RE-FLEX: POLITICS OF DANCING (2CD)

Cherry Red is issuing the first ever expanded re-issue of Re-Flex’s first album. Formed in the early 1980s by musicians John Baxter on vocals and lead guitar and Paul Fishman on keyboards and backing vocals, by late 1982 the band recorded their debut album, The Politics of Dancing. The album, produced by John Punter of Roxy Music fame was released in 1983 through EMI. The album’s title track was released as a single in late 1983 and met with much great success becoming a big international hit in 1984, reaching the Top 40 (and in some cases the Top 20) in numerous countries including No. 28 in the UK, No. 24 in the USA, No. 9 in Canada, No. 25 in Germany and No. 11 in Australia as well as being a success in Switzerland, South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. Five further singles were released from the album each enjoying varied international success. This expanded 2 CD version of the original album release contains a comprehensive selection of extended mixes and B-side bonus tracks many which are appearing on CD for the first time as well as a deluxe 16 page booklet using the fully restored original album artwork.

I was extremely excited to get this CD since I remember seeing the video on TV when it first came out. I bought the album back then and taped a live gig of theirs from the El Mocambo in Toronto off of the radio…still have it too! I played the album to death back then, and when I got this, I did the same thing. The album, of course, has their most famous song on it, but “Hitline,” and “Praying To The Beat” is just as good. The sound is greatly improved on this release and the bonus mixes are what really make this stand out for fans. Yes there are some remix omissions, and it does suck that they couldn’t find them all and put them all on here, but man-o-man, what a great bunch of mixes. The bonus mixes are thankfully all original ones from the band’s heyday, not new versions that you sometimes get stuck with, and they would make the dance floor full if they were played in an ’80s club night. You will want to dance on your sofa when you put this on…I did! The booklet is great, so much info and lots of pictures that I read it a couple of times.

If you are a fan…get this! How obvious is it really? If you are curious as to what else they did besides “that one song,” you need to get this so you can hear a band that took its time and produced a very entertaining and satisfying album that sounds just as good now as it did then.

https://www.facebook.com/ReFlexOfficial/

http://www.re-flex.com/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

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WEATHER McNABB: Cubicle Zombie

https://alteredfrequencies.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/c0bbd-weath.jpg?w=626&h=626

Weather was born in Minneapolis but has spent most of her adult life north of Boston. She has been working on her music since 2012 and has finally been able to get her debut album out.

Having been a cubicle zombie myself at a few jobs that I have had in the past, I can appreciate the sentiment behind this album. The vocals and the sound of “Good Morning” reminded me of Lily Allen a bit, but in a good way. It had that same kind of poppy, peppy sound, but with lyrics that made you know that this person is more aware than the average person. The biting lyrics are a definite plus on this all too short album. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into everything on this album, from the lyrics, the music to the great production. It also reminded me a bit of Carole Pope from Canada’s Rough Trade in the expressiveness of the vocals. The whole album is just a great listen and every track is a definite keeper, the quality behind this release is amazing.

For a first album, this is just incredible with how well everything is presented. Most female vocalists are too wispy and boring, this has power and emotion to it, something rare these days and for one, I’m so glad that I got the chance to hear this…now you need to get this for yourself…go ahead, it’s worth it.

https://www.facebook.com/weathermcnabb/?ref=br_rs

https://twitter.com/WeatherMcNabb

https://soundcloud.com/user-75280168

WE ARE THE CATALYST: Predators

 

We Are The Catalyst

This Swedish metal band has released a new song that is darker and heavier than what they have done in the past, this is a taste of the new album that they are looking to release soon. They were formed in November of 2012 and the name “We Are The Catalyst” is meant as encouragement to overcome and challenge the darker parts of ourselves and others, to invite the listeners to keep fighting in a rough and dark world, and try to encourage them to be their best self, even when it might seem hopeless.

The song is tight, played with power and energy and the emotive vocals are amazing. The song is a definite treat for fans and for those looking forward to the new album; this is something that makes me want to hear it. This is not some boring or contrived crap, this is a hard-hitting example of modern metal with female vocals that aren’t your typical operatic or wispy junk, the vocals are strong and the band just kills it.

Coming as a preview of their new album, this will blow you away and make you want to go get that new album. The band just seems to be getting better with every release and will soon be blowing up big all over the place.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/11/we-are-catalyst-predators.html

http://www.wearethecatalystofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WATCofficial

https://watcofficial.bandcamp.com/

http://www.ferocityrecords.com/

RUINERS: Typecast

This band from Houston, Texas released their debut back in 2016 and after being busy with doing shows and writing new music, they have released the sophomore album. Although it is touted as post-punk, this sounds more like emo-punk with some post-punk mixed in, but it’s still better than straight out emo.

The album is tightly played, with energy to spare from these four guys. The songs have improved from their debut and really show off just how the time between releases has helped. Starting off with “No,” the band gets a blast of power that rips through your skull and continues on the next track “Swipe.” These two songs are a great one-two punch to get things rolling. “Raptor” is another crazy track that is just like a kick in the groin.

The band has matured a bit and you can hear the rawness of the emotions in the music so well on this album. Turn it up and have them cave your head in.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/10/ruiners-typecast.html

http://www.facebook.com/RuinersTX/

https://ruinertx.bandcamp.com/

https://geodesicrecords.com/

CRUSHWATER: The Cactus Storm EP

This band from Port Angeles, Washington was formed in 2016 when singer/violinist Chandra Johnson joined forces with frontman/guitarist Scott Sullivan and drummer Casey Northern. The three members began melding their various styles together leading up to the release of their debut EP, The Cactus Storm.

Playing a nice mix of country/folk/rock, this three-piece really gets things going on the first real track after the intro. “Fly Fly Fly” has a nice little groove going on and the mix of the male and female vocals really give the song a good contrast since they complement each other so well. The violin just makes this song a real treat since it gives it a terrific sound. “Blue Moon” is another great track with the instruments interweaving so beautifully that the song gave me goosebumps. The way that it gets more rocking really was a nice surprise and I really can’t get enough of this song. “Starry Skies” was a surprise since I was not expecting a Spanish song, but they managed to pull it off well. They mix the English and Spanish lyrics with ease and the music was upbeat and fun. “California” is a great slower track that was melancholy and really had a lot of feeling and emotion in it.

The EP has great playing, amazing vocals and so much real emotion going for it that I fell in love with this band. If this is the first thing they have put out, I’m looking so forward to what the next release will be like.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/10/crushwater-cactus-storm-ep.html

https://crushwatermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Crushwater/

SECURITY PROJECT: Contact

The previous albums Live 1 and Live 2, the group had been fronted by Brian Cummins, on this new album, new lead vocalist Happy Rhodes takes over after been a guest vocalist on a previous tour. The set list here is almost completely repeated from Live 1, but with the new vocalist, things aren’t a carbon copy of the previous album.

On this album, you not only get Gabriel’s songs, but you also get Kate Bush’s “Mother Stands for Comfort” which is very well done by Rhodes. “I Don’t Remember” is an amazing song that got the hair on my arms standing up with the impeccable sound and the incredible performance. The crowd is very quiet during the songs but is audible at the beginning and the end of the tracks. This makes for a very nice listening experience where the band is the focus, not the crowd noise. “I Have the Touch” is another song that I just loved and can’t get enough of.

Between the vocals and the amazing playing, this gives both the band and Gabriels songs a perfect platform. The band has so much talent that with every new CD that I hear from them, I love the band more and more, and my appreciation of Peter Gabriel’s music becomes larger.

http://securityprojectband.com/go/

https://www.facebook.com/SecurProjectBand/

https://music.7dmedia.com/

https://www.7dmedia.com/

THE SEARCHERS: Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979–1981

After having numerous hits during the ’60s, the Searchers were still trying to keep fans and get new ones, but the music scene had changed a lot since their heyday. Luckily the time was ripe for short, tight pop-rock that they were good at playing. The punk/new wave scene was not looking for old guys just pretending to be part of the scene, these guys were loving the fact that they could learn a bit from the new school and mix it with their sound and fit right in. The two albums that they released were as good as many of the top stars at the time, but for some reason, they still stayed on the edge of what was happening. This collects both of their albums, plus bonus songs and proves just how good they were during this time period and what people missed out on.

“Hearts in Her Eyes” is a fantastic song that was released as a single and went nowhere sadly. “This Kind of Love Affair” is another great song that would have been a great hit, but again, the band had no luck. “No Dancing” is another song that is full of energy and sounds perfect for the times. The first album showed just how good the band was and had more than enough songs to satisfy anyone who took the time to listen to them. After the eponymous first album, second album Love’s Melodies (released as Play for Today in the UK) was even better. Moon Martin’s “She’s Made a Fool of You” is a great song that shows how good the band was. This also applies to their version of John Fogerty’s “Another Saturday Night.” These two songs are full of fun and give the listener a smile on their face and some bounce in their step. “Radio Romance” and Big Star’s “September Gurls” are another pair of songs that stand out on the album. Both discs have bonus tracks added, the first has three worthy alternate mixes, and the second has “Sick and Tired” (which was on the UK’s Play for Today but not Love’s Melodies), “Changing” (the B-side to the “Love’s Melody” single), and “Back to the War” and “Ambulance Chaser.” The booklet contains album cover artwork from the different territories, and an essay from Scott Schinder, with new interviews from the band’s John McNally and Frank Allen.

This release gives power-pop fans a great collection of songs that managed to slip away from listeners when they were first released. It shows just how good a band that was contemporaries of the Beatles could still knock out music that was every bit as good as younger bands of the time. A very worthy collection.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2267201297/

http://www.the-searchers.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/omnivorerecordings/

https://omnivorerecordings.com/