13 November 2019

Contemporary-Classical Instrumental Review: Dulce Joya-Devotion

Release Date: October 11, 2019
Label: housemaster records

It has been over two years since I have the wondrous and beautiful piano playing of Dulce Joya. My first journey with this amazing soloist was Reality of Dreams.

Now the curtain opens again for Dulce on Devotion, a collection of 10 instrumental and epic piano compositions for those with an ear for a classical, new age, ambient, or just a good music without words type of listen.

Once again, I find myself mesmerized by this music. The tracks comprise the entire scale of human emotion and everything else in between. What Dulce creates is a soundtrack that could fit into so many lives and film scores for that matter. I heard the excitement, sadness, the rolling of the ocean's tide as it hits the shore, sunshine, rain, well let’s just say her range is amazing. And to cover all of this within one recording to affect one listener in this manner is an implausible achievement. It takes a lot to get my attention after 21 years of covering music from around the world. It has to be quite exceptional for me to dive in and be able to flow with the music and let my words develop and flow as I listen.

Dulce’s passion and technical expertise with the ivory keys are exceptional and all 10 tracks can offer a demanding listener enough to hold their attention from start to finish. The classical influence is strong in her presentation however she does allow the discipline some breathing room so she goes into different directions and moods within one song. To articulate it as improvisation is almost a stretch because it is organized and so perfected. I am not sure how to explain it beyond that. I think that many listeners would consider it a new age classical as well. Essentially all you have to do is let it be whatever it is for you the individual. I think that is the most important factor for anyone’s listening experience.

I can tell potential listeners that this is beautiful music to be enjoyed anytime or anywhere. It is more than background music though, it absorbs you, relaxes you and empty’s your mind to make room for all the positive things in life. It is not happy time music, it is more of a time to reflect, focus and just let the sounds, emotions, and changes of the tempos guide you. It can take you away from the stresses of life we all experience for a while. For this listener, that is the absolute best kind of listen to take in.

Dulce is streaming one track from the album currently title “Yes It Is You,” which I have included here and on my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist.

When I hear artistry like this on display, I wish that I could manipulate an instrument and create such beauty. But for now, my music is my words and I hope it captures your imagination like this music just did for me.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 12, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 

01. Passione Nocturnale
02. Yes It Is You  
03. The Sound of Your Voice
04. Eternal Love
05. Forgotten Worlds
06. Oceanally Hearts
07. My Untamed Soul in Yours
08. The Endless Feelings of Mine
09. From Ancient Time We Meet Again

 



Focus Bass Player Udo Pannekeet Announces the Release of His New Solo Album 'Electric Regions' - OUT NOW!


Electric Regions is the latest solo album by the current bass player of FOCUS and skilled composer, Udo Pannekeet.

The album features an epic length track, along with new compositions written throughout Udo Pannekeet’s career and recorded here for the first time.

The album features guest appearances by current Focus guitarist Menno Gootjes and a former member of Focus, Eef Albers.

Udo Pannekeet said of the album: “I'm so pleased to finally share this music with you! I worked on it for quite a while. Thanks to the amazing musicians I worked with on the album, it has become more than I could have imagined. I'm humbled by the beautiful reactions I received so far from all over the world!”

The album is the tenth release on the band’s own IN AND OUT OF FOCUS RECORDS, via Cherry Red.

TRACK LISTING:

1. ELECTRIC REGIONS PART ONE
2. INTEGRATION YES
3. LITTLE NURA
4. THE ANTIBES SITUATION
5. COCON COCON

The album is OUT NOW and available via the below links:

CD edition: https://geni.us/ElectricRegions
GooglePlay: https://geni.us/ElectricRegionsGP
iTunes: https://geni.us/ElectricRegionsiTunes
Spotify: https://geni.us/ElectricRegionsSpotify

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

12 November 2019

Henry Rollins/David Bowie Guitarist Chris Haskett To Release New Instrumental EP "Insufficient Necessities" on November 15th


Chris Haskett is a Grammy-nominated American guitar player mainly known for his time in the Rollins Band in the 1980s and 90s. After eight albums, Chris is releasing an instrumental EP of original tunes, “Insufficient Necessities,” primarily featuring his European band (Mike Baker of DC go-go band Rare Essence does bass duties on the opening song “Going Back”) on November 15, 2019. The emphasis is decidedly on funk with nods to Chris's hometown go-go scene as well as New Orleans second-line grooves.

As on his other releases, Chris looks to strike a fragile balance of technique, tonal color and letting “interesting accidents” find their way in to the music. He wears his influences on his sleeve, and echoes of Beck, Ribot and Richard Thompson all peek through at various points. As he says himself, “I think I like things to teeter between being fluidly funky and a little fractured too.I'm hard to categorize because I straddle a kind of venn diagram/middle ground where hard rock meets downtown avant garde (with a little bit of 'Dark Star' sprinkled on top).”

The recordings are a mix of both studio and concert multi-track recordings re-edited and overdubbed, sometimes in the studio and sometimes in the concert venue. The four originals on this EP are part of a much larger batch of recordings. The rest, an eclectic collection of covers, are due for release in 2020.



Most of Chris's early life was spent in Washington DC though, by chance, he was living in the UK just as punk was breaking in 1977. The rule-breaking freedom offered by punk had a profound influence on him and remained with him on his return to the US in 1978. His first band, the Enzymes, synthesized diverse influences from both the early punk/no-wave scene as well as the avant-garde and free jazz musics of the time. This overlap of influences reluctance to be pigeonholed has been a constant throughout his career.

Moving back to England in 1980 brought him into collaborations with the Birthday Party's Rowland S. Howard and for Public Image bassist Jah Wobble. It was also during this time that he reestablished contact with old DC friend Henry Rollins who was then singing in Black Flag. When Black Flag broke up in 1986, Rollins immediately suggested they do a project together. The result was the genesis of the Rollins Band. Over the following ten years, the band became known for uniquely powerful, uncompromising hard rock that spanned and yet stood apart from both the grunge and metal scenes of the era. After ten albums, a Grammy nomination and nearly a thousand concerts across the globe, the band members decided to part ways in 1997.

Even in the midst of the Rollins Band's punishing schedule Chris found time for instrumental side projects. In 1995 he released “Language,” a mix of angular acoustic guitar pieces and musique concrĂȘte that also featured duets with Rowland S Howard. 1997's “Non-Fiction” was a collaboration with Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers drummer Brandon Finley. This electric guitar album incorporated DC's signature go-go beats alongside a clear influence of both Zappa and Sonny Sharrock. The subsequent releases, “Not Part of the Solution” (2002), “The Return of the Geary Act” (2004), “Maybe Definitely” (2012), “Gravity:Left/Right” (2013), “The Courage Born of Conflicting Terrors” (2014) and last year's “Comprovisations in Linear B,” all defy easy categorization but share a distinctive musical sensibility: funky, angular, lyrical and unpredictable.

In 1999 Chris was hired by David Bowie who said he was looking forward to Chris's “nose bleedingly hostile” guitar to complement Reeves Gabrels for an upcoming tour. The planned tour got sidelined but Chris can be heard alongside Reeves on Bowie's “Hours” album.

Aside from numerous concerts fronting his own bands in the US, Europe and Australia, some of Chris's other touring and performance credits include Steven Brown (Tuxedomoon), The Cassandra Complex, Elliott Sharp, Reeves Gabrels, Pigface, Chris D (Divine Horsemen), Utah Saints, and Foetus.. More recently he has been invited as onstage to perform with Helmet as well as MC50.

Chris divides his time between the US, Europe and Australia and is currently working on a percussion-heavy psychedelic live band.

“I first heard Chris Haskett with the Rollins Band, surely one of the most powerful of late 80s bands, and was instantly struck by the intelligence driving the molten guitar tone. What a pleasure to come to know his wide-ranging solo works, spanning the gamut from fun and impressively detailed electric workouts to truly thought-provoking and meditative acoustic compositions. Chris makes guitar music anyone can feel good about obsessing over.” - Mike Keneally

“Chris Haskett !!!!! Love the mans work all the way from Henry Rollins to the present.” - DeWayne Blackbyrd McKnight

“Chris is a gifted musician and guitarist who should be followed as the music he is involved with is real and engaging.” – Paul Reed Smith

“He’s always seemed to effortlessly cross genres with an authenticity and honesty that few are able to match, even in one genre. From punk to jazz, experimental to funk, he brilliantly manages to weave everything together on his albums. He’s like the perfect marriage of Snakefinger and Jeff Beck and a little Ornette Coleman.” - Rich Fortus 

To purchase:
https://chrishaskett.bandcamp.com/
also available iTunes, Amazon etc.

For more information:
https://chrishaskett.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Chris-Haskett-170955906298411/?eid=ARAV-yPcX0vDe8yooqan8hqN-naUOuURxzhorNIcGV16tVbfRLmlvqhiSWh8Pi0rKEnXMFsm3Hgad9si

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

11 November 2019

Curved Air Announce Plans For New Projects and the Band's 50th Anniversary Year in 2020


Curved Air was formed in 1970 and ever present original member Sonja Kristina will be continuing to lead the band into the band’s 50th Anniversary year with a range of projects and a world tour.

The band will be recording a new studio album in 2020, along with contributing to the release of a 50th Anniversary Compilation which will include newly recorded tracks, featuring former and current members of the band, recording together in various combinations.

Curved Air will be touring the Americas, Japan, Europe and also appearing on Cruise to the Edge in 2020.

The 50th Anniversary year line-up has also been solidified with Curved Air welcoming back Kirby Gregory to the line-up after a break of 3 years. Kirby was originally in the heyday era line-up which recorded Air Cut in 1973. He returned to the band playing guitar for the recording of the very successful North Star album. Kirby was professionally committed to other projects from the end of 2015 until now, and he is looking forward to embarking on the 50th Anniversary World Tour in 2020.

The current line-up was completed when, after much searching, the band found and welcomed Grzegorz “Greg” Gadziomski to the line-up. Greg is a classically trained Violin player who likes to play in many genres but prefers Progressive Rock/Fusion as a particular passion. The band would like to acknowledge and thank Paul Sax who has decided to retire from touring after a lifelong career. Paul was a member of Curved Air from 2009 and the band wish him much happiness and peace in his retirement.

The accomplishments of the previous line-up and former members were recently showcased with the release of two titles on the band’s own Curved Air Records via Cherry Red: “The Curved Air Family Album” and “Live at Under the Bridge”.



“The Curved Air Family Album” features 26 tracks including rare and unreleased band and solo recordings, including by current and former members which Sonja Kristina described as “How appropriate that many Curved Air members past and present have contributed to a special collection called The Curved Air Family Album for our 50th year. I’m excited about this – it’s so great to hear all the unique sounds, surprising collaborations, eclectic songs and haunting instrumentals including from Francis Monkman, Darryl Way, Stewart Copeland, Kirby Gregory and Robert Norton – they all make for a very enjoyable double album.”

Amazon CD: https://geni.us/CAfamily
iTunes: https://geni.us/CAfamilyiTune
Google Play: https://geni.us/CAfamilyG
Spotify: https://geni.us/CAfamilySpotify



“Live at Under the Bridge” captures the band live playing Air Conditioning in its entirety, with special guests Darryl Way and Ian Eyre, as well as tracks from North Star and other Greatest Hits. Of this release, Sonja Kristina said “The 45th Anniversary of the release of Air Conditioning was a triumph of performance, musicianship, presentation and appreciative reception. Original and current members on stage together - what joy! Robert Norton’s pristine production perfectly captures the sound and energy of our night of celebration.”

Amazon CD: https://geni.us/CAbridge
iTunes: https://geni.us/CAbridgeiTunes
Google Play: https://geni.us/CAbridgeG
Spotify: https://geni.us/CAbridgeSpotify

Curved Air is:
Sonja Kristina
Kirby Gregory
Chris Harris
Robert Norton
Andy Tween
Grzegorz “Greg” Gadziomski

Photo by Howard Rankin

Curved Air is managed by Daniel Earnshaw at QEDG Management daniel@qedg.co.uk

Curved Air Official Website: www.curvedair.com
Curved Air Official Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/CurvedAir
Curved Air Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/curvedair1
Curved Air Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curvedair/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Book Review: Tom Petty and Me by Jon Scott

Publisher: Chickasaw Buddy Publishing, INC. (2018)
ASIN: 069209119X
Website: https://tompettyandme.com/



 
Some of the best rock music you will ever hear was recorded by the late great Tom Petty. To reach that elusive plateau where you become a legitimate superstar, a household name, and all of your songs are instantly recognizable around the world, is for the few not the many.

There has to be at least one person to believe in you and dedicate their time and energy to get other people to follow. That is where it starts and hopefully grows exponentially. Things today are a world away from the days of DJs and A&R men to play music and push out to a listening public.

Jon Scott was one of those people that entered the life of Tom Petty that helped to get his music heard. The book by Jon titled Tom Petty and Me tells the trials and tribulations of making those important things happen for an artist back in the 70s. Against all the naysayers, negativity and the dreaded music consultants, Scott broke Petty, big time. Their first meeting was a bit rough due to ABC Records blowing off Tom’s first album, but things would change with time. Once Scott got Petty to believe in him it was like a fairy tale come to life.

I have enjoyed Petty’s music, particularly the first two albums. I did not know the back story of Petty and thanks to Jon Scott and the interview I had with him (included here) and reading his book, I know what happened and what it took to make things happen.

The book is an easy read, to the point, and very entertaining. It is not too long either so when you look at it, you’re not faced with a daunting task like reading something that may take you weeks or even months. This is the way a book about rock music should be written, short and sweet and to the point. And every chapter is like that, it does not drag and never once did I wonder when a chapter was finally going to end.

I have read my share of books about music over the years and Tom Petty and Me was one of the best and most memorable. Thanks to the interview that Jon so graciously provided, I was able to get to know him better, and while I was reading, find some of the missing pieces and details, he did not cover. The experience for this reader is now complete.

Tom Petty and Me is a must-have for any Petty fan or music lover that is interested in how things worked in the industry before the internet and Spotify. This is when people mattered the most and their influence was paramount in breaking an artist. The author’s account is heartfelt and honest, and there is no other way to slice it. I loved the book and how it shed the truth on all the people that played their part in the making of a superstar we will never forget.

Tom Petty was the real deal, a down to earth matter of fact Southern boy that found his way to stardom through a brother he did not know but came to know, Jon Scott.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 11, 2019


Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews



09 November 2019

Rock-Blues-Psychedelic: Jimi Hendrix-Songs For Groovy Children (The Filmore East Concerts)

Release Date: November. 22, 2019
Labels: Experience Hendrix L.L.C., Legacy Recordings
Website

Come one, come all. Groovy children unite! Today we are talking about the king of guitar himself, Mr. Jimi Hendrix. His record company recently created a tribute box set called Songs For Groovy Children, which includes his classics and unreleased live performances across five CDs. The best part about live albums is that the artist can’t hide behind the vocal effects. There are no retakes, no breaks, and no time to think things over. It’s just the artist, the audience, and 10 feet in between.

Disc one is comprised of songs that we’ve heard before. “Lover Man” has an iconic riff that makes you wonder how someone’s fingers can move that fast. The smooth transitions in this song between sections and the sound quality of the electric guitar are crazy good. He pulls out all the stops with the tremolos, pickups, and loads of vibrato.“Bleeding Heart” takes us down south with soulful vocals and the bluesy bass line. It's the kind of song that you expect to hear in a dimly lit cajun-themed bar. “Izabella” has a lot of flavor to it. You don’t even have to like rock music to appreciate the raw talent of Hendrix’s playing.

Disc two has the bulk of new/remixed songs. “Changes” comes up on four of five of the CDs. Each version has a unique sound to it, almost like how a filter changes the tone of a photo. We also see different variations of “Stop,” “Power Of Soul,” “Machine Gun,” and a few others. “Auld Lang Syne” starts with a clip from the original song. The crowd goes wild as Hendrix starts to play his version of the song on guitar. The concert took place on New Years' Eve/Day, so it is fitting to include this one in the mix.

There is a Woodstock element to disc three. The songs were recorded in the ’70s, so it makes sense that they would have the authentic groove. “Changes” has a moment near the end where Hendrix preaches to the audience, and they go crazy with whistles and chants. He had a significant impact on people of all ages and continues to change young lives today. For the '70s, the live tracks sound like they were recorded in a professional studio. Yes, the Equalization is slightly off, but it's difficult to get it right with thousands of screaming fans in the recording.

Disc four has more of that cross over that we saw from the previous discs. I for one am a Hendrix fan and will never get tired of listening to his songs. It's a shame that he passed away at such a young age. It would have been incredible to see how far he could have come if he had lived another 50+ years. Hendrix took songs to new heights. "Machine Gun" has an interesting mix of colors in it. There isn't a great way to describe it. You would have to listen to it to understand it.“Steal Away” is more mellow in sound. It’s an easy-listening song that would be perfect for a busker to perform. Its simplicity is perfect for people who want to learn how to play a Hendrix song.

Disc five flows better as a set. "We Gotta Live Together" involves the crowd. They are instructed to clap their hands with the beat of the song. I love that Hendrix's team left in clips of his interactions with the audience. That is how you know that he was a true performer. A lot of acts nowadays don’t have the flair and style that Hendrix had. Hendrix puts a cool spin on his cover of "Wild Thing" by The Troggs. It feels less boy band and a more mature rock. "Purple Haze" is the last song you'll hear on the set. It is thought that Hendrix is referencing psychedelics in his lyrics, which wouldn't be a shock. It ends the CD with lyrics that give you something to think about. I guess that's why they call it "The Jimi Hendrix Experience."

Hendrix is beloved all around the world because you don’t need to speak English to understand the language of music. The dynamic range that comes from his guitar is insane. Though Hendrix wasn’t much of a singer, it is impressive that he managed to sing while he shredded. Most of Hendrix’s fans have their favorite songs and it was a smart move for his record label to release the best takes of his live songs. The 5-disc set (43 songs) retails for $60, and the vinyl set retails for $120. Each album has collector’s photos of Hendrix performing. It has been about 50 years since Hendrix passed away. His music is celebrated globally, and clearly, there is still a market for his songs. Jimi Hendrix is a household name. You can buy tour tickets to see other guitarists play his songs, and many people do. Which is a testimony that Hendrix is still changing lives from the grave.

Lily Clark – Berklee College of Music Intern
November 9, 2019

 
Reviews Provided By:









Tracks:
12/31/1969 1st Set:
DISC ONE:
01. Power Of Soul               
02. Lover Man               
03. Hear My Train A Comin’       
04. Changes                
05. Izabella                
06. Machine Gun               
07. Stop                           
08. Ezy Ryder               
09. Bleeding Heart            
10. Earth Blues               
11. Burning Desire           

12/31/1969 2nd Set:
DISC TWO:
01. Auld Lang Syne%           
02. Who Knows%               
03. Fire                   
04. Ezy Ryder*               
05. Machine Gun%               
06. Stone Free               
07. Changes*               
08. Message To Love*           
09. Stop*                   
10. Foxey Lady                

1/1/1970 1st Set:
DISC THREE:
01. Who Knows               
02. Machine Gun               
03. Changes+               
04. Power Of Soul%                   
05. Stepping Stone%            
06. Foxey Lady+                
07. Stop%                   
08. Earth Blues+               
09. Burning Desire%               

1/1/1970 2nd Set:
DISC FOUR:
01. Stone Free%               
02. Power Of Soul#           
03. Changes#               
04. Message To Love#           
05. Machine Gun%               
06. Lover Man*               
07. Steal Away*               
08. Earth Blues%               

DISC FIVE:01. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)%       
02. We Gotta Live Together#       
03. Wild Thing%               
04. Hey Joe*                                          
05. Purple Haze*               

*previously unreleased
+ first time on CD/LP/streaming (previously only available as part of concert film)
#longer, unedited versions of previously released material, and newly remixed
% back in print on CD/LP for the first time in a decade, and newly remixed
 

08 November 2019

Contemporary Instrumental – New Age Review: Gina Lenee-Revealed

Release Date: November 2, 2019
Label: Independent

Gina Lenee’s recent release Revealed is a collection of eleven contemporary instrumental tracks. The new age in her music are the messages inside the CD sleeve. The words of inspiration and self-validation are a significant part of what she offers a listener.
 
Gina Lenee’s recent release Revealed is a collection of eleven contemporary instrumental tracks. The new age in her music is the messages inside the CD sleeve. The words of inspiration and self-validation are a significant part of what she offers a listener.

You do not have to be a fan of this type of music to get something of value from it if you are then that is the cherry on top of the ice cream. I enjoy this type of music immensely and sometimes wonder if I will run out of words to say with the instrumental albums, but alas, I am inspired, energized, and cleansed emotionally and spiritually with this music.

Your true self will be Revealed if you allow this recording to settle into your consciousness and permeate your very being. It goes deep but we all do when it comes to our feelings, beliefs, and how we feel about ourselves. So, the idea here is to empower you to be true to yourself, listen to the music, relax and become one with the textures, colors, and vibrations of all these beautiful tracks. The artistry of the sounds can be a blank canvas that you can paint for yourself.

The extraordinary team at Imaginary Road Studios with Will Ackerman (acoustic guitar), Tom Eaton (electric bass), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) and Premik Russell Tubbs (electric wind synthesizer, soprano sax), help Gina create a masterpiece of instrumental bliss and wonderment. The quality of the tracks from a production standpoint is outstanding and it goes without saying how on point all of the musicians are. Gina’s piano is the core from which everything grows and melds into one amazing track after another.

Once “On The Wings of Love” (added to my Spotify Playlist) started I found immediate recognition from the past. Jeffrey Osborne’s 1982 hit was hard to forget and so is the melody. It was nice to hear that song at the mid-way point of this album. I normally do not hear any covers on these types of releases but it was a welcome addition and a nice transition. Right after that the main focus and sound of the album returns, which is important to maintain that consistency and stay with the original thoughts and meanings.

I will end with this quote from Tom Eaton that says it all! He not only played bass but was the co-producer with Will Ackerman and the engineer for the recording.

“An emotional masterpiece. Each song dives deeply into its own world fully showing the range and passion of a unique artist.” 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 6, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Undeniable
02. Finding Me Again
03. I Want to Get Closer
04. Over
05. Run Away with Me
06. On the Wings of Love
07. Revealed
08. Even If I Have to Stand Alone
09. Are You Still Dancing with Shadows
10. Between What's Lost and Found
11. To My Younger Self

 

The Keith Emerson Estate Announces the Release of the ‘Selections From Emerson Plays Emerson and Other Works’ Music Transcriptions Book – OUT NOW!


The Keith Emerson Estate is pleased to announce the completion and release of the music transcriptions book that Keith Emerson had been approving at the time of his passing.

The 25 transcriptions were created by a group of fans of the late composer’s work, and began as just the compositions on the ‘Emerson Plays Emerson’ album, before the book was expanded to include other works including “Piano Concerto No 1.”

The Emerson Estate would like to thank Jean Casavant and Gianfelice Riccardi for leading the groups of fans preparing these transcriptions. The Emerson Estate has commissioned its own quality control of the transcriptions and approved this book.

The book features a foreword adapted from Emerson’s emails about the project and a previously unpublished poem about composing which gives us an insight into Emerson’s mind.

Part of the late Keith Emerson’s foreword reads “So imagine my delight when news reached me that people had felt moved enough by my compositions to create transcriptions of them! Hopefully the “Emerson Plays Emerson” transcriptions will, in some small way, be useful to the next generation of composers to play and practice upon. I am humbled.”



The book is exclusively available as an Amazon Print-on-Demand book via the below link: https://geni.us/EPlaysEtranscriptions

The ‘Emerson Plays Emerson’ album continues to be available via the below links:
Amazon CD: https://geni.us/EplaysE
iTunes: https://geni.us/KE002dig
GooglePlay: https://geni.us/EPlaysEGP
Spotify: https://geni.us/EPlaysESpotify

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

07 November 2019

Heavy Metal Review: Anthem-Nucleus

Release Date: March 29, 2019
Label:
Golden Robot Records

Over the course of more than an hour, Japanese heavy metal band, Anthem, relentlessly delivers hit after blistering hit on their latest compilation album, Nucleus. This Greatest Hits Collection features re-recorded English language versions of songs that have gripped metal fans since the Tokyo-based band first achieved success in 1985. Even though this album’s content is pulled from source material more than three decades old, sonically, the songs blend seamlessly together.

Each track on this project is comprised of elaborately produced acoustic layering which serves to distinguish Anthem’s sound. The band has frequently remodeled their line-up over the years, but with a seemingly endless Rolodex of talented musicians to call on, Anthem continues to zealously create eclectic and ecstatic heavy metal. On Nucleus, Yukio Morikawa provides the lead vocals, Akio Shimizu plays guitar, Naoto Shibata is on bass, and Isamu Tamaru wows on drums.

If the group’s years of personal hardship and hiatus have done anything to their music, it seems to have only invigorated them. The first track, “Immortal Bind,” is a vigorous, testosterone-pumping, cyclone of energy. It’s almost five minutes of sustained spirit, complemented perfectly by thrilling guitar solos and screaming vocals. “Black Empire,” a power-metal track and the lead single for this release, similarly highlights lead-vocalist Morikawa’s impressively breathless delivery.

On the electrifying track “Stranger,” Tamaru stuns the listener with a dizzyingly fast drum performance, which pairs with terrific soloing from Shimizu and another powerful vocal delivery to achieve an album highlight.

Another high point is “Ghost in the Flame,” which wraps up at just under eight minutes. Placed right in the middle of this compilation, it’s a refreshing switch-up from the band’s tried and tested formula. It’s a slower song than what Anthem has delivered up to this point, the drums take a backseat to gorgeous guitar licks and deep lyrics are delivered without the routine manic intensity. As the song goes on, the guitar shines through in an ascending, glorious crescendo.

“Awake” is a similarly well-balanced track, which seesaws proportionately between vehement main guitar, layered backing guitar, and emphatic drums. This establishes a splendid base upon which Morikawa delivers euphoric vocals. The final song, “Unbroken Sign,” also leans away from the band’s power-metal sound which results in a harmonious, strong, and even finish.

Ultimately, Anthem delivers a tireless, emphatic performance throughout this album. However, as each song rolls into the next, the band’s one-dimensional formula threatens tedium. “Ghost in the Flame,” “Awake,” and “Unbroken Sign” are all tracks that sufficiently address this over-cohesiveness and break the mold. Never lacking energy, but perhaps at times innovation, Anthem’s Nucleus is a wickedly exciting, intense, and powerful foray into this metal band’s long, distinguished career.

Nicholas Lane-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 30, 2019

Reviews Provided By:

Tracks: 
01. Immortal Bind
02. Black Empire
03. Overload
04. Stranger
05. Linkage
06. Eternal Warrior
07. Ghost in the Flame
08. Venom Strike
09. Awake
10. Omega Man
11. Pain
12. Echoes in the Dark
13. Unbroken Sign

 

06 November 2019

Frank Wyatt & Friends Featuring Members of Happy The Man, Oblivion Sun & Pedal Giant Animals To Release Project Album 'Zeitgeist'


Zeitgeist is a collaborative music endeavor led by Happy The Man legend Frank Wyatt featuring members of the progressive rock bands Happy The Man, Oblivion Sun, and the Pedal Giant Animals Project. Zeitgeist started out as an idea for a Happy The Man reunion CD, but evolved to include other musicians Frank has performed with during his career. The music has been produced in the studios of the respective artists and at Frank's Crafty Hands Studio. This unique gathering of such great musicians has delivered a beautiful and exciting musical experience.

The Artists:
Frank Wyatt: Compositions, Keyboards, Engineering, Project Management
Stan Whitaker: Guitars and Vocals
Kit Watkins: Keyboards
Rick Kennell: Bass Guitar
Mike Beck: Percussion
Cliff Fortney: Vocals
Ron Riddle: Drums
David Rosenthal: Keyboards
Joe Bergamini: Drums
Bill Brasso: Drums
David Hughes: Bass Guitar
Chris Mack: Drums
Peter Princiotto: Orchestration, Sitar
Andrew Colyer: Keyboards
Michael Phipps: Artwork

“The album's concept turned into a sort of  'goodbye, or one last swing at it'  as I had been diagnosed with the big 'C' and told I was short on time. I had no idea  the project would take so long! I'm five years out of warranty now and still kicking. Perhaps the project has been what's kept me going; I've been too stubborn to give up on completing it. I plan more work already... music is great medicine. Recording the music was a great joy but very difficult to coordinate as everyone performing lives in another state. I was constantly having to put things on hold as one treatment or another made me too sick to function, but the result, I believe, has validated the struggle. The guys all delivered amazing performances. The project musicians are all friends I have played with over the span of my career. They all generously donated their time and talent for the project, and I am so thankful for them.” ~ Frank Wyatt

Track listing
1. Zeitgeist
2. Leaving
3. Twelve Jumps
4. Eleventh Hour
5. The Approach
6. Fred's Song
7. To Venus (Perelandra Mvt. I, Andante)
8. The Green Lady (Perelandra Mvt. II, Allegretto con moto)
9. The Golden Feast (Perelandra Mvt.III, Allegro)
10. Blessed Be He (Perelandra Mvt. IV, Presto)

In closing Frank has this message to impart, “Don't surrender to the daily fog and fear.  We are all moving forward on our journey and I am going to keep writing and recording music as long as I am able. It is my voice.”

To purchase: https://frankwyattmusic.com/the-zeitgeist-music

For more information: 
https://frankwyattmusic.com/about-zeitgeist
https://www.facebook.com/FrankWyattMusic

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

05 November 2019

Rock/Surf Punk Review: Olivia Jean-Night Owl

Release Date:  August 30, 2019
Label:  Third Man Records

After waiting five years for something new, fans finally got their fix with Olivia Jean’s latest release, "Night Owl." On her debut album, the versatile Ms. Jean plays all the instruments.  Night Owl brings reinforcements in the form of a backing band that helps to refine her unique and enigmatic sound. Ms. Jean blends rockabilly, surf & punk with soft and expressive vocals to produce a sharp and infective result. 

Born out of Jack White's Third Man Records incubator, Ms. Jean broke from her first band, The Black Belles, and now stands apart from Mr. White's shadow with her signature hook-driven sound. And they call them hooks for a reason. They're sharp and instantly take hold of you. Her signature black Gretsch guitar is searing, burning holes through the listener's preconceived notions and expectations. Like a pro surfer riding a cruncher, Ms. Jean's haunting melodies ride the shifting riffs masterfully. Occasionally veering off for a stunt or two, she returns to ease the listener safely to shore. 

"Garage Bats," "Night Owl," and "Brushfire" are rockers while the obscure cover of the classic Bollywood song "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" is a ride to the ocean in a convertible with the top down. Unlike her debut album, where Ms. Jean breaks out the acoustic guitar for the aforementioned "Haunt" me, on Night Owl, she opts to stay plugged in. Therein lies my sole wish for this album, that she gives us more of a taste of the stripped-down Patsy Cline inspired sound, which exposes both her vocal range and musical vulnerability. It seems "Can You Help Me" and "In Two" pose significant opportunities to unplug for a bit.

All told, Night Owl crackles with an energy that a 3-minute song structure struggles to contain. The fourteen songs packed into this thirty-seven-minute album pull no punches whatsoever. Play it loud, play it often, and please, Ms. Jean, don't keep us waiting another five years for another release.    

Tom Endyke - MuzikMan.net Staff

November 5, 2019

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Tracks:
01. Garage Bat
02. Night Owl
03. Shut Your Mouth
04. Brushfire
05. In Two
06. If You Don’t Love Me by Now
07. Rhinestone
08. The Hunt
09. Jaan Pehechaan Ho
10. Can You Help Me?
11. Siren Call
12. I Used to Be Lonely
13. Perfume
14. Tsunami Sue