Saturday, May 31, 2014

Emoshoon Ophy Breaks Into The Soul With A Mix of Afro Pop That’s Infectious

Emoshoon Ophy is one of the coolest acts I’ve been given the pleasure of listening to in recent months. They have found a way to mix several genres that I love and evoke the same power that makes Ozomatli, Damian Marley, and so many others work so well. Here you get something that cannot be housed in just the reggae genre, because it’s not. It’s not really pop either, and though it has some serious soul, it’s not really fair to call it that either. What you get from the sum of the parts here is a fusion of rhythm and blues, afro-beat, afro pop, and mixes of reggae here and there that are all working together to present a world music sound that I could not get out of my head.

There’s a sense of world music up front, but there’s so much more when you listen to “I Dey Fine” a song that uses some pathos that come across the ska, two tone genre at times. It feels like you’re on an international trip, or you’re at a soccer stadium waiting for the beginning of the World Cup, as it reaches globally within one track. Other stand out tracks include “Wajo” and “Valentime”, which are just some of the musical compositions that get you moving.

Emoshoon Ophy does so many little things to create an even flow of musical prowess that you’re not going to find anywhere else. As stated above, the genres mixed here are unique and give you a real sense of musical theory, like jazz at times, but so much more. I found myself trying to figure out what parts I loved best, as there’s something intangible here and something that I just love about world music as a whole. From the lyrics to the production, you get a sense of passion in music you don’t always get with 1 genre candidates.

If you’re a fan of afro-beat, pop, and even soul music, you’ll love this eclectic blend from Emoshoon Ophy. Check them out on reverbnation here, or soundcloud here, I definitely find them to be very interesting musically. I still can’t get “I Dey Fine” out of my head. Don’t miss out.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Colored Parade Sends You Through A Music History With And The Walls of The City Will Shake

The Colored Parade gave me a ticket to ride in a time machine. I was taken across several generations of musical style, theory, and composition with the incredible release of their latest record. I was completely blown away from the initial track, moving forward on “…And The Walls of The City Will Shake”. “Please, Be Kind” should be on par with The Black Keys, and the rest of the bands that are getting a lot of attention today, because it’s iconic, it’s multi-genre, it had me thinking. I got a bit emotional, I admit it, the lyrics hit me, the way an iconic song certainly does. It’s there that the time machine continued to impress as the record continued to get better and better.

From the opening blues, rock, pop genre mesh that you get with the initial track, to the second song you are taken to yet another locale. It’s hard to define The Color Parade as one genre because it’s not. It goes through several, and the record does so well in creating a lavish portrait of emotion. “When The World’s Against Me” feels so much bigger than it is, and it’s because every note is layered through nicely through instrumentation, and vocals. It doesn’t end there, going through “Hysterically Speaking, “I’m Indestructible”, “A Tiny Spark (In This Great Machine)”, and through the rest of the 13 tracks, you are treated to an alternative feast of music.

As you listen through the record, you will not be able to peg The Colored Parade as just one type of music, as there’s so much here to explore. Just when you think you have it all figured out, they throw a wrench in the mix with a style that’s very much in tune with the 1980s new wave, but yet different. I know, this may seem like an odd explanation, but it rings true throughout the tracking at times. Suffice to say that “…And The Walls of The City Will Shake” is on par with the best record I’ve heard this year. The shifting genres are done so well, never leaving you feeling like you’ve left the record. There’s so much here, it’s ridiculous that this is not on the mainstream making millions. Andrew Adkins does a marvelous job presenting a larger than life sound on this record, no doubt.


Fans of good music are going to eat this up. I appreciated every song, and really enjoy the emotional connections that are sewed through the lyrics. Listen closely and hear all sorts of instruments, percussion, as this is an instant musical classic. From audiophiles to jaded rockers, ever music fan will appreciate this record for more than the sum of its parts. It very well may be your next favorite record.

My bad intro aside, this is a great record, it hits on all notes well and I definitely recommend it. Check out The Colored Parade's official website here, and Facebook Page here.

Mr. Eurodisco Takes You To New Heights on Feel It

The latest release from artist Mr. Eurodisco is a combination of digital music, dance, and more. The song “Feel It” is a well mixed, and highly interactive journey through several different visions of the mind. From the opening notes through the transitions, I felt as though I was being taken away into a new world of musical landscape. One that is full of possibility, and it harkened back to my days as a video game addict. I spent hours and hours playing games with this type of soundtrack in my youth, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, this definitely has more than just video game rhythm, it’s passionate, it’s iconic, it is very much danceable.

“Feel It” transfers several layers into one stereophonic dance tune, which is full of life. Even if you’re tired, jaded, or just a bit bored this will jolt you into a new state of mind. I know I was feeling tired this morning, and upon hearing this, my head start bouncing along. I also craved bacon, but that’s another story. I love the mix, I think it’s a good song, catchy pop sensibilities with dance and techno throughout. There’s layers to this, and that’s what I like the most, you’ll like it too if you’re a fan of electronic music.

You can check out Mr. Eurodisco’s release “Feel It”, on ITunes by clicking here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jana Pochop Brings A Transcendent Musical Transcript on Throats are Quarries

Jana Pochop’s voice brings about a new vision for me upon hearing “When Your Soul Leaves Your Body”. Perhaps it’s the subtlety of the song structure, perhaps it’s the vocals on the track, or maybe it just hit me at the right time. The song is a good starting point to her latest release “Throats are Quarries” as it spins a good tune on this 5 song EP.

Jana plays acoustic guitar and provides vocals on this recording which is very much an eclectic mix. It’s simple, to the point, and on par with some of my favorite Neko Case songs. “Throw You Forward” brings about an emotional connection with me, and speaks to a poetic side that I lost along the way. It’s a good song that ties up how I feel about this record, that I hope gets more attention. The music is acoustic, folk, with a rock tinge, and truly is one that is accessible by all music fans. You forget that you’re listening to an independent artist as you look to the radio dial to see the station you’re on. That’s the magic of this release, it feels far more polished, and so friendly, you assume it’s from a more prominent artist, and that speaks volumes to the compositions.

It’s with “Deepest Fear” and the rest of the EP that you truly get a sense for the artist, as I began to love it. The lyrics on the third track is very relatable to me, moving so much, regret, love lost, it’s like she’s taking pages from my life story and putting them in song. Perhaps it’s the universal language of music, or the way the composition works playfully with folk and rock pathos to create a fluid song.

Jana Pochops’ “Throats are Quarries” is one of the best acoustic records I’ve heard in a long time. I am impressed, and blissfully overwhelmed by the EP and hope everyone takes a listen. There’s so many layers to the sound, and the lyrics.

Check out Jana Pochop’s official website here, and make sure that you check out “Throats are Quarries” today.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dance of Atoms Brightens Up Your Day With Intense Electronic Music and More on Atom & Eve

Dance of Atoms woke me up this morning. I was feeling tired from doing laundry all night, and trying to fight this depression that I have as a starving writer, and with “I Can Change” all things were made brand new. It may not have fixed my problems, but it sure woke me and my cats up, enough to get a little more upbeat. The sounds are a mix of 80s new wave, alternative, and electronic music with the same urgency that you would expect from Joy Electric or M83. I like the mix of sounds that start things up and to my surprise the continuous tracks just got better and better. With the release of "Atom and Eve", the morning becomes a bit more eclectic.

A lot of electronic music is being touted as the next best thing, but I can truly say that this is a unique and vibrant mix of music that could very well be the next big thing. There’s no “one” genre here, even though it’s electronic at times, and that’s what I like best. I love when artists can find new avenues to use musical notes, and that is by far the most compelling thing that you’ll realize from this introduction to all sorts of mayhem.

From the start of the record through the cover of “Another One Bites The Dust” and all through 7 tracks here you are treated to a buffet of sounds that you will have a hard time picking out. At first glance it seems very easy to peg this as dance record, or pop record, but it’s absolutely more than that. It’s a beautiful mix of music that you’re going to find bouncy, and cheerful at times. If nothing else the beat will wake you up from your slumber and allow you to get a smile in on the morning, even if it’s a gloomy start.

Dance of Atoms provides a good sense of rhythm, electronic prowess, and so much more. I like it, it is definitely one of the better alternative releases that I’ve heard. Don’t judge this by the genres mentioned, listen to the record and find out what you’re missing right now, it’s awesome!

You can listen to Dance of Atoms "Atom and Eve" by clicking here, and check out their official website here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

AntBanks380 Brings Honest Praise With Psalms 118

AntBanks380 unleashes a track that had me spinning at first. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and then the song really took off into a whole new territory of hip hop. The song “Psalms 118” is a mix of singing and rapping, and it’s all in praise of God. Often times Christian music, especially hip hop is not very good. Some of it is downright awful, and the MC’s are just not good at what they are doing. This is not one of those times, as you get a feeling for that grit and honesty that you would expect from the underground, pointed to the sky instead.

I like the flow of the rhymes, the sincerity in the singing and the message overall. If a Christian musician or artist is worthwhile, I will give them props, and that’s deserving for AntBanks380. Wearing hearts on your sleeve as a musician is tough, but that’s what you get here with a message that is aimed to the masses and relevant as ever. “Psalms 118” takes a path less traveled and unites it in a good way, bringing quality rhymes, singing that testifies the belief in God, and presents it in a good overall package.

It’s a good track, and something worth paying attention to. AntBanks380 has a bright future mixing positive elements with eclectic rhyme schemes and more. You’ll find this to be a talented start to something more down the line, I’m sure. It’s refreshing to hear positivity in hip hop, and I’ll always recommend sincere MC’s that are talking about more than the general topics that bog down rap at times.

Check out AntBanks380’s track on iTunes here, and keep your eyes and ears open for more music from this promising artist.

Henneke's Outside Systems of Human Presumption Complicates and Stuns Within 30 Seconds

Electronic music is one of those genres that I give only a few minutes to before I give up. Usually I’m handed a lot of repetition and boredom, but for those that have been following this blog for a while now, you’ll notice something grand. The electronic music I recommend is spot on great. Henneke once again shows me how incredible this genre can get, with compelling unions of sound, static, and so much more. You’re going to get hit with a tidal wave of bouncing rhythms, beats, and sounds, and it’s only an EP!

Henneke's Outside Systems of Human Presumption is a testament to the genre. In a world full of boring music, this is one that mixes genres quite well. You get a little bit of flavor from ambience to pure digital frameworks, to layering of keyboards and more. It’s techno done right, with explosive symbiosis and integral elemental design. In the end, it just sounds good.

From the first time I listened to “Isopoda” to the third time, it’s reflective of something magical and unique. On this EP you get 4 full tracks, 2 original mixes and 2 remixes and they each present unison on the EP. It’s a solid outing, and one that stuns you within 30 seconds of time. It’s like updating my childhood’s soundtrack of Nintendo music into something so much more tangible. I’m fascinated by this style and genre. Henneke really does something grand here, and it’s eclectic, while maintaining that electronic pathos.

You can listen and buy the EP here, and check out thisislabel.com here. You will have this EP on repeat a lot, I think.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Huntingtons Get Lost Got Lost In The Shuffle of 1999 Ramones Punk Bands

I recall seeing The Huntingtons at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. They played with The Dingees to a crowd of around 100 people, if that. It was a random Thursday night, and I noticed that they didn’t have the cult following that I saw them playing front of in 2002. I went to Cornerstone Festival 2002, and saw a massive crowd go nuts for the band, but on this random Thursday in Hollywood, they couldn’t draw flies. Then again, 100 people isn’t half bad, right? I didn’t stick around for the whole performance, but they were promoting “Get Lost” a 13 track opus of Ramones-esque punk rock that should’ve been their big break. It wasn’t.

In fact, no one that I’ve talked to online or offline knows anything about this band. They are not exactly high on the list of this style of music, even though they performed with Joey Ramone and have one of the best cover-albums of Ramones tunes in the world. Yeah, I said it. Despite their high quality sound, and attempts to emulate the mighty New York pioneers of punk, they are long and gone, with only memories playing through the Spotify accounts and mp3 players of today. With the 1999 release of “Get Lost” the band started so strong, that they were featured on MTV2, and many other programs that still played music videos.

The main video for this record is of course the rip roaring and solid tribute to the Ramones, “No Pool Party Tonight”. With tight bass lines, sing-along style choruses, and that simple and understated singing style, the band trudges through 3 minutes of heaven before going through 33 more minutes of repetitive, but still important punk rock music. Right when you are going to just go to sleep on this one, they belt out one iconic song that you’re going to get stuck in your head forever, “What Would Joey Do?” and that’s where you realize that The Huntingtons love themselves some Ramones.

“Get Lost” is not going to win any awards, and few people are even going to remember it. However, it stands tall amongst The Riverdales, The Queers, and many other bands that have played “Ramones” style, and gotten far more famous. I love The Huntingtons and their quest to play rock and roll, but alas, the tag of being “Christians” thwarted their success, if you ask me. At least I got to see them live a few times, and I still listen to these songs, as they are fantastic, if not repetitive.

You can pick up The Huntingtons “Get Lost” here, and of course keep on rocking in the free world or whatever catchphrase I’m supposed to put here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Things Are Not Life Push The Alternative Genre To New Limits

Things Are Not Life hits you with a fuzzy guitar before hitting a whole new plane of rock existence with their song “God can’t save” off of their new record. The latest record from the band increases the creativity levels of the genre known as alternative and infuses it with rock, and metal at times. Imagine Tool and the Deftones in a combination of garage oriented punk music and you may start to see how the band has brought together several elements together to form one cohesive unit. This creation not only rises like a phoenix, it completely blows you away with incredible attention to both guitar work and percussion. The driving bass lines and soaring vocals also play a great role, giving credence to the rock sound like a Pavement record.

The roaring rock opus is not contained in one track, the music flows through a connectivity that is rare in rock music. From one high to another low, and through several waves of urgency not too unlike what you’d expect from the 1980s icons like Rush or DIO. That’s not to say that this is a metal album, because it’s not confined to that genre alone, it’s a rock record that has a lot of influence here. You’ll hear elements of pop, alternative, metal, rock, and even jazz. It’s a high quality recording that doesn’t limit itself in anyway. You’ll even hear tones of The Doors at times, with the vocals soaring over keyboard and bass lines that are walking along a new line.

Stand out tracks abound here, from “God can’t Save”, “In The Middle”, “A Song For Birds”, “Home”, and “Things Are Not Life” the whole package is sealed up with authority and cohesion. It’s records like this that become iconic, classics, and mantle pieces for musicians. There’s a great bit of creativity offered through the 9 tracks here, and you get a sense for a soaring rock album that requires more than one listen. Just the guitar work alone will bring you new life, but when the vocals, keys, drums, and bass tie it all together, you will find yourself in musical bliss. Things Are Not Life really does well here, and this recording is one that should get a ton of attention. It’s above standard, it’s artistic, and full of new life. It’s a genre mesh of great rock sounds, but with a new stamp. I recommend it greatly.

You can listen to this record via the band’s Sound Cloud here, or you can visit their official website here. Don’t sleep on this record, you’ll regret it.

Freddy Charles I’m Only Human Wraps Up The Rock Genre and More With Relative Ease

Freddy Charles immediately impresses on the release of “I’m Only Human” as he plays everything on the record, and even mixes it. This truly independent release is an impressive accomplishment, and as a former record label owner, I know how hard it is to bring all the pieces together. From the first track, “End of an Era”, you get this sense of brevity, and accomplishment with the sound. This is a record of urgency, and it shows with some great quality guitar work, percussion, and movements forward. You never feel like you’re listening to a one genre record, and that’s why I can’t simply label this rock, because it’s more than that. There’s blues, jazz, and classical tied into the presentation here, and that all works in the favor of Charles.

“I’m Only Human” pushes you through 13 songs, all of which stand on their own as singles. Right when you think you’ve got this one figured out, a track like “I’m Only Human” plays through some incredible moments of jazz and rock fusion that you’ll have to hear to believe. This talented musician doesn’t just go through the motions of creating a song, he paints a picture for the listener with multiple elements working together, and yet not working together. It’s not chaos, it’s the same kind of impact that Eddie Van Halen had on those classic guitar solos, and it just works here. It’s like a showcase of what you can do with a song as your paint brush.

The rest of the album works well too, it’s not an isolated kind of musical endeavor here. Freddy Charles finds a way to unify all rock styles, and even include jazz style options, without losing the focus on production. It’s an impressive, weighty album of sounds. You’re not going to find other records that fill the spatial plane quite like this one. Whether you’re a fan of the 90s, or you’re more into punk or hardcore, there’s something to love on this record for everyone. If you like music, you can’t go wrong with this one. There’s just so much that comes through with the 13 tracks, and over an hour of music. I’m impressed, that’s for sure. This is one record you can’t miss out on. This is the type of art rock record that should be getting mainstream success, because it’s eclectic, solid, and true to the alternative label and so much more. Don’t take my word for it, listen to it, you’ll be impressed.

Check out more of this incredible release through Spotify here.

The Jimi Newton Project Throws Down One Hell of An Electronic Dance Record With 2.0 Ghost Stories

I’m not always up to date with dance and electronic music, but the more I pay attention to the changing landscape of music, the more it comes up. The Jimi Newton Project breaks down the walls with this latest release of “2.0 Ghost Stories” and completely shatters the notion of electronic music. If you’re into Chromeo or Daft Punk, this is going to get serious replay value for you, because it mixes musical notes in a manner that even the former can’t really claim. From “Summer 2.0” moving forward, I was definitely impressed with the production, but more importantly the flow of the whole record, making this one of my favorite electronic releases this year. I know, bold statement, but it’s true, it’s that catchy.

There’s a casual flow to this recording, and something that is far more compelling than other releases in the genre. The Jimi Newton Project seems urgent, but the flow of sounds melt together in a good unison. At some point you don’t feel that you’re listening to multiple layers, but rather one layer of equal importance, which is hard to find with electronic music at times. The prowess of the artistry is really showcased on “Turn Blue”, “Expect the Unexpected”, and the remixes that flow through the middle of the disc.

If you stick with this release, you are treated to so much here, that you’ll be hitting repeat immediately after it’s over. I sure had to listen to the tracks a few times before finally giving this my full recommendation and vote of confidence. It’s an eclectic mix of sounds, singing, and textured electronic dance tracks that you will have a hard time forgetting. The melodies stick with you, and that’s something that is definitely hard to do. I loved it. The Jimi Newton Project really does well here, and “2.0 Ghost Stories” is definitely top notch, and well worth your time.

Check out this record on itunes here, and seriously, give this one a listen. I sure enjoyed it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 Lesser Known Punk Rock Releases You Need In Your Collection

Everyone’s got a music collection, some are larger than others, and some have it all itemized and categorized like the guys in “High Fidelity”. I used to be the latter, but now, I end up listening to streams, and a lot of Spotify, alongside the occasional vinyl record. It’s just easier, and amidst my listening to the collection of thousands upon thousands of tracks that fill my daily routine, I wanted to highlight 5 records that you probably don’t have in your collection yet should pick up right away. The following are 5 lesser known punk rock releases that you absolutely need on your Spotify account, mp3 player, phone, or whatever it is you’re using to listen to music:

Guns N’ Wankers “For Dancing and Listening”

In between spats of Snuff and other bands, Guns N’ Wankers put together a great string of releases that eventually caught the eye of Fat Wreck Chords and we get this recording. The 8 tracks presented on this record are a mix of Snuff and other bands all rolled into one. It’s an iconic set of quality bass driven, heavy punk sounds ala early Pennywise with the Snuff brand of sounds. It’s far less rock oriented than Snuff was, and more straightforward punk rock with great overall lyrics, and guitar work. You’ll have to pick this one up, it’s that good.

The Copyrights “Learn The Hard Way”

The Copyrights bring a mix of Greenday’s early work and more polished sounds such as those of Bayside and Rancid’s newer stuff. They are not street punk, but rather a melodic representation of power pop that is far more focused on snot than anything else. Imagine an American version of The Living End, with more of an edge and grittier guitar and bass work. This is a classic album from them, and in no way represents the band as a whole, as their catalog has grown immensely since this one. It’s a solid outing, and one that I find myself listening to on a regular basis.

Craig’s Brother “Homecoming”

Tooth and Nail records used to be amazing, now they suck. Craig’s Brother was a solid punk rock band from California and with “Homecoming” they put together a string of songs that were fast, melodic and focused on issues with life. Imagine looking at your high school year book and picking out people you knew from back in the day, and finding out what they were up to now, and you kind of get the theme of this outing. The solid punk rock force was definitely one of the better releases from the Tooth and Nail pop punk saturated roster early on in their life cycle. This one holds up quite well.


Dear Landlord “Dream Homes”

Powerful punk rock from Dear Landlord comes flying through your speakers with “Dream Homes”. Focusing on life of the less fortunate, this is a working class force of power punk glory. It’s like the Dropkick Murphy’s little brothers got together and ditched the Boston attitude and went pop, without losing focus on the wall of noise that comes with solid guitar work and heavy bass lines alongside drumming that is fast. The gang is definitely all here for this and Dear Landlord is going to cause you to think twice about complaining about your lot in life.

Living With Lions “Make Your Mark”

I first heard the band Living With Lions through a podcast called “Jack’s Untitled Rock Show” I think. The band was featured and interviewed on the show, and I fell in love with the release. “Make Your Mark” is a solid outing from the Canadian punkers that mix equal parts melody and straight forward power punk and pop sensibilities. There’s sing alongs, there’s street wise moments, and there’s introspective lyrics that will have you looking back at your life decisions in a whole new way. If nothing else, you’ll be glad to add this very talented band into your line up of rocking tunes. (man I’m old)

There you go, 5 punk rock records you don’t already have, and if you do, congratulations you’re cool. Pick up all of these records through Amazon.com here, and support this site by purchasing music through the links, and letting a friend know about how crappy my reviews are. It helps me keep going. You can preview the records below, or click the amazon links provided to the sidebar. What about you? What are your thoughts on records I may need to give a whirl?

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Secret Island I Miss The Day Brings Out The 80s Punk Rock With A Strong Release

My Secret Island pushes out a very cool release, and I’m hooked. It has a certain 1970s and 1980s punk and pop sensibility that you’re going to want to put on repeat. The four songs found on “My Secret Island” really come together in a string of songs that all flow together. It feels like a full record, and it feels longer than it really is. From the first track of “I Miss The Day” through the subsequent tracks, you’re going to be hit with a wall of noise that is cohesive, and very much in the vein of the 1980s punk movement without pretense. The rough guitars, great vocals, and the cover of “Sheila” definitely make for a great record to pick up today.

Even though the record came out in September 2012, it still holds up quite well. It starts with a rock sound that you’re familiar with, and then drives the point home with eclectic moments and strong rock, and alternative moments. From the opening track of “I Miss The Day”, to the cover of “Sheila”, the album flows in unison almost, and you could definitely see this record getting a lot of plays for just about any alternative and rock fan.

The 2 other version of “I Miss The Day” are also solid, and definitely make this single a good mix to pick up and play. I love the guitar work on it, and love the vocals, as they are prominent, and powerful. There’s such a good mix here, and it’s definitely well worth exploring deeper. My Secret Island’s single mix here is profound and well worth exploring. Make sure to keep an eye out for their full length release, it should be grand. The Tommy Roe cover of “Sheila” should definitely get you moving.

You can check out this single and more via amazon.com here, itunes here, and musicload here. You can also view the video below, and if you check out the comments over on youtube you can see that Tommy Roe himself dropped off a comment, so you know it’s good.

Teacher Preacher Brings A Bouncing Hip Hop Release on The Return from Babylon

I never truly know what to expect from the latest in the hip hop genre. Teacher Preacher and Kuntry Strong come together to pull out one bouncing hip hop release and it’s called “The Return From Babylon”. From the introduction through the 20 songs of flowing rap music, you are going to be thrilled by how this all pulls through. The beats are secondary to the lyrics, as the flows are coming through fast and furious. Filled with choruses that you’d expect from southern rap, and mainstream singles, you get exactly what you’d expect, and then the duo turns out something even more incredible.

Topics are all over the place, as there is no “one” thing that they are trying to talk about, as they cover a variety of topics from making money to living life of struggle. There’s a lot to sample here, and it’s all done with such an easy flow, that you’ll swear this is second nature to Teacher Preacher and Kuntry Strong. The whole record is well produced, and connects together in a very unique manner. Even though each song stands on their own, the album never feels like you need to skip a track, as it all comes together to tell you a story.

“The Return From Babylon” is one of the better releases that you’re going to get from the hip hop world right now. It is filled with lots of art, great beats and moments where you stop, rewind and hear the words again because they are not what you think. I especially love the way “Grind” works out. If I had a favorite track it’s that one. But that’s not to say the rest aren’t good, as they pull through a great deal of quality tracks. Some of the stand outs include, “Grind”, “Welcome to Amerikkka”, “Getting Made”, “4 Door Rider”, “Im Great”, just to name a few.

For true hip hop fans, this is one that you absolutely cannot miss. “The Return From Babylon” is a quality release, and one that you’ll be playing on repeat with the likes of the new Atmosphere, Greyskul, and more. I highly recommend this one, as it delivers 20 tracks of quality hip hop.

You can buy the record via Itunes, check out emusic.com, and listen to the starting single on soundcloud here.

Social media profiles you connect to are here:

Teacher Preacher Facebook
Kuntry Strong Twitter
Teacher Preacher Twitter
Kuntry Strong Facebook

You won’t want to miss these guys, they’re poised to rise up and takeover, I can feel it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jacob H Carruthers III Makes Me Believe in Smooth Jazz Again With The Jazz In My Soul

There was a time, where I had to listen to a lot of smooth jazz. I was working at a casket retailer, and they only let me play the Jazz station in Los Angeles. I grew to hate the genre. It’s one of my weakest links in terms of record collections, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like jazz. I love jazz, when it’s done with passion, and without pretense. When it sounds like someone is truly caring about the music, and is not just throwing around pop songs into elevator music. Jacob H Carruthers III has done something incredible on the release of “The Jazz in My Soul”. He has truly given me new hope for the smooth jazz genre, by creating waves of emotion throughout every track. Nothing is wasted here, and it truly is one of the better smooth jazz records that I've heard in a long time. I'm a believer.

Hailing from Chicago, “The Jazz in My Soul” is the latest release from Jacob H Carruthers III, and it starts with one of the best piano tunes I’ve heard in a long time. “The Broken Hearted” will haunt you, and mesmerize you. It will cause you to pause what you’re doing and pay attention, it presents a soulful jazz tone that you don’t always get with the sound. It’s a beautiful way to introduce the rest of the songs. The structure changes pace on “La Samba Loco”, which is fine, as you get a sense for the style that Carruthers brings to table. It’s most definitely smooth jazz, but it has a great deal of soul in the pieces, and feels larger than the scope of the notes. Things slow down again with “Another Year”, and pick up an almost funk tone on “Rush Hour”. The bass heavy line is on par with my favorite track on the record. (I played bass for 10 years)

Overall, the tracks get more diverse and bass heavy. Carruthers finds a way to include every instrument on this recording and doesn’t waste any space. You don’t get dead air, and you don’t get repetition, as there is a fluidity to the tracks that you will definitely appreciate. Put this record on and you’ll go through a variety of emotional points, from sadness to elation and everything in between. There is a real attention given to the listener, as well as the music itself. It’s not self-serving and it’s not trying to emulate pop, it’s truly a jazz record, and that’s what I appreciate about the way it flows.

Usually with jazz, I pick out a few tracks that are my favorites, but I can’t on this one. There’s so much to be found here. Whether it’s the Spanish influence on “La Samba Loco”, or the bass and keyboards on “Sloppy Joe”, there’s something to appreciate throughout the 12 tracks. I can only hope that Carruthers gets a fair shake in the jazz world, because this is the type of music that can truly reach a wide audience. It’s played with precision, and soul, which is the foundation of good music.

You can hear "The Jazz in My Soul" here, or you can pick up the record via amazon.com, itunes, and listen via spotify as well.

Zero Verdict Shakes The Rock Genre To The Foundations With The Release of Clarity

It’s the return of pure rock music. Lately I’ve been hearing so many good bands coming out and after hearing Zero Verdict’s latest release “Clarity”, I’m 100% positive that they are poised to make it big. From the opening lines of their record, they bring high quality guitar driven rock music that will take you back to the rock and roll era. It’s as powerful as anything coming out Seattle from the 1990s, and it’s as powerful as the heavy metal guitar work that came through the 1980s, with incredible vocals that float through the driving guitars, and killer bass with other instrumentation throughout. This is the ultimate rock and roll package, without sticking to just one genre. On “Clarity”, the band opens up with “The Perfect White Lie” and I was blown away by the production, and overall style. It’s well crafted, and powerful, giving the listener something from all genres, including an awesome solo to finish things off and sing along choruses that will definitely stun you.

Even though this record is only 4 tracks, it is full of fire. Tapio Mattila’s guitar work is superb. It flows through the same energy that made Eddie Van Halen so popular, and he does it with such a modern twist on the rock genre. Sami Huotari’s vocals are unique, and on par with styles that made Dio a household name. Not quite the same, but with such projection that it fills the recording quite well. I was completely impressed with the way the guitar work and the vocals lend themselves to this iconic music.

Even when the band slows down on “Alone”, it’s epic. There is no “one” track on this recording, that I can say is the best. They are all unique, and heavy with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. It’s a solid hard rock record that touches the metal world, and brings it back through the Alternative scope that made rock radio #1 in the 1990s. I would be surprised if these guys don’t make it bigger, because this is one hell of a record. I’m impressed with how it plays with such unity and power for only 4 songs. It’s so much bigger than the rock genre, it has to be heard, check it out, I highly recommend this one.

Zero Verdict is coming out of Oulu, Finland, and they are a cohesive unit that is going to pummel your senses. Check out their Facebook page here, their official EP site here, and keep tabs on them, they are incredible. I’m a fan, that’s for sure.

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