Consolidated Electric is an Oakland-based psychedelic rock collective, mainly consisting of Lewis Ames (vocals/guitar), Albert Wollmer (vocals/keys), Cyrus McGuire (bass) and Ian Sutherland (drums). The rock group is releasing their latest album entitled Ohm.
On this record, the band has launched a sound filled with orchestra flourishes with undulating strings, the flowy air of wind instruments and driven guitars, bass lines and drums. They have established a fully realized sound filled with energy and up-keyed vocals. Packed with big flourishes, the band certainly knows how to jam. They play to their hearts’ content and more. This is a band driven by enthusiasm.
Ohm opens up with “All Joys Of Long Hair,” where a smattering of drums and jazzy guitars induces a wall of sound. The cadence of wind instruments also traces the track. The beat is jaunty and lively. A sunny and catchy sound coalesces. Exotic orchestrations add a bit of range to this song. The track flows very well. The cadences are energized and amped.
Following is “Certain Kind of Blue,” where a bluesy vibe is elicited toward the start of this song. The bluesy rhythms on the bass lines pulsate on this track. The vocals are filled with the nit and grit blues. A gnarly sound closes in. The vocals soar with emotional power. A soothing lounge vibe could be detected. The guitars reverberate with a whole lot of range.
A catchy and sunny cadence starts off “Little Birds.” A retro-inspired sound arrives that harkens to a Beatle-esque vibe. The tune has a vibrant jazz-infused cadence. The harpsichord adds in a striking pulse. The feel is smooth and is a cool blend with a lounge appeal. The sound of flutes traces this song. The vocal harmonies are sung in a perfect pitch.
On the closer “Fake Band,” an adamant drumming beat starts off this track. The energy is up-keyed. The vocals are sung with gusto and verve. The vibe is spirited. The song contains an upbeat and catchy tone. The tune is vibrant and colorful. A wall of distorted guitars sounds off on this track. A guitar solo blazes toward the two-minute hold. Shooting blips and flares add a spacey soundtrack to the overall song.
Backed with a full band vibe, orchestras, wash of strings and stirring sounds of wind instruments clutter and flutter in this great production. The sound is full-on and you get enthused vocals and instrumentals that elicit a powerful sound. Altogether a force to be reckoned with, Consolidated Electric is like a bolt of lightning. The music is filled with wild energy with performances that pursue the realms of psychedelic and baroque pop. With a full ensemble vibe, Consolidated Electric is a collective of musicians who certainly know how to rock out. With many a passionate jam-session, they roll out all the punches with these amped performances. There is no holding back on these show-stopping songs.
Courtney Allison is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Christchurch, New Zealand. Performing since 13 and writing since even younger, Allison has grown up on stage, telling her story in the limelight and singing songs penned from the heart. She is releasing her latest EP entitled Moving Pieces.
Covering the indie, pop and singer/songwriter genres, Allison has concocted a cohesive sound that fans of the above genres will flock to. With catchy and melodious choruses and an infectious vibe, her lyrics are intelligent and relevant supported by music that will appeal to pop as well as rock lovers. With relatable lyrics and an accessible sound, Moving Pieces EP harnesses a refreshing sound that is both soulful and unique. With a whole lot of heart, you can tell that these songs come from a deep place within her.
Moving Pieces opens with “Shadows” where the sounds of the guitar mixes into an electronic vibe as electronic beats and synths sizzle in the backdrop of this track. The song starts off with some harmonious ‘oohs.’ Allison’s vocals are smooth and silky that gives off a soothing vibe. The music is overall catchy and upbeat. The music offers up a cool and smooth feel. A bluesy appeal comes from the bass lines, adding to the rhythmic pulse.
Following is “Back To You,” where the melodious sound coming from the acoustic guitar adds a real soothing vibe. Allison’s vocals are alone supported by the sounds of the acoustic guitar interwoven with the cadences of the electric guitar. Next, a fuller band sound comes in with the drums and percussions joining in. An electric guitar solo launches toward the two-and-a-half-minute mark.
Distinct noodling on the acoustic guitar starts off “Secrets” as traces of the electric guitar weaves in. The cadence is lulling with a hushed sensibility. Allison’s soft vocals come across almost as a whisper. The feeling is hushed and expectant. The sounds have a soft lilting quality.
On the closer “Fly Away,” rhythmic guitar riffs start off this track. A simmering vibe comes from the guitars. Allison’s vocals really soar on this song. A fuller band vibe backs this track toward the one-minute mark with bass lines, drums and percussions sidling in. A strong sense of urgency underlines this dramatic song. Bluesy rhythms come from the bass lines.
Her music displays a maturity beyond her years. With a sophisticated and polished sound, Allison’s vocals are filled with finesse and flair. You can tell this is an artist comfortable in her own skin as she sings with an easy-going and laid-back vibe. In the singer/songwriter vein, these tracks are like confessionals taken out of the pages of her diary entries. With her heart on her sleeve, Allison sings with a vulnerability that matches the sensitivity of these songs. Take a listen!
Daniel Tortoledo is a musician from New York who recently released his first solo album entitled Through Out These Years. Before his solo endeavor he was involved first with his original band The Highway with whom he performed and toured continuously for over a decade.
Through Out These Years is an album that I think will have a lot of appeal. There were times I heard Americana based rock not far from bands like Wilco or War on Drugs. That being said you can easily make an argument for legends such as Bowie and The Beatles in places.
The album starts with “Dark Times (Brothers and Sisters)” and this actually felt like more of a mix between Blur and Odelay era Beck. It has some funk, some dirty blues, some soul and a number of great grooves. The song is catchy and the chorus is infectious.
“Eloise” drives with nostalgia. The bass and drums are really the backbone of the song. I love the feeling I was getting which was optimistic reflection. There is another great hook which brings in some beautiful guitar work.
“You Can’t Have It All” is more of a ballad. It’s emotionally resonant and reflective. The song is also warm and a bit melancholy but the lyrics feel positive. “Intermission” is brief but a beautiful piano piece that reminded me of being in a saloon. It seamlessly transitions into the title track “Through out The Years.” This song really put the vocals at the focal point. It’s really well delivered and is arguably the best vocal performance on the album. It’s powerful, emotional but not melodramatic.
“Bottle of Wine” felt like it came straight from the late ’60s and is a great rocker that displays new textures and tones. Up next is “Not Too Late” which is fantastic. The song is so memorable, infectious and joyful. It’s joyful in a way where everything around you is melting but you can still find your happiness.
Up next is “Spare Time” which is another one for the win column that blends Americana, rock and folk. Last up is “Give Me Soul” and I felt like it was an appropriate closer that reinforced his sound.
This is an exceptionally produced and recorded album. That fact really makes these performances shine through. The album is just a little over half an hour and it felt seamless and cohesive. I suggest playing this from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
PRIZE is a band located in Albany, New York that recently released Beat in a Fair Contest. The band is made up of five people and they mention that they play similar music to bands like Deadguy, Jesus Lizard, Ink and Dagger, and Slint. This certainly seems to be true from the music I heard on this release. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were also fans of the band Daughters. They play music that is aggressive, intense and should come with a warning.
The band showed their experience and talent across these songs. They play really well together like a bunch of veterans. The dynamics and level of technical and creative skill was impressive.
They start with an intro of sorts entitled “Beat In A Fair Contest.” The band feels like they are building to something between hypnotic guitar patterns and drum fills. They are, and it’s “10 Miles Wide” which is an onslaught of sound. The band revs things up here and we are introduced to the dynamic vocalist who has no problem screaming till his throat is sore. The band just crushes.
They get even more intense with “Imagine A Future.” Oh my, this song is overwhelming in a good way. It’s full of menace and darkness. The vocalist sings “overdose or active shooter. overdose or what? I don’t know, but I know they’re killing everyone with their guns, and they’re killing everyone with their drugs.” The music is fast, dissonant and just a wall of sound at times.
“Very Pretty” is another banger. The guitars sound like terror as the rhythm section holds down the foundation. It’s metallic and unforgiving. “Total Fidelity” doesn't give you an inch. It is full on war when it comes to drums. The guitars find little pockets to explode in and the band has no time to rest as they continue to evolve and erupt through time and space. The band ends with “A.J.” which is a landing that secures the band as a force to be reckoned with.
This music isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s visceral and refuses to be ignored. Recommended.
Brooke Butler (bass/vocals) met Dylan Rabe (guitar) in 2016 and the two started playing music together shortly after. They were joined by Brooke's brother, Brett, on drums. Their band called Seven Dreams is from Chicago, Illinois. They released Blast Off! which is their first full length, complete DIY recording. I also need to mention the cover art. That poor dog seems very sad to be on the moon.
The band play into a number of different styles such as rock, alternative and more. They start off with “Out of this World” which revolves around swirling guitar, drums and a steady bass. It’s a mix of melancholy and nostalgia with occasional blazing lead guitars. Butler's vocals are heartfelt and serious sounding.
“Sponge” reminds me of Sparklehorse and Butler’s vocals control the show here. The band shows more talent on “Sometimes” which comes to sound like something from Broken Social Scene. As the album progressed I felt there were some highlights in the batch.
“I Don't Dream” is a great song with overlapping vocal harmonies and guitar patterns that meld nicely. The somber and reflective “Ten Years” was a standout as was “End” which had a very cool arrangement.
As an engineer myself I feel it would be a disservice not to mention a couple things here. These recordings are lo-fi home recordings. There are a number of issues I noticed right away which are holding back the potential of these songs. I encourage the newly formed band to consider working with an experienced engineer/producer at some point who can help with things like EQ, compression, balancing, M/S signal and more which unequivocally helps in these areas.
The band has a lot of talent as far as songwriting and delivery go. This is a solid record I encourage you to check out. I hope to hear more from them in the not too distant future.
Atomic Love is a Chicago based hard rock/stoner rock band that recently released their debut entitled Killer Villain. The band mentions they are “influenced by such artists as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, QOTSA, Soundgarden, GNR, The Misfits, Iggy and The Stooges among others.”I agree after spending time with their EP.
The thing that perhaps unites these bands is their sense of danger. Bands like Guns N' Roses and Iggy and The Stooges have that classic fuck you attitude that hasn’t been present in rock for a long time. At the very least you don’t find bands with that kind of attitude topping the charts anymore.
Killer Villain is an absolute rock experience. It’s a head banger, it’s got intense energy and is meant to play at ear bleeding volumes. The band starts with “Thought’s & Prayers” and they come out of the door with no warning. I thought the guitar sound was stellar. They absolutely tear things up and there is immediately a sense of danger and menace.
Next up is “Killer Villain” and I was getting some Queens of the Stone Age type vibes with the song. The guitar riff in particular. I loved how the vocalist could change affectation from the verse to the chorus.
Up next is “Devil Bride” which is a bit of a slow burn. The guitar drones were somewhere between Black Sabbath and Sunn O))). “Excelsior” felt like a highlight. It’s anthemic and definitely the most arena rock sounding song. The vocals are memorable and absolutely soar on the chorus.
Last up is the somewhat hilariously titled “I Like Beer” which fades in a drum beat and you actually hear a can open. There are also some vocal samples and eventually a lead vocal explodes. In fact the whole song just drives.
This is no frills rock album that puts the danger back in rock n’ roll. Take a listen.
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The Trouble with Rose is a rock band based in Washington, D.C., comprised of Kristy Jo “KJo” Winkler (vocals/keys), Eric Benjamin (guitars), Mike Fanuele (engineer/producer), Frank Minor (bass) and Gene Soares (drums). The band is releasing their self-titled debut EP The Trouble with Rose.
With a sound heavily influenced by Garbage, Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish, PJ Harvey, Taylor Swift, among others, the vibe on this EP surrounds around a cadence that caters to fans of alternative, indie rock and pop rock. Relatively new to the scene, the band shows through their energetic performances their tight-knit chemistry. As they play together in many an invigorating jam-session, each band member’s contributions attest to their ever-evolving rapport. Packed with enthused vocals, raucous synergy and tight musicianship, these are all things that make The Trouble with Rose stand out among the pack. Without a doubt they are purveyors to the scene and are here to make a difference.
The Trouble with Rose opens with “Control” where a smattering of drums starts off this track. The guitars are hard-hitting and driven. The vocals are sung with gusto and flair. The guitar riffs soar on this song. The energy on this track is contagious with keys that are amped with a fully charged feel. Synths offer up an atmospheric vibe on the backdrop. A blazing guitar solo sounds off toward the two-and-a-half-minute mark. The coalescing of guitars, keys, bass lines and drums are dynamic.
Following is “Heartache,” where the guitars and bass lines are revving with a rhythmic pulse. The beat is jaunty and upbeat. This is a catchy song. The guitar riffs hit all the right marks with driven energy. The vocals are sung with emotion and power.
Melancholic noodling on the electric guitar paves the way to the start of “Never For Me.” This track is a definite slow burn. The ballad contains a sauntering groove. This is a departure from the high-energy coming from the previous song. The guitar riffs soar with airy notes. The vocals are somber-sounding with a grave feel. A strong sense of urgency underlines this dramatic track. This song mixes symphonic finishes into the rock vibe as the sound of lush strings traces this song toward the close.
On the closer “Tonight So Blue,” right from the get-go the band launches into a sizzling jam-session. The vocals come in full-throttle, sung with range and flair. The energy on this track is palpable. The vibe is infectious with real addicting pop rock cadences. The guitars really soar on this song, creating a wall of sound. A guitar solo launches toward the two-minute mark.
Brimming with contagious energy, these amped and fully charged tracks come alive with Winkler’s full-blown antics. Her showmanship demonstrates her finesse onstage. Her wild theatrics that teeters between soft and aggressive and the polarizing sounds shows off her penchant to color outside the lines. Known as a band that shuns both genre and trend, they are here to create music that will speak to people in this day and age. Connecting with listeners with their unique and intuitive perspective, The Trouble with Rose rekindles nostalgic fans with a classic rock vibe while also upholding a singular sound that is solely their own. Dynamite, sensual and filled with vitality, these are all words that describe The Trouble with Rose. Be sure you have a listen today!
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Louise and The Feathers is the result of a Wales, UK artist who is originally from Birmingham. After years of writing, jamming and finally wanting to share her folk, pop and rock vibe, influenced from the likes of Florence and The Machine, Paolo Nutini, Alison Moyet, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, Haim, Kate Bush, 4 Non-Blondes and more, “Louise” moved to Wales when she was nine and has been writing music ever since. After playing in a variety of bands and numerous open mic nights all the while revisiting early written originals, she decided to start using her middle name of “Louise” which represents the roots of her music passion. Along with “and the feathers” the band’s name links to spiritual perspectives and a love of nature.
After recording demos at home, all five songs were professionally recorded at Aberystwyth Music Studio with additions from Ivan Anchant, bass and backing vocals from Andy Lloyd-Williams and mixing and mastering by Steffan Woodruff. This collaboration lead to the Window View EP. The recording symbolizes the idea of looking out and imagining a dream but never quite reaching it. The tree on the EP’s cover represents the idea of deep roots, steady growth and branches – paths that lead to various connections, locations and opportunities. The tree is without leaves, which Louise says represents links to the idea of second chances as they have added to the soil more knowledge and strength for future vision. To promote her work, Louise played various gigs including Pembs Fest, West Fest, Cwmaman Festival, Caffi Iechyd Da and more. She is currently working on a second EP entitled Reflection.
The opening song “Rich Tea Biscuit” has a haunting presence about it, even though the lyrics are rather humorous if read in a different way. The congas add a nice warmth as the backing vocals add to the song’s mysterious style. Louise’s playing is gentle but commanding and her voice knocked me out – quite distinctive with a unique tone. Next is “Faded Away” which features a more laid back, mellow style starting off and then picks up after a few verses. The song’s lyrics speak of a harsh break up – a fading away. The mix of haunting melodies, extra percussion and sparse drumbeats adds to the tension and sadness within the song’s words. “Come Back” has a more rocking feel to it, featuring more percussion and faster acoustic rhythms and Louise sings of struggles with “dead end jobs” “democracy and being poor” and a “lover” she wants back into her life. The song throws a curve ball as it takes a short detour, or two, showcasing different tempos, structures and arrangements. Quite a dynamic number!
“Can’t Stop Thinking About” has an electric feel and a delightful addition of the xylophone. What grabbed my attention was the song’s uncanny sound – ya know, the kind of song or feeling you get from a song, that triggers a memory or reminds you of another band that you can’t think of. Anyway, it’s a great song which features yet another interesting arrangement by Louise and The Feathers.
Last there is “Mistress” – the longest from this five-song EP. There’s a quasi-country/post-‘60s folk vibe to this number. Think Mary Chapin Carpenter with a little Joni Mitchell, although I’m not equating Louise’s voice to these well known female singers – Louise’s vocal tones are on the lower end – as she sings about a man whom a mistress wishes she could have, by leaving her “life of passion” and hoping to lead a life of honesty. But as the song goes on, it did not end well for the mistress.
Overall, Window View EP is a nice sampling from this UK artist, offering a variety of arrangements, textures and added instrumentation.
Quince & 9th is from Escondido, CA. They formed in September of 2019 and consist of Eli Perez (vocalist), Marcos Orozco (electric guitar), Adam Garcia (bass) and Jesus Amarillas (drums). They recently released Clover Drive which is a five-song EP.
The band is very upbeat, heartfelt, fun and catchy. I thought the songs all had a slightly different flavor so let’s explore that. There is a band called Rusted Root and I felt like they harnessed the energy of the band on “Devil & Queen.” There are some mariachi and salsa vibes here that make you want to dance and work up a sweat. It’s a good song and opener that will get your attention.
Up next is “F.I.O” which is a little more indie rock based with a dash of ’50s pop. I was really digging how much emotion Perez put into the vocals. He crushes it. That being said the whole band sounds great.
“Game of Fools” is another good song perhaps a little between the first and second song. There is a vibrant energy but I felt this song was a little more of a ballad and sort of a classic love song in many ways.
“Mi Respuesta” is not sung in English. I didn’t understand a word but the song works and reinforces a similar energy of the previous songs. Last up is “Renaissance Dream” and this might be the most anthemic song. The chorus is one where you could imagine a lot of people singing along.
The band is off to a great start. I was really getting the feeling like this is music that needs to be experienced live. Since concerts aren’t happening in the states right now do the next best things and listen to these songs. Recommended.
I don’t know that much about Side Thing. The duo are a married couple who work on their music when their kids go to bed and created Seance Fiction. There’s something wholesome about that fact. They also live in Rockford, IL which is about half an hour away from me so I was rooting for them.
The songs are lo-fi bedroom synth pop not too far from bands like The Chromatics, M83 or the music you heard on the soundtrack from the movie Drive. The songs have a similar aesthetic which revolves around a lot of airy elements, drum machines and reverb.
“Locker_Room” is the opener and is indicative of the style you will hear and is the arguable highlight. There are a lot of memorable melodies and I love the vocoder type female vocals. Up next is “Project_15” (which is significantly louder - more on that later) and displays a lot of qualities I enjoyed on the opener. The airy, soft female vocals, reverb laced guitar and the hall reverb worked just as well as it did before.
Up next is “Project_8” which drives with a fun, kinetic energy while “Project_25” is more of a ballad perfect for midnight walks and contemplative thought. The energy picks up more than ever before on “Project_5.2.” I was digging the drum beat. One of my favorite female vocalists, Lali Puna, came to mind.
“Project_7” contains a great groove. The organ based “_Linens” has a contemplative tone while “Dreaming_Asleep” felt more fun like a summer night with lightning bugs. Last up is the lush “Chem_x” which was a great closer.
As an engineer myself I encourage the duo to work with an experienced engineer at some point. I know this would take their music to the next level. There are sonic inconsistencies between the songs, issues with volume and some other technical issues which an engineer could handle. They have great songs and a great sound in general and I think this is a logical next step.
This is a really good album and I became a fan of their sound. The vibe, vocals and songwriting is top notch. I hope to hear more soon.
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