THE BLUE COLLAR ARMY: Norrland

This band comes from Skellefteå, Sweden and has a plodding ambient sound with touches of doom, death metal, and experimental noise. The band is comprised of The Englishman (Guitar), The Old Man (Drums), The Party Bear (Scream), The Pig (Guitar), and Baron von Horst (Bass).

If you like those styles that I described previously, then this is for you, but not for me. The screamed incoherent vocals did nothing for me, if this was instrumental, I would have loved it and given it a great review. The musicianship is great, tight playing, lots of interesting sounds and the way that they can go from light and airy to balls-out rocking is something that I loved, but the vocals…the vocals. The few instrumental songs were amazing and I will play those ones again and again.

If you think that this is what you are looking for, by all means, give it a chance and hopefully, it will be what you are searching for, but I just can’t get past the vocals. If they put out an instrumental album, I’m totally there for it.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-blue-collar-army-norrland.html

http://thebluecollararmy.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueCollarArmy/

https://thebluecollararmy.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ladysnowsociety/

http://www.ladysnow.com/

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AMERICAN AMNESIA: Yet Here We Are

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American Amnesia is a band of teen musicians that hail from Torrington and Winsted, CT. The band is Patrick Nemaizer (19) on vocals and guitar, Sam Cesnak (17) on drums and Gus Pac (16) on bass. The band plays a mix of hard rock tinged with a bit of alternative.

The playing is tight, some nice solos that will make the air guitarists happy, pummeling drums, a thick low end of vocals that sound like a classic rock band from the late 70s, lots of emotion, clear and perfect for this band. “The One” is a fantastic song that I would have thought was a forgotten gem from the 70s. It sounds classic, has amazing guitar playing and the vocals are glorious. The band sounds like they have been playing together for a long time, nice cohesive sound and no way would I have believed that they were this young, no way! The playing and songwriting are very advanced and show that they know what they are doing. You can hear the fun that they are having and the passionate vocals are something that really stands out. “Questions in the Dark” is a dark and plodding song, but plodding in the way that Black Sabbath used to drag you down and drag you through the music, with your face down and a heavy weight on you…kind of cool.

The whole album is like this, heavy with touches of their influences, but still original enough to make it a great listen, matter of fact, I think I will throw this one in the car and crank it up with the windows down…the hell with the air conditioner.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/07/american-amnesia-yet-here-we-are.html

http://www.americanamnesiaband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanAmnesia/

https://www.facebook.com/ProphetMotiveRecords/

ASTRAL CLOUD ASHES: Dear Absentee Creator

Astral Cloud Ashes is a one-man band formed in 2016 and based on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands by Antony Walker. Recently he released his second album titled Dear Absentee Creator. The album was influenced by his fascination with both Japan and cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The album has the sound and feel of late 80s indie and early to mid-90s alternative bands, mixing the sounds up and adding things into the mix that adds to the intriguing music he’s created. He musicianship is terrific, with everything sounding clear, crisp and the playing is tight. Lots of different effects in the songs that give every one a unique, but cohesive listen on the album. The vocals are a bit on the whiny/snotty pop-punk side that was and is still popular, but they are clear and are perfect for the songs. You get a nice chunk of poppy sounding songs with catchy hooks that will get you singing along to and especially on “Satoshi Nakamoto vs. Unyielding Desire for BAU,” the crunchy guitar playing is outstanding.

This album is an interesting, tuneful and great listen. It has everything that I was hoping for, hooks, fun, songs to sing along to and one that I will play a ton of times.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/06/astral-cloud-ashes-dear-absentee-creator.html

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes/?fref=ts

https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/

999: The Albums 1977-80

A 59 track 4 CD clamshell box set gathering together all of Punk legends 999’s releases between 1977-80. Each disc comes in a card wallet featuring a replica of the original LP artwork whilst the 20-page booklet contains detailed liner notes, lots of clippings, memorabilia and record sleeves from the era.

Disc one features the debut 999 album which hit No.53 in the UK National Chart and includes the singles “Me And My Desire,” and the classic “Emergency.” Both singles and both songs that have hooks and sound amazing still. Not as much of a buzzsaw band like other contemporaries of the time, but a talented and hook-filled debut that gets the pulse going still. Disc two has the Separates album from 1978 which featured the anthemic “Homicide” (a UK No.40 hit single) and the band’s ode to their following, “Feelin’ Alright With The Crew.” “Homicide” was the first song of theirs that I heard and it’s still one of my favourite punk songs of all-time. The rest of the album is no slouch either. I owned the Canadian version of this album which had a different playing order, cover, some different tracks and was called High Energy Plan. As an added bonus this album includes the single “Waiting” with the b-side “Action.” Disc three is The Biggest Prize In Sport and it features the “Trouble” 45. This album is one that a friend got me for a birthday present and locked in my love for this band, With a more rock-oriented sound, they were moving away from the tried and true punk sound, but still had the attitude, plus more hooks. The last disc is the rarities album which is a 22-track round-up of non-LP singles and rare, compilation-only, cuts. It includes the Punk classic “Nasty! Nasty!,” the 7” versions of singles such as “I’m Alive” and “No Pity” plus the live mini-LP The Biggest Tour In Sport from their mega coast-to-coast trek across America. This is a great disc of songs that I had heard but never could find back in Canada.

Add in the great info in the booklet, the better sound on this collection and all the music, this is the collection to get! Also, if you have the chance, go see them live some 40 odd years after forming and still featuring three-quarters of their original line up.

https://www.facebook.com/999Music/

http://www.nineninenine.net/

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords/

http://captainoi.com/

PSEUDO ECHO: Love An Adventure – 2CD Expanded Edition

Australian synth-pop band Pseudo Echo formed in 1982 and were influenced by the emergent British New Romantic bands Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Ultravox. By 1984, Pseudo Echo were second in popularity in their homeland only to INXS. Their international breakthrough hit was their pop-rock makeover of the Lipps Inc track, the disco classic “Funky Town.” This was a worldwide smash hit in 1987 reaching #1 in Australia and Canada, #8 in the UK and #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This is a 2-disc expanded edition of their second album, Love An Adventure, that “Funky Town” originally appeared on. The tracklisting replicates the European / North American version of the album that was released in 1987 but with the addition of 18 bonus tracks. The bonus tracks include the definitive collection of the contemporaneous promotional remixes that were hitherto exclusive to North America as well as the B-sides and 12” versions of the singles that were commercially released from the album in the UK and US. Also contains an amazing booklet with tons of pictures and information.

I remember hearing about these guys when their first album came out, and really enjoying the new romantic sound and how chock full of hooks it had, then I saw the video for “Funky Town” and I laughed that they were covering a disco song, but damn it, they did a good job! With a guaranteed hook, synth galore and a touch of rock, this song grabbed me and I was hooked. Adding to the power of this album was “Listening,” another hook-filled song that was a killer remixed from their first album. They also had two more beefed up songs from their first album, “A Beat For You,” and “Destination Unknown.” A bunch of remixes, which everyone seemed to do back then, made sure that you had to get more and more from them. Not to say that the “big” single is the only thing on here, you can’t go wrong with this harder-edged version of the band. Now add on a ton of remixes and you have a double CD collection that will bring back memories, plus get you dancing, singing and laughing with how good it will make you feel.

If you want an album to bring you out of the doldrums, this is it. Put it on, and head to Funky Town all on your own again.

https://www.facebook.com/pseudoecho/

http://www.pseudoechomusic.com/

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

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

MIDGE URE: Solo – 3TEN Austin City Limits Live: Austin, TX

Midge Ure, lead singer of Ultravox and solo artist came to Austin for a solo acoustic show at 3Ten Austin City Limits Live in downtown Austin. The weather was great, not too much traffic and away I went to the show.

I did miss the opening act; Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather, but I was really excited to see Ure who I have been a fan of since the early ’80s. The venue is small, intimate and was perfect for this show. Dark atmosphere, cool air blowing on me from the air conditioning system and my growing excitement all made it thrilling and made the hair stand up on my arms when Ure came on stage. With a perfect amount of story-telling, jokes and some aw-shucks moments, Ure thrilled the crowd with songs from Ultravox and his solo career. as well as a beautiful rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Man Of The World.” Ure told the crowd about listening to the song on the radio when he was small back when the UK had one radio station and how much he loved this song. He asked for people to help him sing-along with “The Voice,” but said that if you didn’t know it, please don’t do it, which got a large laugh from the crowd. With his mix of songs, he wove a set of beauty and heartfelt singing that was a pleasure to witness. “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” actually had some tears in my eyes since the raw emotion that Ure gave to the performance was striking. It was actually supposed to be the last song, but he got caught up in it and admitted that he forgot to leave the stage. After a lot of laughter, we were treated to the final song, “One Small Day,” and a standing ovation later, it was sadly all over…except for the buying of the souvenir t-shirt of course.

Having never seen Ultravox live, nor been able to see any of Ure’s previous solo shows, this was a delight and is something that I will never forget. The perfect venue, perfect sound, and perfect performance…what more could you ask for?

https://www.facebook.com/midge.ure/

http://www.midgeure.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/3TENaustin/

https://www.3tenaustin.com/

Ferentz and The Felons: Hudson County EP

Ferentz and the Felons is a contemporary rock band based out of Hudson County, NJ. Their music has a hint of folk, a touch of blues, and rock.

The EP has two songs on it, the title track and “Ash Moon,” and gives the listener a nice overview of what they are capable of. “Ash Moon” is a peppy track that gets your heart racing and really sticks with you with its driving beat and excellent playing. I can’t get enough of the track and loved it from first listen. The title track is a mellow song with heartfelt lyrics and a yearning vocal performance that pulls at your soul. The band shows its skills with the emotion and tension in the song and it just kills.

Two tracks, only two, but damn…what tracks! This is a band to watch and a band that will garner fans when they hear these songs.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/search?q=Ferentz+and+the+Felons

https://www.facebook.com/ferentzandthefelons/