30 April 2009

Neil Carswell-Keep You Guessing Review

Artist: Neil Carswell
Title: Keep You Guessing
Genre: Rock-Blues-Country
Label: Aspirion Records
Website
CD Baby Link

Well it has been a long time Neil, where have you been the last three years? The answer is right here on this CD all tied up in the words and music. Carswell sings the blues about going to hell and back and then the switch to becoming a repentant soul to answer for his sins. And thankfully for all of us listeners, he rocks with country blues oozing out of his pores, like a man born to pick up a six-string and tell his story.

Carswell does it again and makes the long wait worthwhile on Keep You Guessing. Neil keeps good company again in the studio with a roster graced with incredible talent including Stu Kimball (producer, guitarist), Chris Anderson (guitarist, The Outlaws and Blackhawk), Johnny Neil (keyboards, The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule), Larry Campbell (multi-instrumentalist, guitarist for Levon Helm), Don Herron (multi-instrumentalist, Bob Dylan and BR549) Judd Fuller (bassist, Rodney Atkins), Kevin Rapillo (drummer, Rodney Atkins) Barry Goudreau (Grammy winning Guitarist, Boston) as well as Victor Krauss (bassist), Mike Levesque (drums) and Kim Keyes (vocalist).

Not a bad roll call and certainly every one of these great musicians compliment Neil’s country-blues drenched vocals. To pick any particular track as one that stands above the rest almost seems unfair as all 15 tracks seem to fall together into one story that is genuinely from the very essence of his soul backed with some smokin’ blues-country-rock that only Neil Carswell can set up right and do it justice. There is a good balance of acoustic picking, electric licks, and slide to satisfy anyone’s musical palette.

I have to mention a few favorites anyway, “Gypsy Lady”, the title track and ”Since I Meet You” caught my ear and made me understand the man behind the music a bit more. That is the whole point and once you hear it you will find meaning in the music and perhaps a better perspective of what holds true in your own life.

Neil Carswell keeps on keepin’ on “Till the Blues Come In” and set him off on another trail that leads to the bastards and bitches he runs into during his journey that influence his thought process and choices (as he explains in his liner notes) then he is back in the studio cutting a classic rendering of true life like Keep You Guessing.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

April 24, 2009

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For questions or comments regarding this review email me at info@muzikreviews.com

Tracks:
01. Bright Lights
02. Gypsy Lady
03. Every Sad Song
04. She
05. Keep You Guessing
06. Since I Met You
07. Till the Blues Come In
08. Time to Think
09. Nothing Left to Lose
10. Roll On
11. Carolina Line
12. Big Sky
13. South Wind
14. Temporary Relief
15. Altar Call

29 April 2009

East of Fairfax-Nothing’s Different, Nothing’s the Same Review

Artist: East of Fairfax
Title: Nothing’s Different, Nothing’s the Same
Genre: Pop-Rock
Label: Independent
Website
CD Baby Link

Though highly derided and scoffed at by so-called musical elites, well-written and well-performed pop is a tricky beast to tame. When executed with perfection, it practically ensures stardom; when mishandled, it's worse than karaoke. The LA-based collaborative East of Fairfax falls into neither category, lacking just another coat or two of polish to turn their heart-on-sleeve sensitivity into worldwide domination. Though their sophomore release Nothing's Different, Nothing's the Same presents all the proper pieces, the final product is perhaps a tad too calm, a tad too serene, and perhaps even a tad too derivative (even for pop) to leave a lasting impact. The result is Daughtry on Ritalin – talented and smooth, but stuck in the clouds once too often.

East of Fairfax's double-edged sword is frontman Brian Spain, the perfectly-named crooner whose charisma will either be a priceless boon to the band's career or else its death. Spain and Spain alone is plastered on the paraphernalia, raising questions as to whether the group – which includes a great deal of guest players – is merely a supporting rung for his own talent. That's not to say that the Spain-as-headliner strategy isn't smart; indeed, with ample amounts of confidence and personality behind the mic, Spain has the standard qualifications for an arena rock vocalist. Trouble is, Nothing's the Same doesn't offer that sort of blistering sing-along fare, and is more apt for quiet coffee-house sipping than crowd-spanning idolatry.

The lack of fire is Fairfax's biggest hurdle towards forging some kind of distinguishable identity. Opening track "More Than The Sun" is better for a drive in southern Cal than as an eye-raising introduction, and wastes a golden chance at lasting impressions. Furthermore, the mystique of songs like "Feel This Too" and "Ready For Descent" should theoretically provide a more muscular display than the result allows, as little soul ends up escaping the polished gleam. The overarching impression is that Fairfax has accomplished the latter half of every artist's career hurdle – slick professionalism, solid musicianship, studio presence, and the like – but not the elementary steps; that is, rugged originality and group chemistry that separates shepherds from the flock. The meandering "Time & Space" is a perfect example of this: what should be a splendid piano piece is instead rather murky, rich in everything but a notable melody to tie all the emotions together.

East of Fairfax – and thus, Nothing's Different, Nothing's the Same – are easy to like, but difficult to love. Some of the puzzle pieces work and some do not, which is to be expected, but even the good is often marred by a tendency to hem and haw. The record puts much of its effort into trying to please and befriend its listeners, when instead it should be knocking them onto their backs. That is the general essence of power pop, as even the most radio-friendly of bands know how to put intrigue and volume to good use. Fairfax needs to unbolt and unchain the raw elements if they are ever to finish the oft-started,rarely-completed conquest of pop stardom.

3/5 Stars

Kevin Liedel, MuzikReviews.com Sr. Staff Editor

April 24, 2009

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For Questions or Comments On This Review Send An Email To kliedel@muzikreviews.com

Tracks:
01.More Than the Sun
02.Feel This Too
03.Time + Space
04.Like Ghosts
05.Letter to a Friend
06.Get in the Game
07.I Could See Us Together
08.The Damage
09.For All This Time
10.Ready for Descent
11.Until You Say Goodbye

28 April 2009

Meat DBeatles Vol. 1 Offers Different Takes On Beatles Favorites

Philadelphia, PA-April 27, 2009- Meat Dbeatles Vol. 1 is a compilation of Beatles song covers by independent recording artists affiliated with either DMusic.com, an internet music collaboration and social network, or its subsidiary, Lost Gold Records. The project was kick started by a comment on a thread on the site, and the contributing artists were off and running. The entire album was complete in 4 months.

The 18 tracks that comprise the compilation include Beatles favorites such “Come Together”, “Lady Madonna”, “Let It Be”, and many others. Each track has its own personality and will sound nothing like you ever heard before when it comes to Beatles cover tunes. Everything from reggae to bluegrass is covered, with high energy and the undying indie spirit that can be found throughout the DMusic website and their members.

Even though a majority of the music was recorded on a home based computer systems using Protools and various other programs the sound is incredibly good. You can check it out online at http://www.meatdbeatles.com/.

Some of the tracks are takes on rather obscure Beatles tunes like "Helter Skelter" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" and others are the updated versions of more popular tunes that the fab four made famous.

The most important factor for all the artists involved was that none of the tracks are affiliated with the RIAA, or any of the major recording labels. This is good news for the digital age and download generation as the big guys will not be knocking on your door with their hand out if you happen to download any of the tracks.

For more information and media on Meat Dbeatles Vol. 1 visit their website.

Company: DMusic
Contact: Tracy Feldman
Address: 432 Tulpehocken Ave., Elkins Park, PA 19027
Tel: 215-885-3302
Email
Website
Buy Link

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27 April 2009

Drifting in Silence-Facewithin Review

Artist: Drifting in Silence
Title: Facewithin
Genre: Electronica
Label: Labile Records
Website
Amazon Link

It's difficult to classify what constitutes "experimental electronica," considering the genre's increasing penchant for unstructured melodies and general ambience. That established, it can be said with some confidence that the music of Drifting in Silence, the umbrella pseudonym for instrumentalist Derrick Stembridge, is a good example of it. Stembridge's fifth release Facewithin lies somewhere in between cinematic mood music and an adrenalized video game opus, dressed in a muscular mystique that could be likened to soundtracks for Fight Club, The Matrix, and even Half-Life 2.

Thankfully, Facewithin is true to its aura-crafting purposes, laying off the tired crutches of clubbing music in favor of new age theater. For what it is and what it aims to do, Facewithin is undoubtedly a success, despite its tendency to stand more as a testament to Stembridge's talent than any sort of united vision.

Then again, the latter point is somewhat of a relief: though Facewithin often strives to be a "concept album," its overall effect is nowhere as ham-handed. There are no numbered pieces or character narratives, nor some sort of dystopian metaphor beneath all the musical current. Facewithin is instead scattershot: it spreads it tentacles in different directions, preferring gray and airy sounds paired with driving percussion as substitution for recurring melodies. It is thus freer than the music of, say, Outputmessage or Mint Royale, who rely on pop strategies to deliver their electronic bliss.

It is a credit to Stembridge, then, that Facewithin remains engaging despite the noticeable lack of melodic coherence. Dealing in a palette of razor tones and other crisp sounds, one would think that Drifting in Silence could never achieve the sonic glory that bursts forth from fellow instrumentalists like Explosions in the Sky, with their bell-like guitarwork and climbing melodies. Yet the musical handicap never truly cripples Facewithin, with pieces such as "Coming Up For Air" and "Misunderstood" managing to escape the bittersweet designation of "good driving music."

In reality, Facewithin's greatest weakness is its brevity - consisting of five original tracks and three remixes, many listeners may wish for Stembridge to take a breath and expand beyond the rather quick half-hour running time. The cinematic flair is therefore a tad clipped, though it does nothing to drown Stembridge's other talents. For a self-described symphonic project, Drifting in Silence remains unnaturally disciplined and rarely contrived - a welcome, if unexpected, pleasure.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Kevin Liedel, MuzikReviews.com Sr. Staff Editor

April 21, 2009

© MuzikReviews.com

For Questions or Comments On This Review Send An Email To kliedel@muzikreviews.com

Tracks:
01. Forever
02. Misunderstood
03. Facewithin
04. Coming Up For Air
05. Virus
06. Facewithin (Drev Remix) 07. Facewithin (Her Odd Fist Remix)
08. Facewithin (Anthony Baldino Remix)

Drifting in Silence-Facewithin Review


Artist: Drifting in Silence
Title: Facewithin
Genre: Electronica
Label: Labile Records
Website
Amazon Link

It's difficult to classify what constitutes "experimental electronica," considering the genre's increasing penchant for unstructured melodies and general ambience. That established, it can be said with some confidence that the music of Drifting in Silence, the umbrella pseudonym for instrumentalist Derrick Stembridge, is a good example of it. Stembridge's fifth release Facewithin lies somewhere in between cinematic mood music and an adrenalized video game opus, dressed in a muscular mystique that could be likened to soundtracks for Fight Club, The Matrix, and even Half-Life 2.

Thankfully, Facewithin is true to its aura-crafting purposes, laying off the tired crutches of clubbing music in favor of new age theater. For what it is and what it aims to do, Facewithin is undoubtedly a success, despite its tendency to stand more as a testament to Stembridge's talent than any sort of united vision.

Then again, the latter point is somewhat of a relief: though Facewithin often strives to be a "concept album," its overall effect is nowhere as ham-handed. There are no numbered pieces or character narratives, nor some sort of dystopian metaphor beneath all the musical current. Facewithin is instead scattershot: it spreads it tentacles in different directions, preferring gray and airy sounds paired with driving percussion as substitution for recurring melodies. It is thus freer than the music of, say, Outputmessage or Mint Royale, who rely on pop strategies to deliver their electronic bliss.

It is a credit to Stembridge, then, that Facewithin remains engaging despite the noticeable lack of melodic coherence. Dealing in a palette of razor tones and other crisp sounds, one would think that Drifting in Silence could never achieve the sonic glory that bursts forth from fellow instrumentalists like Explosions in the Sky, with their bell-like guitarwork and climbing melodies. Yet the musical handicap never truly cripples Facewithin, with pieces such as "Coming Up For Air" and "Misunderstood" managing to escape the bittersweet designation of "good driving music."

In reality, Facewithin's greatest weakness is its brevity - consisting of five original tracks and three remixes, many listeners may wish for Stembridge to take a breath and expand beyond the rather quick half-hour running time. The cinematic flair is therefore a tad clipped, though it does nothing to drown Stembridge's other talents. For a self-described symphonic project, Drifting in Silence remains unnaturally disciplined and rarely contrived - a welcome, if unexpected, pleasure.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Kevin Liedel, MuzikReviews.com Sr. Staff Editor

April 21, 2009

� MuzikReviews.com

For Questions or Comments On This Review Send An Email To kliedel@muzikreviews.com

Tracks:
01. Forever
02. Misunderstood
03. Facewithin
04. Coming Up For Air
05. Virus
06. Facewithin (Drev Remix) 07. Facewithin (Her Odd Fist Remix)
08. Facewithin (Anthony Baldino Remix)


24 April 2009

Into The Presence Review

Artist: Into The Presence
Title: Into The Presence
Genre: Rock
Label: Razor & Tie
Website
Amazon Link

For their self-titled debut album, the duo of Into The Presence delivers an exciting rock album that shows various rock influences. Composed of drummer Tim Alexander, who has worked with the likes of Primus and A Perfect Circle, and experienced session player Luis Maldonado on guitar and vocals, Into The Presence has a pleasing classic rock backbone that more modern sounds are layered on with success.

One of Into The Presence’s biggest influences becomes immediately visible on the opening track “End Game.” Here, Maldonado’s powerful, operatic vocals call pleasantly on the voice of Queen’s Freddie Mercury and creates instant intrigue for Into The Presence. “Lovers” also shows off Maldonado’s built-for-rock voice.

While Maldonado’s vocals may remind you of Queen, the riff-friendly guitar parts are unmistakably modern, as evident from the Muse-like riffs of “Lovers” and the dark, brooding guitar sound of “The Garden.”

“The Garden” is one of the album’s most textured tracks and does a great job switching styles from the full, grunge sound of the chorus to the carefully planned rhythmic riffing of the verse.

Interestingly, Into The Presence elected to not use modern digital recording techniques for their debut, instead relying on analog tape machines. This technique pays off well for the duo on songs like “Broken Words” and the emotional “Phone Call,” adding a raw sound to both tracks that’s often missing from modern rock.

Later, Into The Presence’s guitar sound becomes markedly more distorted on songs like “Radio” and “Coming Home,” adding a pleasant Pink Floyd-edge of psychedelic sounds that will be enjoyed by any rock fan.

Into The Presence makes a strong impression with their debut. The album is an excellent example of the mighty sound a band can create by sticking with classic rock elements and adding more modern styles judiciously.

4/5 Stars

MuzikReviews.com Assistant Senior Editor- Chris Homer

April 21, 2009

© MuzikReviews.com

For Questions Or Comments About This Review Send An Email To chomer@muzikreviews.com

23 April 2009

No Restraints Releases Second Progressive Rock Indie CD Xout

Tulsa, Oklahoma-April 23, 2009- Broken Arrow Oklahoma is not where you would typically find a progressive rock band, not until No Restraints came along.

Mark Smith (Keyboards / Vocals), Mitch Parker (Bass), Christina Terry (vocals), Ron Wood (Drums) are No Restraints. The band fits their name well, never holding back on the creative process while recording their progressive rock music.

Xout, which is an acronym and the definition of external output, will officially release May 1, 2009. Xout features outstanding musicianship and solid writing, making for a complete listening experience.

Xout represents today what prog rock used to be and music played with literally No Restraints. This is music that travels through your soul and finds a way to tickle your brain instead, it is everything you would expect progressive rock to be and more. Besides offering complex musical arrangements No Restraints is also very accessible, crossing over seamlessly to the listeners that populate the rock and pop genres. This versatility and uniqueness separates them from their contemporaries.

Tracks like the opener “She’s A Tsunami” are very expressive and fitting to it’s title while “Cauldera (3rd Variation)” epitomizes its namesake, a crater filled with sounds getting ready to churn out a new volcano of expression and vision at every turn. This is typical of the No Restraint approach and a sure bet that all prog rock enthusiasts will enjoy the new recording.

The music of No Restraints has been referred to as Euro Progressive Music meets American Prog Rock with Classical influences; although in the end it is each individual listener that will have to decide. While that is not a simple task, listening to their music is a joyful experience beyond clarification.

Lovers of traditional progressive rock and alternative rock will find a home inside the music of No Restraints.

Visit the No Restraints website for more information on the band, updates and details on the new release. Xout will be available at the band’s website, CD Baby, and iTunes.

Contact: Mark Smith
Company: Forward Slip Productions, Inc.
Tel: 918-451-3288
Email
Website
CD Baby Link

PR Created and Distributed By MuzikReviews.com

22 April 2009

Shauna Burns-Anamnesis Review

Artist: Shauna Burns
Title: Anamnesis
Genre: Folk-Rock-Celtic
Label: Red Rock
Website
CD Baby Link

Anamnesis (Ancient Greek: "recollection, reminiscence" literally "loss of forgetfulness") is a term used in medicine, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion. So how does this term relate to Shauna Burns and her new EP? Ms. Burns is never one to bring something to the table that is simple and clearly defined. She opts for the complexity of the inner sanctum we call the mind. Within that entire process are her words and music that will instantly transport their way there into where your thoughts may be lingering and festering, in need of nourishment.

On this five song EP Shauna Burns reminds us of her haunting and beautiful vocals and how easy it is to be entranced by the musical web she weaves with a fascinating blend of folk, Celtic and rock music. Each song seamlessly leads to the next inviting you in and becoming intrinsically connected to one another. Before you know it the music stops and you wonder where the time went, it is like a bat of an eyelash, a spec in the universe that came and went.

Even though Anamnesis is a short journey Shauna Burns makes the best of her time once again and delivers the goods in convincing fashion. One can only hope that this is a precursor to something bigger right around the corner.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

April 19, 2009

© MuzikReviews.com

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at
info@muzikreviews.com

Tracks:
1.Smell
2.A Letter
3.Wind
4.Driving Far
5.So Tell Me

18 April 2009

Teen Pop Sensation Lea Marie Releases Debut CD Single World Of Wonders

Hollywood, CA-April 15, 2009-In today’s world of music and easy accessibility to new music online, it is hard to find a “smash” single from an artist who is breaking out on the internet. That is about to change quickly as seventeen year old teen pop star Lea Marie releases her new online single, “World Of Wonders,” in advance of her new full length self-titled release which will be available on April21,2009...READ MORE...

17 April 2009

Audio Fidelity Releases 24 Karat Gold Beach Boys and The Band CDs

Ventura, CA-April 14, 2009- Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity is set for a big year in 2009 with a full schedule of releases due. Two of the biggest names in music history, The Beach Boys and The Band will be honored with the release of their classic recordings. The tremendously popular 24KT Gold CD limited and numbered editions expect to sellout quickly....READ MORE...

Shauna Burns Releases 5 Song EP Anamnesis On Red Rock Music

Hollywood, CA-April 13, 2009-Shauna Burns continues her aural assault of the senses with a new EP titled Anamnesis. The 5 track recording is an extension of her full length album The Moon and the Fire Circle (2008)...READ MORE...

16 April 2009

Ed Maly Releases Guitar Jock On Hot Texas Tunes

Sugarland, Texas-April 14, 2009- Ed Maly is set to release his seventh studio album Guitar Jock, on April 21, 2009. Guitar Jock promises to be a continuation of the Ed Maly trademark sound featuring good time rollicking blues-rock that is fun for the listener and danceable at the same timE...READ MORE...

14 April 2009

Veteran Saxophone Master Steve Elson Releases Mott & Broome

New York, NY-April 14,2009- Steve Elson is Mr. Saxophone. He plays the soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones with equal amounts of energy and preciseness, not to mention his additional range with the clarinet. With the release of Mott & Broome on Lips and Fingers Music scheduled to drop April 28, 2009, Elson has good reason to be excited...READ MORE...

06 April 2009

Brian Linne Releases Independent Single Video To Love Someone

Port Huron, MI-April 5, 2009- Brian Linne is an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician. He has a lot in common with his peers; he is indie and needs to be heard. It is just as difficult to break out in the indie world today as it was years ago with big record labels or radio. With fierce competition and everyone armed with the same weapons, how does one separate himself from the pack?...READ MORE...

03 April 2009

Philippe Saisse-At World’s Edge Review

Artist: Philippe Saisse
Title: At World’s Edge
Genre: Jazz-Latin-Fusion
Label: Koch Records
Website
Amazon Link
Free Download “Roppongi Blues”
Source Link

Philippe Saisse has released a masterpiece titled At World’s Edge. Saisse has been around the proverbial music block between guest appearances and his solo work. He has an enviable record of accomplishments by anyone’s high standards for excellence and consistency...READ MORE...

02 April 2009

Andrea Plamondon-I Still Remember: A Collection of Songs from San Francisco’s Underground 1989-2006 Review

Artist: Andrea Plamondon
Title: I Still Remember: A Collection of Songs from San Francisco’s Underground 1989-2006
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Independent
Website
CD Baby Link
Source Link

Andrea Plamondon’s anthology I Still Remember: A Collection of Songs from San Francisco’s Underground 1989-2006 is a fascinating chronicle of the career of a song writer. The classically trained singer delivers songs from her work with bands Joy FM, Satryica, Pox Eclipse and Lucid...READ MORE...