Thursday, December 4, 2014
SiBeFor is a modern alternative rock band based out of St. Petersburg Russia with a sound that is akin to Tool. There style is dark, edgy, and passionate with a twisted artistic aesthetic to take the music to the next level. For those who love to rock and/or just get out of their skull from time to time, SiBeFor creates a vent-worthy narrative in their tracks that will surely align with fans of genres ranging from metal to classic rock.
The band has been touring in northern Europe and has been playing together since 2010. They have plans to release their first album in summer 2015, but have already released a few singles and even a promo music video for the track "Forbidden Fruit." Fans of Tool will definitely appreciate the disturbing visual style of this video as the singer of the the track is dons full body paint and leers creepily at the camera. Between shots of the band we see what looks like a temple as well as many other signs of the bands affinity for magic and mysticism. You can get a peak of the video for yourself in the YouTube embed below.
To find out more about SiBeFor, check out their website at http://www.sibefor.ru. Also find them on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/sibefor and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SiBeFor
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The single, "Beg" is a live rehearsal recording with excellent instrumental performances. The music is a blend of alternative rock from the likes of Stone Temple Pilots and heavier modern rock. There is also a bit of classic rock that can be heard through The Slit's sound influenced by Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. The vocals are gritty and guttural channeling the angst that is central to The Slit's overall aesthetic. For lovers of metal, emo, and thrash, there is a piece of each in this music. On the flip side, The Slit is simultaneously grounded in older alternative rocks styles of the 90's with a leaning toward heroine lounge psychedelic rock. The track "Beg" is both heavy and deep. I'm sure The Slit's brand of rock is not for everyone, but for many rockers out there The Slit is sure to resonate. Listen for yourself in the embed below. To hear more of The Slit, click over their Soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/theslit or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ComeOnDeath
Friday, November 28, 2014
Xavier Scott presents the latest single, "Freaks Like Us" from his album My Perfect Imperfections
Long time saxophone player, Xavier Scott first picked up the saxophone at age 11 and has now been playing for 30 years. His technical prowess and creative agility are both apparent in his track "Freak Like Us." For the most part, he informed me that he likes to improvise, or in his own words, "I usually just record in one take and see what happens." This is an impressive and dangerous method of recording. It can surely go both ways between amazing improvisations that are captured in the moment or the treacherous pitfalls of aimless meandering. Xavier Scott does a great job of keeping things fresh and funky throughout his entire improvisations. On top of that, he takes the time to layer up his own horn arrangements as backing parts throughout the track. Large saxophone sections carry the progression through a turnaround and help to keep his improvisations moving forward. The execution of this track is fairly minimal consisting of a drum machine and layers of saxophone. I can appreciate the 808 beat that is the backbone of the track. It is reminiscent of a Marvin Gaye sound and keeps the overall feel of the track soulful and danceable while still being relatively down-tempo.
"Freaks Like Us" and My Perfect Imperfections are available online at most digital retailers including iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby. Find out more about Xavier Scott on his facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/xaysmusic
Friday, November 21, 2014
Michael Heisel aka The High Cell presents his latest release, The Devil on a Tricycle EP.
The High Cell is a very interesting project, mainly because it is the brainchild of one man, Michael Heisel, and for the most part, his new EP is entirely a product of his own execution. The Devil on a Tricycle EP also features a couple of guest musicians, Davy Knowles on guitar and Adam Berzowski on keys. The overall sound of the album is a blend of blues, rock, funk that sounds like it could have been born in an imaginary town halfway between Cleveland, Ohio and New Orleans, Lousiana. (That wouldn't put you too far from Memphis, Tennessee, which fits the bill pretty well, too.) The production value is so good that it speaks volumes about Heisel's multi-hat wearing prowess as he also was behind the recording of the EP.
The first song on the album, "Another Fine Mess," is one of the more "straight rock" songs on the EP. By that I mean the rest of the album has a lot of influences from blues and funk layered on solid rock foundations. This track fits pretty well into the classic rock genre. The main guitar lick is very reminiscent of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" but the rest of the song sounds a bit more like modern southern rock from the likes of Gov't Mule. Heisel's vocal timbre is an excellent fit for this gritty, riff-dominant style of rock. There is a fantastic solo from Davy Knowles that really slants the song in the blues direction, but it still comes back home at the end. The main chorus is simple and effective and serves very well as a hook that will keep this song in your head for a while to come.
The title track, "Devil on a Tricycle," really got my head nodding. A laid back, in-the-cut beat worthy of The Meters kicks the song off into a classic blues progression. The bass line is thick and funky, driving the beat forward. The guitar is plucky and twangy at the same time making me feel like I'm in New Orleans. The imagery of the lyrics is pretty hilarious and plays into a great metaphor. The bell on the tricycle is the bane of the singer's existence. It's that one little thing that just drives you crazy and this track puts a name on it.
"Tread" is another track that brings in a guest musician with Adam Berzowski on organ duties. Berzowski rips up a lively solo early in the track which really raises the energy of the composition. The song is a slow, blues romp that sounds like it could have been written and/or performed by a psychedelic rock outfit of the seventies. We also get to hear Heisel's harmonica skills on "Tread" followed directly by a wailing guitar solo. The execution on this track is flawless, but it's not my favorite track on the EP just because it's a bit slow and starts to drag some with a play time of 4:29.
Moving into a more North Mississippi brand of the blues, "Small Town Bird" picks up the pace. The song sounds like something Luther Dickinson might write with a stomp worthy blues backbeat and heavy blues riffs driving the progression. The large layers of vocals create an excellent lead part for one of the most well composed songs on the album. The lyrics on "Small Town Bird" bring a very strong and catchy chorus. Heisel does a great job of taking a simple metaphor and turning it into a multi-layered narrative. He does this most effectively on "Small Town Bird" while perfectly pairing this narrative with roadhouse style of blues.
"Rise," the final track on the EP, takes us back toward riff rock, but this track is much funkier than the likes of "Another Fine Mess." Putting the pentatonic scale to one it's best uses, "Rise" plays back and forth between a funky riff and vibing through a blues progression for dynamic play on a very familiar song structure. The short bridge with layers of harmonies singing "riiiiiiiise" is a nice breakdown to the composition, giving some breathing room to the overall flow of the song.
Overall, The Devil on a Tricycle EP is an excellent exploration of the different genres it champions. Michael Heisel gets numerous kudos for his ability to wear many hats for this "band," but it's even more impressive that he has delivered such a focused vision for The High Cell. Check out the album for yourself at Heisel's website for the project at http://www.thehighcell.com
The Devil on a Tricycle EP is available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon, and most major digital music retailers.
Sanghera presents the latest single "Hold On" from his album Story of Staying Home.
"Hold On" is a hip-hop track from California based artist Sanghera with a classic sound created by using soulful samples over a gangsta rap style beat. The sultry vocals of a female singer start the track out right, drawing the listener in over rhythm chords of a Rhodes keyboard. The instrumentation of keys, subtle electric guitar licks, and quiet yet large horn arrangements creates a beat that can't be denied. Sanghera's flows tell us the story of taking metaphorical holding pattern in the midst of a developing romance. The cadence of Sanghera's flows are solid and familiar, but his particular enunciations and accent are very unique which makes his vocal timbre sound very original. The beat breaks down at the end, giving a bit more breathing room for a second. It's a welcome contrast to the rest of the beat. I really enjoyed the musical and lyrical elements of "Hold On" giving us a taste of classic sound while also presenting a progressive and conscious style of lyricism.
You can check out "Hold On" and the rest of Sanghera's album The Story of Staying Home on his SoundCloud page at https://soundcloud.com/iamsanghera or in the embed below.
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Person Natalie & David Lewis Luong present their latest album, Dreamy Lullaby
Dreamy Lullaby is a jazz album with a total of eight tracks, but I will just be touching on four songs from the album.
The title track "Dreamy Lullaby" is aptly named. It's smooth and slow and just very easy to listen to, but I wouldn't call this "smooth jazz" necessarily. Every instrument is real, no midi patches on the rhythm section. Person Natalie is a featured soloist on the saxophone. Her solo comes in the second half of the recording. Her improvisations are very clean, soulful and even a bit playful at times, dancing around the melody. It's a very enjoyable track and one that I would have no trouble dozing off to on a summer afternoon.
The album takes a bit of a shift with "Another Renaissance," while still staying in the slow and smooth category. The progression is a bit more oblique, adding in tasteful bits of unexpected chords. The saxophone solo toward the end is quite interesting as the band drops out for a few measures while the bass and sax dance around each other in a little breakdown.
"Twilight Horizon" stays in the same vein as Dreamy Lullaby with a slow moving progressions and very subtle players in the rhythm section. Every player is very precise but also soft and minimal in their delivery. Piano carries the main rhythmic duties backed by an upright bass and a electric guitar. I unfortunately have no notes about who is playing what instrument, and the information I could find only bills David Lewis Luong as a multi-instrumentalist, so I can't really tell you a lot about the soloists. The tone of the track is very smooth again, but not cheesy like so much of the music that can come from the smooth jazz genre.
A slight change in instrumentation spices things up on "Dusky Mirage." This song opts for a vibraphone feature within the arrangement. A piano is still in the mix to help hold down the rhythm section, but the addition of the vibes adds a nice extra layer to the line-up. This progression for "Dusky Mirage" is a bit spicier but still holds true to the overall vision of "smooth jazz" that holds the album together.
Dreamy Lullaby is a very beautiful and relaxing instrumental jazz album. You can pick up the album for yourself on iTunes or find out more on Person Natalie's website: http://www.personnataliemusic.com/