catchy song I think a lot of people would remember the melody to. “Prez” and “Jane'' continue to build a signature sound for the band. “Best” brings down the distortion a bit at first and I liked the change in texture and tone. They close with another highlight called “Meow” which contains some of the best guitar work.
There is no denying the engineering and production is top notch. It’s clear but distorted and obviously engineered by experienced engineers.
The band accomplished a lot with this release. They weave a cohesive foundation and after the ten songs I felt like I had a good impression of the band's sound. On top of that I felt these songs were accessible and just a pleasure to listen to. Recommended.
Become A Fan
JOHO is a rapper/singer/songwriter who recently released Youth in Retrospect. It s a four-part story reminiscing about life from childhood to present day. That in a nutshell makes this album an autobiography.
There are a lot of different approaches to the music. Up first is “Red Soda'' which is very nostalgic from the music to the lyrics. The music is very airy and atmospheric and there is also a lot of traditional singing as well. “NightLight” felt more flashy but was still airy and atmospheric but felt a little more appropriate for a club.
By the time we get to “Droptop” the vibe starts to feel way more festive than nostalgic. The song is filled to the brim with instrumentation. That airy and atmospheric quality is all over songs like “One of Those Nights (feat. Kiev)” and “Foreign (feat. KD).” On that note, so are the hooks. The songs are undeniably infectious and I enjoyed the guest spots which gave the song variety.
“Left on Read” (feat. Jonesy)” is undeniably sensual. The vocals are very smooth. The instrumental aspects of the song match the vocals with similar texture and tone. I would say it’s a very relaxing and serene song. “Stone Cold” came out of nowhere and felt like an outlier. The song is way more aggressive than anything that came before and reminded me of southern rap. It felt especially noticeable since the previous song was “Left on Read” (feat. Jonesy).”
The very next song is “Everyday” is very sincere and heartfelt. One of the highlights was “Bitter (feat. Kaylie King & Maxgotthetracks).” I loved the guitar on the track as well as all the vocal performances. Truth be told the hook was the most memorable the album for me. I also have to mention “Meet Me at the Park'' which is a nine-minute song but is also more or less straight pop.
Youth In Retrospect is an ambitious effort. JOHO detailed his important moments in his life through song. This felt like an album that will be appreciated by fans of pop and hip-hop. Take a listen.
Jesse Jones is a singer/songwriter who started off writing poetry. It wasn’t till 2012 that he picked up a guitar. All things considered that’s not a very long time to be a songwriter or a guitarist. Leaving Celina is his first attempt at recording some of his songs.
Jones has a classic singer/songwriter vibe that musicians have been playing into since the late ’60s. He utilizes simple chord progressions and usually laments or croons in some kind of way about various subjects. Jones even brings out a harmonica which is a staple of the genre. He says “A lot of my songs focus on troubling times and troubled people” which I would say is still the most popular subject in folk music.
The album starts with “Celina” which revolves around strummed chords and his vocals. Jones’ strength is his lyrics and his storytelling on this song but it also has a classic folk quality to it. It’s about nostalgia and change.
“One Day Comes Around” features guitar picking and one of the more memorable vocal melodies on the album. His best songs are in fact sweet and tender that contain guitar picking such as on “A Little While.” I felt like “Sad Dracula” and “Good For Nothing” were the other highlights.
Jones has talent and is just getting started if he keeps going. I’ve been writing songs for over twenty years and my friends think a lot of my best material was written within the last couple of years. I think Jones should give some food for thought about ways he differentiate from the crowd. The lone troubled troubadour musician is a very popular cliche and trope but for good reason. It’s a guy’s or gal’s honest reflection about the things they feel and perceive. There’s a beautiful simplicity to it but it also becomes hard to stand out from the crowd.
I would say this is a solid first album with honest storytelling that is sincere. He pulls it off and hope this is just the beginning for him. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook