Wild Daydream is led by Simeon Williams. The Dallas, TX-based singer/songwriter has been investing his time in DIY bedroom recordings since 2013. In 2015, Williams co-founded the group The Black Hills with Grant Mcmahan. While playing in The Black Hills, Williams became interested in the world of folk and folk rock music. Wild Daydream was born in 2018 through his love of old folk and rock music from the ‘60s/’70s. The band is releasing their self-titled album Wild Daydream debut.
There is something idyllic about the moniker yet there is nothing idyllic about the music which covers the punch of the Beatles, the storytelling of Dylan, the suavity of the Stones and the adventure of the Beach Boys. The sound traverses down directly to folk and classic rock territory. Honing an irresistible energetic pulse, the music will have listeners bobbing their heads and tapping their toes in no time.
With a wild, carefree sound, these tracks are played with abandon. I could really feel the raw energy pulsating with its enthused and amped vibes. These songs will really make you want to get up and dance or just move around in your seats.
Wild Daydream opens with “Children Of Allison,” that starts off with a riotous bang to a wall of powerful guitars. A smattering of drums, organ, bass, guitars and percussions makes an impression on this track. This song is a sauntering ride down the folk genre filled with a big bustling vibe that harkens to a bluesy pulse. The vocals are bolstered in reverb, giving off an echo-y appeal. The electric guitars peal with resoluteness.
On “Man & The Sky,” deft strumming on the acoustic guitar starts off this track. This is mainly an acoustic song. The vocals are alone accompanied by the acoustic guitar. The sound is stripped-down. Next, a wall of electric guitars joins in giving off a fuller band vibe along with drums, percussions and bass. The cadence is melodic and catchy filled with upbeat riffs. A melodic flow adheres itself on this song. A psychedelic electric guitar solo ensues.
“Three Men From Damacus” starts off to numerating on the acoustic guitar. The strumming is deft and dynamic. With mellow and laid-back sounds, the minimal arrangements are simply rendered with just the lone sounds of the acoustic guitar with vocals. A sizzling sound comes from the percussions, adding a more amped pulse.
On the closer “Good Company,” the horns start off this track. An acoustic guitar melody sidles in. The tune is striking and dynamic. This is mainly an acoustic song with simply the acoustic guitar supporting the vocals. The electric guitars join in. A fuller band vibe comes from the drums, bass and percussions. This is an upbeat and catchy song with a melodic pulse. A melodious piano tune course through.
A sauntering ride down the folk genre, this is a boisterous record filled with rioting tunes that harken straight from the ‘60s-‘70s era. With a happening retrograde vibe, these affable tracks traverse vintage territories while also adapting a more modernized purpose. Careening between both worlds with fervor, Williams has an ear for oldies tunes that encapsulates the time adding in his own spice to the works.
Reworking raw rhythms and bass into these retro-inspired materials, Williams combines his love of folk and rock into this rocking ride that surely does these genres justice. The earnest lyrics, evocative vocals and amped music filled with high-tail energy is just the right melding to earn the album repeatable listens.
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The Wichita, Kansas band Standing in the Colour, formed in 2009, have made their third release an EP entitled “Awaken | Abandon | Adapt” and it explores the “duality and metaphysics of sound.” The trio made up of Mike Gangwere on drums and electronics, Mike’s wife Erin Gangwere on bass, and Erin’s brother Mark Green on guitar are known for their mix of progressive metal, experimental, electronic and ambient musical styles. The album cover art provides a valuable companion piece to the three-song listening experience. It tells an origin story and offers a conceptual gateway to understanding the music. At the site where the album was written, the band discovered a three-sided stone with unusual properties and obvious numerical significance. Its coloration echoes the dichotomies present throughout the music: darkness and light, mass and weightlessness, momentum and reflection. Visually speaking, it’s a pretty cool looking album cover!
True to form, the songwriters have composed seamless arrangements of these songs, out of ever changing beats, riffs and intensities — each track hewn from a single larger vision. Unlike their past releases, this one contains glowing deposits of electronic effects that give the music an otherworldly dimension. The drums were recorded at Red Cat Recording as well as the mixing in Peck, Kansas, while the guitar, bass, synth and electronics were recorded by the members themselves.
The EP starts off with “Awaken” which is an energized, intense and spacious metal-prog rock piece that folds back many layers and textures of sound. The synths add another dimension, which I thought was the icing on the cake and gave the song a sense of completeness. Overall, the way in which the instruments came together made me think of some battle scene in a dystopian sci-f movie. Next is “Abandon” which ramps up the tempo a bit more than the last number. This song seemed to have more dynamic playing involved, heavier and edgier on the progressive and metal styles. And, more spaciousness/ambient sounds with the guitar. The best section of this one was after the four-minute mark where the band performed in almost a marching unison fashion. The ending gets downright explosive!
Last, there is “Adapt” which starts off on a more ambient tone, filled with more synth action and electronic effects. The overall style is clean and crisp, perhaps with less of a metal edge and it’s something you might hear on the radio program Hearts of Space. Towards the middle, the group does make a detour with raw energy, forceful and loud! Mike Gangwere doing these crazy triplets (or what?) on the snare, too. Insane! The last two minutes or so gets even better as the band goes all out with explosive energy and dare, I say reckless abandon. But they keep it together and draw the song to a close with spacious, prog-metal beats bound to fill your progressive/instrumental rock needs. Recommended.
Max & The Seventh Sound is a disco-funk band based in Venice, Italy. The band formed in 2009 and quickly became a staple in Northern Italy’s music scene. In 2017 and 2018, the band played in St. Mark’s Square during the Venice Carnival performing in front of 20,000 people for each consecutive year. In 2018, Max & The Seventh Sound released their album, The Good, The Bad & The Funk that includes nine original songs.
The band decidedly brings back the disco era with a boisterous sound filled with pizzazz. Delving into a disco sound layered in funk undertones, Max & The Seventh Sound covers retrograde territory of the ‘70s era while embellishing with modern vibes. The band wears their influences on their sleeves while also catering to their own unique sound.
The Good, The Bad & The Funk opens up with “Shake And Boogie,” which contains invigorating disco beats blended in with a funk twist. The vocals and music are loud and bombastic. Energized electronic beats pave this track. A scintillating vibe comes from the synths and electronic beats. Horns oscillate in and out of this song. An enthused tune will get listeners up and moving.
On “Funky Friday,” funky and wonky vibes come from the electronic beats. A real groovy sound is elicited. The horns add a fully charged vibe. This is a real dance worthy track. The beat is energized relinquishing an amped pulse. Filled with silken vocals, the music is altogether very smooth and suave.
On “In the City,” a funky and wonky feel comes from the synths. Fully charged electronic beats paves the start of this song. Enthused and fevered energy come from the vocals. With vibrant and bright undertones, an amped rap style is spewed with finesse and gusto.
Toward “Higher Tonight,” funky undertones make this track a groovy piece. The vocals are gritty and gnarly. A real dance worthy vibe could be felt from the synths and electronic beats. The invigorating sultry sound on the electronic beats is an adrenaline rush.
Paved with disco-era beats undulating with a funky groove, the synths provide for an invigorating scope. The energetic electronic beats cover vast electric territory. With a sound that fans of disco and funk can appreciate, The Good, The Bad & The Funk alternates between disco to funk and everything in between. The album encapsulates the ‘70s era without alienating contemporary followers. Magnifying a fun-loving dance vibe, these retro-inspired tunes will have you boogieing in no time. Many a disco anthem blazes through this combustible album filled with raucous spirits and a ridiculously bombastic vibe. Meant to be played loud, these lively tunes will have you seeing disco in a whole new light.
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Somerset is a group of guys passionate about rock n’ roll. Recently Somerset released their debut self-titled album Somerset consisting of 13 original songs. The band works tirelessly to get their music out and perfecting each song by spending 60+ hours in the studio. They continue to gig around Boston, growing a fanbase and spreading the love of rock n’ roll.
The sound incorporates a blend of hard rock, blues and pop that mixed together recalls a cadence similar to early ‘90s rock. The band highlights the era while also toting their own unique sound into the mixture. The results are exacting and exciting.
Somerset opens with “The Carnival,” where big sounds come from the wall of revving guitars. The rhythms are heavy and hypnotic. A guitar solo spiral overhead. The vocals are soaring and dynamic. The music is adamant and loud with big boisterous sounds. The track contains a blues-tinged, gritty vibe with dark and intense textures. The guitars are filled with a great reverberating vibe. The cadence has a metal-tinged feel mixed in with hard rock that reminds me of the hard and soft sounds coming from a band like Chevelle. The music is very intense.
On “Space I’m Wasting,” melody-driven guitars add range to this song. The guitars are revving and filled with energy. This is an upbeat and catchy track, a departure from the dark undertones coming from the previous songs. This track contains a rocking alternative vibe. With a strong melodic flow to it, listeners will be swayed by the very ebb and flow of the music. It will have audiences bobbing their heads and tapping their feet in no time.
On “One Face I Know,” synths add an ambient scope to the start of the song. A piano tune trickles in. It has a soft lilting cadence to it. Next, noodling on the acoustic guitar struts in. The sound is altogether melodic and dynamic. This is a slow burning ballad. Next, the pacing of the track changes up for a more upbeat and melodic tempo. The intricate guitars remind me of the guitar work on Minus the Bear. Sounds of lush strings also trace this song, adding a dramatic element to the track.
On the closer “Signs,” deft finger picking on the guitar starts off this song. The background is filled with ambient synths, giving off an atmospheric feel. The guitars become more melody-driven. Next, a more full-on sound is executed with fast drums, rhythmic bass lines and lively percussions joining in.
The band innovates delving into experimental flourishes on this album. Somerset goes on to integrate symphonic overture into its sound. On the track “One Face I Know,” the sound of lush strings underlines the gamut of this song. This added a more dramatic element to the overall effect of the album. Embellishments like a chip tune melody in “Phoenix” gives a unique edge to the music.
With edgy, raw rock tunes, the tight musicianship on this album assails with a wall of revving guitars loosened over the effects, rhythms-heavy bass lines and a rollicking drumming beat. You can tell these are musicians passionate about their craft. Their packed jam-sessions display a tight-knit chemistry that not only showcase their love of music but also their ever-evolving rapport. These electric rock songs are a testament to musicians who know how to rock hard! The band shows a lot of potential with their debut and I can’t wait to hear more from them soon.
Everything But The Everything is a new project from a solo musician from San Francisco. He recently released a four-song EP entitled Dream. He played bass in a number of bands before starting this project. More often than not I found the music was led by the bass part.
He mentions, “The album is a rock n’ roll album that has a nostalgic feel to it.” That might be true but you can say that about almost any recent rock album so let’s get a little more specific. I was picking up a late ’70s and ’80s vibe from a lot of the songs. The long hall reverbs and some of the post-punk inspired qualities seem to reflect a number of bands from that period.
The first song is entitled “Chalk and Blood.” The rhythm section is held down with a steady beat and bass line. A reverb laced guitar glows in the background. The song drives. I wouldn’t say the vocals are buried in the mix but they are low and distorted which sound good for the aesthetics. As I mentioned the bass was a major factor and you can hear that on the chorus. At some points I was reminded of Primal Scream.
Up next is “This Cold Sea'' and this song out of all of them was perhaps the most ’80s influenced. It’s a blend between a number of bands like Echo & the Bunnymen and Duran Duran. You can include contemporaries LCD Systems in the mix that happened to be influenced by a lot of '80s music. I remember talking to James Murphy a couple years back and we were talking about the glory of an ’80s sounding kit and that seems to be the case here. There is more excitement to the kit in this case however. The vocals sound great on “This Cold Sea.” He is putting a lot of emotion in the words but not over doing it.
“Just” is another success and quite possibly the highlight. I was digging the more ethereal qualities to this song which include new age sounding piano and airy vocals. The distorted bass is a nice juxtaposition and I liked the experimentation and out of the box production. There is a different singer on this song unless there is some kind of effect on the vocals which is also possible.
Last up is “This Cage” and it felt like a closer from the slower BPM to the more ballad-like qualities. The song is more pensive and heartfelt but avoids being melodramatic. There are some inventive transitions that utilize dissonance. I loved it. The bass is subtle but again very integral to the sound. Eventually the song snaps into a Pink Floyd like guitar solo before the vocals become more the focal point.
This is a great debut. It’s cohesive, accessible but also not predictable. On top of that the songs have enough deviation where I felt I was getting different flavors but not a different band. This is a promising start and I hope to hear a lot more. Recommended.
Linda McGovern (vocals), Colm McElarney (keys), Shane Counter (guitar), Simone Pujia (bass/vocals) and Paul Ames (drums) are The Telling. The band from Dublin, Ireland recently released an eponymous three-song EP The Telling.
The first thing to note is the band is definitely playing into an ’80s and ’90s rock (sometimes funk) vibe. There are a lot of signifiers to the lead guitar sound to the very impressive vibrato and singing style of McGovern. I grew up on similar music to this when I was a kid and hence felt slightly nostalgic.
The EP starts with “Grasping at Tomorrow.” You are greeted with ominous pads which paint an ominous post-apocalyptic world. The mood they paint for the first ten seconds felt a little out of place. I thought I was gearing up for a Brain Eno song. A little after the one-minute mark some beautiful flamenco guitar and swelling pads accompany McGovern. The bass is leading a lot of the charge of the song. As the song continues I was impressed by McGovern’s vocals. Her tone and inflection has a classic rock quality to it. Powerful, commanding and she can hit high notes with ease. As I mentioned, her style felt retro in a good way. The song takes off with an ’80s sound guitar lead as the band goes into a crescendo. I thought the last minute which displayed some experimentation was well done.
“A Summer Field” starts with a serene electric piano. Once the band came in it reminded me of a Christmas song in a good way. It's atmospheric and warm in a similar way to the John Lennon song “So This Is Christmas.” As the song progresses however it loses that vibe as it twists and turns with a prog rock inspired chorus which I really liked.
The band starts “Your Favourite Song” with a completely different style. They seemed to turn into Blondie at first which was very unexpected and was also so on the nose. Everything from the classic octave bass line to the drum beat felt like a homage. The chorus felt more aligned with their previous style because of the distortion. This song seemed to try and bring these styles together.
This band was recently formed and seems like they are in the stage of doing some experimenting to find a signature sound. It doesn't seem to be quite there yet but I did really like all the songs even if it was for different reasons.
I think they are off to a solid start. I’m digging the retro style and notable performances. Take a listen.
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Cream Camino is a three-piece band from central Ohio that recently released Dames & Disbelief. The band says their album is comprised of “many rock sub genres.” Apparently some of the reasons for this is some of the songs go back to 2009.
The band opens with “The Creamy Theme” which sounded a bit like a song you would hear as an intro to Anime. It’s thirty seconds and doesn't bear too much resemblance to most of the album. The band immediately switches gears with “Vegas Boulevard” which is a mix of blues, rock and country. It felt like a good bar song. The song is well done and down the center. I really liked the vocals right off the bat and the chorus is very catchy which felt a little more ’90s alternative inspired.
They rock out a little bit more with “You're Just Fine” which is another really well done song. I thought the melodies were memorable. That being said there were no real surprises good or bad as the song progressed. The band has more of a ’90s punk rock vibe on “Beyond the Grave” while “Call Me Horatio” is a fairly pop oriented song and strives for epic heights.
There were a couple highlights as the song progressed including “Hurt Me.” “All Tragedy” was a wicked song while the closer “Open Chords” is hopeful and airy.
The songs aren’t as disparate as I thought they were going to be, which is a good thing in my opinion. I always preach that finding a foundation and a signature sound is essential to building an audience. These songs felt accessible for a large audience. Some songs like “Open Chords” I’m inclined to call straight pop. The rock songs are radio friendly as well without much experimentation.
Overall, I thought this was a well written and delivered album. The band shows their talent in multiple dimensions. Take a listen.
Can you guess what type of music Rabid Flesh Eaters play before hearing their music. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not folk, it’s not jazz. Got it. Yes, it’s metal. The band from Arlington, Texas is releasing a new single “Demons Within.’’ I had the privilege of spending some time with the track before its release.
Let’s start from the beginning. Since the ’70s, metal has been riding on a line between humor and more intense serious qualities. You saw this with bands like Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and many more bands that started to embrace lore, fantasy and magic. It was fantastic, theatrical and depending what lens you were viewing it through could make you laugh, be a cathartic release of all the pain you were dealing with or both. The absolutely hilarious 1984 film Spinal Tap understood this and eloquently made all the cliches and tropes of metal into a ball of laughs that almost everyone found funny.
I bring this up because “Demons Within'' rides this line with the best of them through the ages. The track starts with no warning and is immediately pushing you back against the door. As soon as I heard the vocals I loved the classic affectation that sounds like a supervillain. The vocalist sings “I’m searching for demons in my soul.” One thing to mention is the drumming skills. Metal drummers are known to be exceptional and you can hear that here.
The guitars are obviously distorted and cut through the mix like a sharp knife. I loved the tone of the lead you hear around the two-minute mark. I also was digging the eastern modes he was hitting. The track keeps climbing with intensity and a little after the three-minute mark the band mixes what sounds like industrial into the song which brought to mind masses of armies marching in unison.
I always enjoy a metal band that digs into qualities which make it so fun like GWAR and countless others. Rabid Flesh Eaters certainly seem to understand that. I can’t wait to hear more.
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Every week we mention a couple of artists that are worth your time to check out that were not featured in our weekly reviews.
Artist Album Rating
Miss Guilty Busted 3.9
Inward Effort One 3.7
Chimney Choir (light shadow) 4.0
Oakley Boyd 4! 3.4
Always Manic Everglow 3.5
Westerly is a band from the San Francisco Bay Area consisting of Sterling Spence (lead vocals/ guitar), Scott Wilson (lead guitar), Jessica Lips (vocals), Jeff Peck (bass) and Brandon Seinturier (drums). The band recently released their latest EP entitled Rags and Ribbons.
The EP begins with “Build.” It starts with rolling toms, bass and soft shifting pads. I got a bit nostalgic for this song. There are some ’80s and ’90s vibes on this song. I was reminded of some of the more atmospheric work from Bruce Springsteen but more so the sense of Americana was strong in the song.
The male and female vocal harmonies are really fantastic and are the focal point of the song. I did notice the male vocals acted more as the lead. As the song progresses there is a build that leads to a very epic section. I wasn’t expecting the song to sound this intense or hopeful. The intensity dissipates fairly fast making for a comforting ending.
Up next is “Down to the Filter” which brings an electric guitar in the mix and pulls back on the pads from the first song. This song is more Americana infused with musicians like Tom Petty and Wilco coming to mind. There is a blaring guitar solo but the vocals were the main pull for me in this song as well.
They save the most funky and festive for last. “Shakin’' sounds a lot like the title and although pensive melancholy sounds good on the band I liked this exuberant song just as much. There is also a little more of a blues vibe here between the organ and lead guitar.
I remember listening to this band's previous release a couple years back and really enjoying it. This release reminds me of why I liked them so much. These are heartfelt songs that feel undeniable organic and human. Take a listen.
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